Going Beyond Facebook Paid Posts to Reach Customers

With Facebook changing its social strategy and Google constantly updating its algorithm, our online-marketing expert Jim Yu offers up advice on how small businesses can reach customers in a consistent manner.

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By Jim Yu

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Q: Now that Facebook is pushing businesses to pay to have their posts have a farther reach, what is the best method for a very small business to do online marketing?
Donna Berlanda

A: In spite of their size, small businesses can still compete in the online-marketing game and stand to deliver significant business results. Facebook paid posts may be pushing smaller business out due to the added expense, but there are plenty of other ways for these companies to reach consumers and grow brand awareness. As with any successful digital marketing strategy, an integrated approach is key to keep your customers engaged. Developing a multi-dimensional program and leveraging unique content across different mediums can help your small business see success -- without taking a hit to your bottom line.

Related: Boost Sales With These 7 Social Media Steps

Social media is a huge element of digital marketing, and offers small businesses an efficient way to reach their customers. Maintaining a strong branded presence across a variety of social networks is an excellent way to expand your reach and foster loyalty with content customers enjoy, in the format they prefer.

Here are four simple tips to help small businesses amplify their message and develop outstanding customer relationships without the extra spend.

Know what network is best for your startup. Between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google+ there are a plethora of networks to engage on with customers. However, that doesn't mean every network is right for your business. Make sure you identify the type of content that best suites your audience, then select a network that best suites their needs to create a core following.

Related: Instagram's 5 Tips for Better Marketing -- With Pictures

Be consistent. Regularly post relevant content and company news on social media. Solicit feedback and learn what your customers care about. Cross promote your content on different channels and continuously link back to your company website to drive page visits and ultimately, uncover new customers.

Create a blog. Establishing a blog can be a great asset to your social-media marketing program. Blogging enables you to demonstrate knowledge of your industry and cultivate a unique brand personality to share with your audience. Blogging from different social-media networks helps round out your business's voice and adds another level of engagement to your strategy. It also helps drive traffic back to your company.

Get on board with SEO. Incorporate SEO tactics into your strategy to ensure consumers can find what they are seeking on your site and to make the most out of your social-media marketing efforts. We know that when faced with a spending decision, most consumers rely on search engines to help research options. For small businesses, this is especially important. SEO can help your business go from an undiscovered company to a fully recognizable brand. Now that Google has shifted away from keywords and has taken a more content-centric approach, the playing field between small and large companies has been leveled. Taking control of SEO -- and creating valuable content to supplement -- can help elevate your small business to new heights.

The size of your company should never limit the distance of your reach. Between engaging with followers on social media, blogging about the state of your industry and optimizing your content to stand out in search, mixing up your marketing strategy is key to gaining new customers and creating loyalty. Even if it's a one-man show, diversifying your marketing program is the best way for your small business to achieve big results.

Related: Deciding How Much of Your Marketing Time Should Go to SEO

Jim Yu

CEO and Founder, BrightEdge

Jim Yu is the CEO and co-founder behind digital-marketing platform BrightEdge

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