Free Social Advertising for Small Businesses

I want to continue my series on social media strategy by talking about free social advertising and how it can help your business.  Free social advertising is the idea of getting other people to broadcast your product or service via social media, saving you valuable time and money.  Often when you hear people talk about social advertising they are discussing buying ads on facebook or Twitter.  There is certainly value in that approach, but for start-ups or nonprofits with a limited budget it just doesn’t make financial sense.  So today I want to focus on free social advertising – on how to spread the word about your company via social media without spending a dime.

Free social advertising ultimately comes down to content and publishing content that your followers will feel compelled to share with their friends and family.  What type of content do you retweet or share? Sometimes it may be an exciting deal from Groupon or LivingSocial, but more often than not it is probably something with a broader focus – perhaps an interesting article about an industry trend or breaking news.  This is why having a diversity of content is so critical.  You need specific stories to engage the followers you have, but you need general interest stories to help jump-start your social advertising.

The best way to harness the power of free social advertising for your business is to meticulously track your social media analytics.  For Twitter, make an investment in HootSuite or another powerful analytic platform where you can easily see how many retweets each of your posts have.  For facebook, use facebook insights to track how many people share your various posts.  Review these analytics at least once a week and see which of your posts have the highest social advertising value.

One common mistake when it comes to free social advertising is assuming that posts with lots of clicks are also the most frequently shared.  I often talk to young entrepreneurs who are tracking clicks with bit.ly or ow.ly and think this is all the info they need.  Often the posts with the most clicks and the most shares are going to be quite different.  Make sure this distinction is clear in your mind.

If you are having trouble with free social advertising and looking for a way to jumpstart this process try starting a conversation with your followers.  Ask them questions and answer their questions.  This means your name and your content will appear on their wall or feed, thus increasing your exposure to their friends.

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If you want to learn more about the power of free social advertising our Anant Corp internet strategy experts are always standing by to help.  Contact us here to get started today!

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