9 Unique Social Media Strategies for Small Businesses

9 Unique Social Media Strategies for Small Businesses

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You know you’re supposed to be on social media, and you’re aware of the common tactics. Contests, Like/Share posts, branded photos and videos, and of course, the occasional cat meme for good measure. But what if you want to stand out in crowd? How do you push your brand ahead of the content expectations we’ve become accustomed to?

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The obvious answer is to get creative, but even that leaves most of us scratching our heads in frustration. If you need some inspiration check out the social media efforts of these follower favorites.

1. Invite Influencers to Experience or Your Product or Service.

If you’re a boutique hotel in NYC, competition can be fierce. The owner of Roger Smith Hotel realized that to stake his claim in the Big Apple hotel industry, he had to think outside of the box. So, he threw a party invited and invited every one he knew…as well as key influencers. When influencers took to Twitter and shared their positive experiences, the Roger Smith Hotel property showed up on the radar of all their avid followers.

If you’re on a tight budget, you may not always have room to invest in paid marketing opportunities, but if you have the financial bandwidth to give away a product or service you provide, then consider calling in an influencer, and let them share their experience with their captivated audience.

2. Engage in a Page Takeover.

Twill, a small business with a mission to help those in need, gained exposure with a relevant audience by taking over Shopify’s Snapchat feed for a day. To create engagement, they recorded live feeds giving users a behind the scene glimpse.

Think about companies for which your target audiences overlap. Do a page takeover to appeal to a whole new audience.

3. Think Outside the Building.

Thinking outside the box is often the key to success, and sometimes that means thinking outside the building. When the York City Pretzel Company wanted to get the word out about a new menu item, they did just that. Using sign boards strategically placed around the city, they invited users to take pictures of the item-boasting boards and share them on social media to receive a discount.

A lot of social media is virtually based, but taking your product to the streets and getting existing and potential customers to provide content in the form of photos or live feeds can spread the word about new and existing products and promotions.

4. Be Yourself.

There are A LOT of shaving products out there to help men keep their beard meticulously groomed. So when Beard King jumped on social media to sell their wares, they stayed true to their identity of quirky purveyors of products that “make everyone feel like Royality through the Bearded lifestyle”. With over 55,000 followers, it seems to be working.

It’s true that there are certain lines you shouldn’t cross if you don’t want to alienate your users, but one way to make sure your business stands out in the saturated social media world is to maintain a unique and honest character that engages and endears your target audience.

5. If You Share Outside Content, Tag the Author.

Easy Lunch Boxes helps lunch eaters (that’s a lot of people) everywhere with containers and coolers that allow for fast and efficient lunch packing. And while you may be thinking “my cupboard full of Glad containers is fine,” her 249,473 followers might disagree.

What’s unique about her page? She shares blog posts, specifically meal planning, bento box style posts regularly, but they aren’t hers. When she shares, she gives a shout out to the author, helping her cross pollinate with her target audience.

Sharing content produced by others is often a must for small businesses that don’t have the resources to regularly produce their own, and while many forego tagging the author, doing so can help you reach a whole new set of niche customers.

6. Post Positive Customer Reviews

When Paper Source received a solid customer review about an interaction a customer had with an employee, they were quick to share the review and congratulate the employee on a job well done. By doing so, they checked two important boxes in brand perception: customer appreciation and employee recognition.

People like to do business with companies that treat both their customers and their employees well, and showcasing positive reviews shows that your company can do both.

7. Take Your Followers on a Road Trip

Ladies Learning to Code wanted to engage audiences and teach women and children how to code. When they decided to go mobile and teach kids on site, they decided to take every one of their followers with them…virtually of course.

If the nature of your company allows it, bring along your follows as you check out trade shows, do interviews, participate in charity events, or even take a stroll around your warehouse. People like having an inside look, and as an added bonus, you get some unique content along the way.

8. Focus on the Feeling, Not The Product.

When Tröegs Independent Brewing snaps a photo for one of its 52.5k Instagram followers, the focus isn’t always on the beer. Actually, more often than not, it’s about the experience. Yes, the beer is there but the focal point is the camp fire fun, the tasty dish, or the Brooklyn Bridge. The end product, of course, is mindful mix of a branding and sentiment.

It’s great to feature your product in your photos, and it’s definitely something you should be doing, but don’t get so caught up in the product that you forget what you want the potential user to feel. Settle on a healthy mix of product focus and experience focus photos, and you’re customers will be making positive associations.

9. Give Followers an Inside Look.

On Tuesdays, Everlane, a San Francisco based retail company, takes to their Snapchat to usher followers through in-house tours for #TransparentTuesdays. The rest of the week, you’ll likely find them sharing interviews of customers or giving sneak peeks of new merchandise and events, keeping customers tuning in for the latest news.

Don’t be afraid to let your business’s true character shine by giving your followers inside access and regular updates. While promo codes and sales are nice, your company culture sets you apart too.

Have a unique strategy that makes your company a fan favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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About the Author — Jennifer is a alum of the University of Denver. While in the graduate program there, she enjoyed spending time identifying ways in which non-profits and small businesses could develop into strong and profitable organizations that while promoting strong community growth. She also enjoys finding unique ways for freelancers and start-up businesses to reach and expand their goals.

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