A Social Media Marketing Luncheon was held Thursday at the Nolan County Coliseum. Sarah T. Page, who leads her own consulting firm, presented twenty ideas on how to market a business through the use of social media.
The luncheon was hosted by the Sweetwater Chamber of Commerce.
The goal of the luncheon was to demystify social media--such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other websites--to determine what works for each business. In many instances, trial and error is the best way to find success.
To learn more about Page and Sarah T. Page Consulting, LLC, visit her website at sarahtpage.com. The following ideas were explained by Page at the luncheon:
1. Use Facebook offers: It's okay to ask others on the social media website to share your information. But in most instances, users will have to pay in order to promote the information.
2. Boost your posts: This method is typically for the Facebook platform. If necessary, posts can be filtered to reach a specific audience.
3. Use cover photos as advertising: Cover photos on Facebook offer users the chance to post another picture on their page outside of the profile picture. However, cover photos should not be cluttered with images or information.
4. Participate in Yelp: Yelp can serve almost like a second website and includes maps and community reviews of a business. The transparent website also allows business owners to comment on reviews.
5. Participate on FourSquare: This website, similar to Yelp, is used like a local guide but also as a game, where users can become "the mayor" of a particular location. Some businesses will also offer customer loyalty rewards after surpassing a particular number of check-ins.
6. Be human: Be able to respond and talk to users like a person, not like a press release or on a professional level.
7. Create a sense of urgency: The social media website Twitter has proven to be the best way to promote urgency, with its 140-character maximum posts.
8. Give "insider" perks: "Whisper campaigns"--where customers will come to a business and whisper a key word/phrase to gain discounts, etc--have proven successful. The words or phrase can be posted to the social media account for customers to learn.
9. Use QR codes...wisely: While somewhat new to American social media, its instant success seemed to have gone overboard. The QR codes are similar to a bar code and can be scanned to access information.
10. Showcase your business: Instagram, a social medium that allows photos and short videos to be posted, can be used to feature not only a product, but the employees who produce the product.
11. Integrate your marketing: Many websites have added links to their other pages, like Instagram, YouTube and even Pinterest--the online virtual bulletin board.
12. Piggyback on events: In the instance that a local event takes place, use the opportunity to offer incentives to customers and visitors.
13. Ask your customers questions: Many websites, like Twitter and Facebook, have implemented "fill in the blank" questions to interact with their users.
14. Like/comment as your page: Facebook allows business pages to interact on the website as if they were a person on the social media outlet. Users can follow other businesses and interact with others on various pages.
15. Host a contest: Make sure that the contest is relevant to the business, product or services offered. On Facebook, sometimes a third-party application will be used.
16. Create a Facebook ad: [SLIDES]
17. Use Twitter for market research: On Twitter, users can type in search words (like the business name) to see what kind of perception users have of the business--either good or bad, or search for particular eateries or establishments. It can also be used to search out competitors.
18. Start a blog/become a subject matter expert: Blog websites, such as Blogspot or WordPress, allow users to type up stories or share information about their business or interactions.
19. Go behind the scenes: Any social media platform can be implemented to show users how your product starts all the way to its distribution.
20. Think outside the box: Be willing to be creative with your social media accounts. The website Pinterest has an outreach of 80-85% of women, which could prove to be very beneficial in promoting a gender-specific item.