[tweetmeme] One of the reasons why social media has become such a popular marketing tool for small businesses is that it is fairly inexpensive to use.
Notice I didn’t say free.
That is a common misconception. While it doesn’t cost any money to set up an account on Facebook or Twitter, for instance, you do have to spend time to make it work for you. And time is money, after all.
So, if you are going to spend time on social media, it’s important to make it productive to generate a decent ROI. Here are three ways to get more clients for your business that are sometimes overlooked in the rush to get on Facebook:
#1 – LinkedIn Answers
Demonstrate your expertise to your target audience on LinkedIn by answering questions related to your industry. The more questions you answer, the higher your profile becomes. And every time a questioner picks your answer as best, LinkedIn awards you a point towards becoming one of their “top experts.” As you answer questions, people will check out your profile, so make sure you set it up properly with the right keywords that describe your industry.
#2 – SCORE Answers
SCORE – the non-profit arm of the US Small Business Administration – has a similar feature on its website. Once you register as a member, you can search for questions to answer by industry, keyword, expertise, latest and most popular. One of my Q&A sessions with a member resulted in that person signing up for my webinar! Which brings me to #3….
#3 – Webinars / Workshops
For a more in-depth way to show your expertise, consider presenting a free webinar or workshop. Online services such as Go2Webinar usually offer a free trial, so it won’t cost you any money upfront to experiment. Prepare a powerpoint presentation and offer either a 30-minute or 60-minute webinar on a hot topic in your industry. Advertise it in your newsletters, email, and social media outlets. After the event, follow-up with the attendees to market your services, and maybe do a follow-up webinar with more info, but this time, charge a fee.
What all three of these strategies have in common is that they allow you to demonstrate that you are an expert in your field. When people see that, they are more willing to do business with you.
If you’ve tried any of these strategies, how have they worked for you?