Social Media on a Budget

Let’s face it. You could spend a TON of money on social media, Google AdWords, CPC’s trying to get unqualified leads to turn over to your camp all the while begging for the conversions and leads. It doesn’t need to be this way. AND you do have to put some time and energy into this to find some cheaper (read: YOU) labor to get your campaigns running full tilt as well as pinching your pennies and minutes as a small business owner (I say this from experience).

I have some ideas for you that you can work on during your weekends and evenings so that your days stay free to help your clients and customers and help pinch a few pennies. SEO Social Media guys are running rampant these days. Everyone wants a guru on their team and little do they want to pay the going rate for these media magicians. NEWSFLASH!! You can do most of this yourself! If you have the inclination, and there aren’t THAT many of you out there that ENJOY this like me (lest I blog on more…) so lets start with some pretty easy ideas that you can implement over the next month.

social media cloud image

Twitter

Did you know that you can pay to promote your Tweets? Ya. That was a bit of a jaw dropped recently for me. Here’s how it works: Pay for tweets when you want the added exposure. Again. Be careful about what you are paying for. You want to make sure that you have amazing content that someone is going to want to engage with and share and drive more traffic to your website, have coupons, offerings and have sales and giveaway campaigns. Pick your promotions carefully because your tweets WILL show up clearly as a PROMOTED Tweet, but they can be engaged with, shared, favourite and retweeted just as any other ordinary tweet.

So make it stand OUT…we need to go beyond the ordinary on this one! If want to work on brand recognition, you can use this method for your blog, content marketing (YES!), partner marketing, events and even more brilliant to connect with key influencers in your marketplace.

Use your hashtags, your tinyurls, @’s, .’s Here are some best practices for your tweets

Facebook Campaigns

We all know that Facebook is a great place to be. Its free to join, free to post, free this and free that. This has been fabulous up until the past 6 months where your posts are getting buried faster and more furious as the lifespan of posts is shortened dramatically.

The reason? Facebook WANTS you to spend money with them on campaigns, to get higher visibility, for more impressions and oh ya lay your wallet out for all the ads. Of course it’s a money making adventure. Mark Zuckerberg aint no dummy and either are its stock holders, so prepare to pay dearly these days to run a well seen campaign either for your branding recognition or campaign offers. AND…there are some less expensive options for the world’s largest Social Media site. Just a few dollars a week and some GREAT CONTENT will really engage people, get them talking, conversating…staying…and pushing that LIKE button for you. The more they engage, the more your posts stay up top, the better your Edgerank, and the circle perpetuates.

So pick perhaps 2 posts a week that you want to get some traction on and throw a couple of dollars at it. IT WORKS as long as you are asking great questions, and providing excellent content.

**Make an offer for a check in like a little chocolate heart this week in honour of Valentines Day?

Blogging

There are hundreds of reasons why you should be blogging, but in the interest of keeping this readable on the train or in between coffee breaks, Ill keep this short and to the point. Blogs help you spread, your content, ideas, help far and wide. They establish your authority, you can use them to post across all your social media to bring in new followers and its GREAT for your SEO and SERP (Web ranking). Find a plugin like Squirrley SEO (my personal fave) that will help you optimize your articles for content and SEO and get posting!

 

YouTube

Did you know that YouTube is now the worlds largest search engine? Google aint no dummies here. Chew on this Jim:

• More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month

• We have more than a million advertisers using Google ad platforms, the majority of which are small businesses (http://www.youtube.com/yt/press/statistics.html)

Paying even a few dollars for your videos can return awesome results. But you have to optimise your YouTube videos. James Wedmore is a personal guru of mine and if you follow his simple steps, you will be the king of your niche in a very short time.

Instagram

“MarketingProfs reports that 67% of top brands are now using Instagram, reaching more than 100 million active monthly users on the network. That’s a 500% increase in users since last year, according to research from Simply Measured. “   – Cursive Content

Do your research and find people of influence in your niche and tag them. Find some great partners to work with and tag back and forth to encourage and cross promotion traffic FOR FREE!

“Include captions that show your humour & wit, or to add some context to your photo.” – Independent Fashion

Pick your hashtags in your niche and really stick with them. Pick 3-4 and all your images should be relevant to those standard hashtags. Be unique. Use your images to show your behind the scenes, your clients, your experience. People want to see something artsy and gorgeous.

Link up your social media to Instagram so it automatically reposts for you.

Use images that tell a story.

Ask your customers to take pictures of your business and post them for you with your tags. As an added incentive to them make them an offer for a check in. I like to offer a free print to my clients for any social media check in.

Foursquare

Four square are the leaders in the location based marketing business. The first step is to optimise your profile.Then consider how you can leverage your social media contacts to drive traffic both directions and boost your online marketing efforts. It’s a great way to add value to your neighbourhood, encourage local traffic, and cross promoting with complimentary businesses.

Pinterest

Although there isn’t any way to directly promote your pins, there are some great tools to maximise your scheduling, analytics, and by the way they are all free! Some of them work via Chrome Extensions (love using these) and the rest are stand alone APPS, but all worth investigating for different reasons. ViraltagPinpuff, PinBooster, PiqoraReachli

Here is my last piece of advice. Get yourself a social media manager. HootsuiteSproutSocial – there are MANY of them, for free to trial and paid subscription once you realise how valuable they are to you for saving time. But they will help you time, track, and aggragate your posts. And they will be a lifesaver.

money flying in the air

Think of all the time and money you are going to save!

So there you have it. Some great rather inexpensive ways that you can get some great reach, increase your visibility, gain followers and really start to leverage your social media juju!

Featured images:
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: shutterstock
  •  License: Royalty Free or iStock source: shutterstock

Erin loves to putter away with social media, tinker with SEO, and blog up a storm. Her photography business has helped many small businesses get on their newly branded feet and her love of the internet has her clients playing well with APPS.

Photographer, SEO lover and lover of headshots, portraits and creating good looking DUDES!

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