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4 entrepreneurs share cost-effective strategies for finding customers on social media

Kar Brulhart, social media coach and expert
Kar Brulhart, social media coach and expert
  • Social media can help small businesses find customers, but the platforms regularly change algorithms.
  • With the holidays approaching, it's crucial to promote your brand on social ahead of the shopping season.
  • Entrepreneurs shared their cost-effective strategies for finding customers on social media. 

Social media apps like Instagram and TikTok have been critical for small-business owners looking to promote their startups. However, as social companies change their algorithms, many entrepreneurs are confused as to which platforms and what types of content grab audiences. 

The stakes are high for small-business owners who are hoping for a fruitful fourth quarter ahead of what experts say is a likely recession next year

Despite the perplexity among small-business owners, many have launched comprehensive social-media marketing campaigns in the hopes of converting users into paying customers. Their strategies include tactics like trend repurposing and strategic platform usage.

1. Create content the algorithm will reward

Kar Brulhart, a social media strategist and coach, said Instagram has been actively updating its app in the last year. "Instagram likes when we use new features, it tends to push content out that uses new features," she added. 

Understanding the constantly changing algorithms and tools is how Lisa Andrea, founder of digital financial guide, The Financial Cookbook, found success online.

"That's ultimately what's going to make you successful on social media," Andrea said. 

She regularly conducts research on algorithm changes by reading the latest platform memos and watching YouTube videos from full-time creators and reputable social-media coaches. 

2. Focus on platforms that serve your current purpose

With layoffs happening at companies like Meta, and its umbrella platforms like Instagram and Facebook, it's important to understand how that will affect small businesses, Brulhart said. 

"There's so much talk right now about the economy being terrible and all these mass layoffs happening, but I believe the reason that these layoffs are happening is because ad revenue is down," she said. "What this means is that ads are moving towards TikTok and away from Instagram and Google. For small businesses, it's critical to have a presence on TikTok."

However, the platforms serve different purposes, the entrepreneurs who spoke with Insider agreed.

For example, TikTok's focus on virality helps businesses find new and wider audiences, while Instagram tends to yield sales.

"We're thinking about how can we have an omnichannel marketing strategy, meaning show up on multiple platforms and get more eyes on your content," Brulhart said, and where you show up depends on the goals.

For instance, if you're attempting to create content that continues to find eyes, try platforms with a longer shelf-life like YouTube, she said.

3. Use cross-platform promotion to grow effectively

Cross-platform promotion is an effective way to live on these multiple platforms, said Brulhart and Andrea. Any content shared on one platform can be repurposed for another, they added. 

"Maybe your goal is brand awareness so you're creating content that's delightful, that's saveable, that talks about how you help people," Brulhart said. "You can repurpose that across channels."

Kelsey Floyd, who runs a pottery business called My Muse Pottery as a side-hustle to her social-media career, is a proponent of cross-promotion, she said. Despite starting her social media career on Instagram, Floyd now also posts on TikTok to share videos of her pottery business with those who don't follow her on Instagram. 

A post shared by Kelsey Floyd (@kelsrfloyd)

 

3. User-generated content will grab and engage audiences

User-generated content — where a company account posts content shot or filmed by users — is another way to repurpose content, said Delsy Gouw, an entrepreneur. Memorial Day, Gouw's line of hand-crocheted bathing suits and accessories, blossomed from a side hustle into a full-time company after she reposted photos of celebrities wearing her products. For example, photos of the musician Dua Lipa and the model and influencer Kiko Mizuhara appear on the Memorial Day Instagram account. 

A post shared by MEMORIAL DAY (@its_memorialday)

"My initial strategy was to work with smaller influencers, because you never know where it can take you," Gouw said. "Once one celebrity wears it, then another celebrity wants to show their support."

4. Use influencers to expand your audience

Influencer marketing is a continually growing sector of social-media marketing. Small businesses should also test out branded partnerships and paid ads with nano-, micro-, and macro-influencers, said Kar Brulhart, a  social-media coach and expert. 

Even small businesses lacking hefty budgets can tap influencer marketing by combining monetary payments with free products, Brulhart added. 

She and her clients compile lists of all the influencers they hope to partner with, contact them, include a pitch deck about a potential partnership, and explain their preferences for branded posts. 

But small-business owners should be sure to include contracts for all branded partnerships, she said. 

"The No. 1 mistake people make with influencers is that they just send them a product, and then tell them to send them photos and post about it," she said, explaining that a more concrete agreement should be put in place.

Read the original article on Business Insider
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