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Small Business Advertising Tips

Running a small business is always a challenge, especially if you’re a sole proprietor. But integrating your brick and mortar business with your online presence is a whole different ball game. The typical small...

Social Media Marketing Tips from the Bigwigs

If you are running a small business you might consider Instagram to not really be that helpful to your digital marketing strategy. While on one hand it does seem to be awash with “selfies”, it is a particularly effective visual way of getting your marketing messages across and you can use hashtags to help target your content to people who might be searching for what you’re offering. I always think of a small business such as a pest removal company as being one of the hardest types of businesses to convince to give social media a go, but trust me – even pest removal companies should be using it.

The basics

It is easiest to think of this platform is as a social media communication channel. It’s all about user-generated content. the company started in 2010 and was initially focused on photos (it’s since diversified to also enable videos to be shared). It’s growth and popularity has been phenomenal – it’s fun to use (the digital filters enable you to have fun with your photos) and perhaps even more importantly it integrates seamlessly with all of your other social media channels. Post your updates and you can easily maximize your impact by having it post everywhere else too.

What’s the point of hashtags?

This used to be something that really just related to Twitter but it’s a search functionality that has been readily adopted by all of the major social media platforms. It’s a way of improving the search ability of what you are posting about. For example if you had posted a photo online and used a hash-tag such as #pest or #pestcontrol or #deadbug then any users searching for those terms would be able to find your post.

Case Study 1: Dunkin’ Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts has the perfect kind of product to promote on such a platform – it is very visual and fun. This donut chain do a great job of using social media to engage with their customers. The hash-tag that they promo is #mydunkin and they love showcasing people who are enjoying their donuts. They also do a good job of “newsjacking” which is a common marketing ploy of using a major holiday or news event and use them as opportunities for posting appropriately themed donuts.

Case Study 2: Pottery Barn

Any proud home owners with an interest in interior design love to show off their work, and Pottery Barn are using Instagram to capitalize on that. They’re pushing the hashtag #potterybarn and encourage customers to post their photos which are then promoted by the company.

Case Study 3: Levi’s

Everyone loves these classic jeans and Levi’s use the hash-tag #liveinlevis to promote their different products. What they are doing is building a reputation for themselves as style and fashion experts. It always helps to specialize in a certain area, and be seen as the expert. A great similar example if this strategy can be seen at atticpestauthority.com where they specialize in pest removal from attic spaces – this helps them be seen as the ‘expert in attic pest problems’.

How do I employ these tips  for my business?

If we learn from what other businesses are doing well we can see that visual communication is powerful – use compelling images; we can see that hashtags are essential for improving search results (#deadbug); and that creating opportunities to engage with your audience maximizes your marketing impact.

Have some fun with this social media platform. Show the world what you do and the services that your businesses can offer. Demonstrate exactly why you are the expert that they are looking for. Use your hashtags wisely #deadbug.