Big Engagement, Little Price Tag: Making Social Media Tools Work for You (for Free!)

Don’t have the budget for a Facebook campaign or sponsored ads on Google? Not to worry. At McCauley Marketing Services, we know that social media is all about how well brands use the tools available to engage their audience, not necessarily just about how much money they spend to do it. Instead of throwing money at your marketing team – even if the “team” is just you – force it to get creative and resourceful. Below is a list of social media tips, tools, and best practices that businesses can use to get a leg up on your branding success.

Listen and Learn

All-Social-Media-Buttons-in-RowYou can’t respond to what people are saying if you don’t listen in. Paying attention to the conversation will put you ahead of the marketing curve when it comes to addressing customer complaints, heading off crises, and detecting important trends. And you don’t have to be glued to your monitor all day to do it. Free, easy-to-use services like Google Alerts keep you abreast of any online mention of your brand, while Social Mention keeps track of the conversation on a dozen different platforms, including microblogs and bookmarks. Other similar useful tools: Icerocket, Hootsuite, Tweetdeck, Topsy, and Brand24.

Repackage Your Content

Don’t just tweet your brand’s big news and call it a day. What about your Pinterest followers or the diehard careerists on LinkedIn? If you’re launching a new product, for example, post an exciting behind-the-scenes shot on Pinterest and provide a bulleted list of the product’s amazing attributes in a LinkedIn article. The same newsworthy item can be remade over and over to suit the preferences of all your audiences. Don’t have much going on? Update and republish older content. You can lower your voice temporarily, but you should never leave the conversation.

Get to Know Your Audience

No, you’ll never meet all of your brand’s supporters personally, but you can drive up your chances of turning them into paying customers by getting to know their habits and opinions. This can be as simple as posing an engaging question – for example, asking your Twitter followers to tweet their favorite ice cream flavor.

Remember That It’s Not About You

Social media is about other people. No one logs on to Facebook because they’re dying to know what Nike is up to, but they might pay attention if Nike wants to know what they’re up to. Striking a balance between self-promotion and genuine engagement can be tricky at first, especially as you determine your social media personality and goals. Try to see your brand objectively and don’t be afraid to ask followers for feedback!

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