So do you ever ask yourself how does my competitor get his business on radio, TV, or in the newspaper without paying for it? They do it with building relationships and offer a story that is interesting and not all about them. Many SMB's do not have a huge marketing firm promoting them and sending out press releases every day. They get in the news by being relevant to a current event or subject and they just happen to put themselves in the limelight by making themselves available and knowing who is who in the local media. So when something comes up like a new gadget or an appliance, you get those nice little "According to Joe Blow at Joe's appliance shop, he states this product will be great and should be available in his store soon!" And he did not pay a dime for that free tag. So how do you get that free plug yourself?
Target media outlets and local journalists. Know who they are. Read, listen, or watch their pieces they put out. Make a nice comment about it. If you see them in person, introduce yourself in a non intrusive way. They don't bite and most are not above themselves to want to say hi. I also suggest you use your own social media platforms such as your business Facebook or Twitter Account to introduce yourself and your business. Media folks often will search these platforms looking for leads and story ideas. Use your content marketing. Using your web site or blogging platform also helps increase your visibility to media. When they want a local expert or knowledgeable authority on a subject, they will turn to bloggers or businesses who have content out there for help. My last point is to mix up your information. Do not always rely on formatted press releases. Send a personal note or story idea to each of your contacts. It makes you look like you personally sought them out to tell them of your media event or story idea. Do not sell yourself or your business. Sell your knowledge of the subject and the rest will come together.
Small Business Owners know social media is important in the way their customers interact today. Many say they just don't have the time or understand it all. Oh sure they may have a Facebook page or have their face on Linkedin but what you do with that and the others you are missing out on is so important. You have to take the time to interact and you have to take the time to update and post content otherwise why are you even doing it? Is it staffing? Do you think it because it is free it takes care of itself? Do you feel you just don't have the time? Do you think your web site is enough? Bottom line is if you don't update or refresh, nobody will visit. Plain and simple. If you took the time to put in analytics, those within itself should be telling you something if you are taking the time to at least review the data.
So now that you feel that I am scolding you, the good news. There is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Take time to schedule. Read my other posts about Hoot Suite or other auto programmers for your social media. Plan 30 minutes when you come home to post content about you as a person or your business. Post content related to your business. Make it interactive. Make your customers ask questions and take time to respond. It makes you personable. Consider Google ads or FB ads. Consider video drop-ins. All are very inexpensive and you are charged by the click. Oh yes those other social media platforms. Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, and many others are fast becoming business friendly and now accepting digital advertising. Why? Because their popularity is skyrocketing. Because digital media is fast becoming the social placement of Millennium's and they are the ones with money to spend and are very social conscience. Get on the bandwagon!