Using Social Media To Your Advantage
Marketing doesn't need to cost an arm & a leg to be successful. In fact, if you play your cards right via social media—you can easily market your business or blog without spending a dime on advertisements. Read on for my top 3 free marketing tactics:
NETWORK IN FACEBOOK GROUPS
Let's face it—making friends on the internet is so much easier than making friends in real life. When I launched my business, I often felt alone and unrelatable in my own circle of family & friends. I began searching for groups on Facebook in an attempt to connect with people with similar interests to mine. I'm now currently in about 20+ groups and find myself learning something new just from scrolling down my timeline. Most importantly, my networking potential feels almost unlimited. Not only have Facebook groups granted me the opportunity to connect with & learn from others in my field, they've also connected me with my ideal clients and supporters.
Ready to get in on some Facebook group fun? Start by searching the keywords that relate to your niche to find the groups that work best for you. Once you're in the groups, be sure to introduce yourself to get the conversation going and start connecting with others right away. Being an entrepreneur doesn't have to feel lonely and Facebook can be so much more than a social network for old friends & political opinions!
Here are a few of my favorite Facebook groups for networking in:
JOIN AN INSTAGRAM POD
You're probably thinking "what the heck is an Instagram Pod?!" I wondered the same thing as well when it was brought up in a Facebook group I'm actively involved in. Basically, an Instagram Pod is a smart & collaborative way to boost engagement. Creating a pod is easy, joining in on an existing pod is even easier. Looking to create your own? Start the conversation by bringing it up to a group of like-minded people you'd like to network with. A Facebook group that caters to your niche is a great place to find participants! Once you've rounded up your pod members, start a group message via Instagram and invite them—your group can have a catchy name and up to 15 members. Be sure lay out the rules/intention of the group to ensure everyone is one the same page. Most pods ask that you like & comment everyone's shared posts before sharing your own. You can share your posts directly to your group by clicking the right arrow "share" button under your photo. When commenting on your pod members posts, it's always best to read their caption to help with posting a genuine comment—authentic interaction is always appreciated!
I'm in a couple Instagram Pods (one for brand stylists and one with a mix of bloggers & entrepreneurs) and definitely see a huge difference in my engagement. Not only am I getting instant gratification via genuine comments & likes on my posts, it helps create an 'aftershock' of engagement in the days to follow. Being involved in a productive pod means you'll be appearing on more users Explore pages and boosting your reach. The fact that everyone wins in an Instagram Pod easily makes them my favorite social media innovation of 2016.
DON'T UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF PINTEREST
Prior to launching my business, Pinterest was just a simple, happy place for me to Pin my favorite fashions, recipes, and visually plan out my dream wedding. Little did I know about how powerful of a marketing tool that Pinterest can actually be! The best part about Pinterest? It's a fun & free way to capture the attention of your dream clients or readers through your own branded visuals.
Get the most out of your Pinterest by making sure your profile is just as branded as the rest of your social media accounts. Clean up any boards that don't directly correlate to your target audience and make sure your Pins are always relevant to the boards they're posted in. Make your personal boards secret and create public boards that you think your followers will benefit from. For instance, I traded in my cat & makeup boards for boards on branding, blogging, and Squarespace design tips. I also created a couple boards just to showcase my own work & blog posts. To increase your Pinterest's traffic, you should be Pinning at least a few times per day on a consistent basis. Of course, most of us don't always have the time to follow through with constant Pinning, but there are some fabulous scheduling apps out there to assist with that (like Buffer or BoardBooster).
When Pinning your own content, you'll want your images to be on brand and the ideal height for getting noticed on Pinterest—the taller, the better. Use relevant keywords within your caption to boost your Pinterest SEO and be sure to enable Rich Pins if you're on a business profile. Check out my Pinterest profile here for a little Pinspiration.
"BUT CHRISTINA, THIS SOUNDS LIKE A LOT OF WORK."
Of course it does. You didn't think it was going to be free AND easy—did you? :) Feel free to go at your own pace and master each social network one step at time to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Trust me, you'll be glad you did when your effort starts paying off!