By Jessica Maurer
“Advertising brings in customers, but word-of-mouth brings in the best customers.” Jonah Berger
Be honest: how long can you go without logging into social media? Did you freak out last year when Facebook momentarily went down for a day because your entire marketing strategy relied on social media? Or were you okay because you have been building your email list already?
Over the past few years, most businesses have witnessed a drastic decrease in organic traffic from social media platforms. Ads have become more expensive and harder to track. Entrepreneurs (especially solo-entrepreneurs) are not seeing the same return on investment when utilizing social media as their primary marketing tool.
So who would you be if there wasn’t Instagram?
What would you do if there wasn’t Facebook?
Could your business still be a business without those platforms?
If all of your marketing is tied to social media, you are missing a large piece of your puzzle.
Let’s start with some basic structure. Your brand awareness and social media strategy should direct people to your website, where they can learn more about you and see the products or services you offer. You should be capturing their information from your website to connect with your audience away from a social media platform.
So what do you need to be connected to your audience outside of a Zuckerberg platform? Here are five connection points to consider.
1. Email Marketing
As mentioned above, you should have a way to capture your client’s information when they visit your website. Remember, currency is not just money; currency is time and a valid email address. Provide a piece of valuable information to your audience in exchange for a valid email address. Then, connect with your audience by sending nurturing content that surprises and delights them.
2. Direct Connections
How often do you personally reach out to leads or clients who have disappeared? Perhaps it’s time to start proactively reaching out to establish a connection with your target market. Pick up the phone to call or text someone. Send a personal email to check in on a client. Reach out.
You are not Super Target, and you should not offer all the things to your audience. They need to go to other businesses to meet all of their needs. Collaborate with other businesses to create partnerships that work in tandem for you and them. Build relationships with local business owners and leaders, so they are willing to help organically promote you and include your business in their future events.
4. Word of Mouth
Did you know that people are 84% more likely to purchase when referred by a friend? Use that to your advantage. Encourage clients to invite their friends, family, and neighbors into your business.
This request goes beyond just commenting, liking, and sharing your social media content. Allow them to bring people to your classes, events, and more.
I am sure you have a favorite podcast, blog, or video series, right? Reach out and ask to be a contributor. Don’t forget about your local TV and radio stations too. Spread your content to other publications, experts, and media sources to help further establish you as an expert in your field.
These five connection points will help you build a more compelling brand awareness strategy and more clients. But before you can grow, you have to know your current goals. You can’t “manage” your time, effort, and energy without a set of priorities. You can’t have set priorities without an end game or finish line. So, what are your current goals for growth? Decide so you can begin tracking your insights to see what is working and what is not. If something isn’t helping you get closer to your goal, ditch it.