Whether you are a fledgling business or up-and-coming influencer, gaining traction on your social media accounts can be an arduous task. No matter how hard you work to create great content, it doesn’t matter if no one sees it.
Unfortunately, the landscape is competitive for gaining engagement online. Everyone is using the same channels to attract new followers. But thinking outside the box and targeting people offline might be a way to get that boost your accounts need.
That flimsy business card may seem like an archaic method left for a previous generation, but it can still be useful today. Not only do these little cards provide a convenient place to showcase your accounts, but they’re cheap too. You can get 1000 business cards for under $20.
Handing them out is the easy part. A retail business can include one with each purchase, maybe with a coupon attached on the back. Leave cards out in high traffic areas or be quick to pull one out during conversations.
We all love getting something for free, which is why the right promotional product can make all the world’s difference. The key here is finding one that your target audience won’t just throw in the trash.
Tying the product into your business is critical here. For instance, many businesses can use a custom air freshener seamlessly with what they are offering. A branded microfiber towel works perfectly for an eyeglass store or optometrist. And a water bottle may be a way for gyms or personal trainers to connect with their intended audience of fitness junkies.
This staple of many businesses can provide a boost by promoting social media. But it goes beyond just sharing your social media accounts. Try to incorporate them into a promotion. Perhaps give a discount if they contact you via Facebook to set up an appointment. Or mention special discount codes are frequently given out on Twitter and Instagram.
A simple way to get them where you want to is through a QR code (which will be discussed later). With a quick scan on their phone, they’ll be transported to your social media, and hopefully, something worth following.
Time to turn your wardrobe into a walking billboard. Especially important if you’re trying to brand yourself as an influencer. Create a t-shirt, hat, or any other apparel that will draw attention. List your social media accounts. Sometimes just listing the handles will bring some followers who are curious about the person they just walked by.
Utilize QR Codes
QR codes never became the revolutionary marketing method we were promised, but they are still relevant today. Smartphone makers like Apple have made it easier to scan over the years in software updates. And consumers have responded.
As for where to place the QR codes, anywhere you can. Put them on receipts, business cards, menus, and promotional materials (like air fresheners or keyrings). Create a vinyl decal or sticker you can plaster in-store and car windows. Anywhere a potential follower is with a smartphone is an opportunity to gain a new follower.
Create a Hashtag
It can be difficult to have someone remember a name or business. But a catchy hashtag solves the problem. Create one that is pertinent to your company and can’t be co-opted by competitors.
The best use for hashtag marketing is in radio and television commercials. You’re dealing with an audience that is passively listening. Like a catchy jingle, you’ll want something embedded in their memory for later.
Word of Mouth
The oldest method in the book still has some fight left in it. When talking with people of interest, toss out your social media accounts in hopes they will follow. And if you build up a good relationship, they may even be willing to promote you on their accounts.
Industry events and conventions are two great examples of where this comes in handy. If you’re an industry expert, try to get a speaking gig where you can plug your account.
Host an Event
An event can be the perfect tool to get new eyes on your social media in a setting where you have full control. Plaster your accounts throughout the venue or on items like coasters and wristbands. Use Facebook as a way for people to RSVP to the event.
A smart trick is to create a reason for them to visit your accounts after the event. Hire a photographer who can take great photos of everyone who attends and post them on your social media account the next day. Or hold a raffle where the winner is announced through Twitter. An event allows you to hook new followers and keep them coming back for more.
The lesson here is that marketing online goes beyond the confines of the internet. Offline provides new channels where you have less competition and more control over your potential audience. Brainstorm and come up with inventive ways to build your brand. And as always, be patient. These things aren’t built overnight.