Social media marketing works for my business!
Being a small business, working out of my home, and still working full time to pay the bills, I don’t need a lot of advertising, so I focus on what works:
- Referrals and repeat business from satisfied customers
- Social media marketingA few years ago, with sons in high school and attending prom, I was referred by them and their dates, for prom dress alterations! I noticed the demand and the need for someone providing this service locally,(and really loved what I was doing!) so I began to step up promoting my business online.Once I “put myself out there” I started getting calls from people finding my business through an online search! Even contacts from as far away as Cape Cod and Texas!Someone had searched on LinkedIn, of all places, for a Seamstress to repair a treasured family christening gown! Well, I have had my business listed as one of my “jobs” for a number of years now, but this was a first. I also was contacted last year by a Tailor on Newbury Street in Boston, who found me on Indeed.com through a similar search, because it is also on my Resume. She was looking for someone to hire for her shop! I have found that with the right “buzz” words, people will find me.I have been mostly focused on formalwear – prom and bridal, but I ramped up my marketing a bit a few years ago after being contacted to make an heirloom christening gown. One made from the mothers’ wedding gown. I had such a great time creating something one-of-a-kind to be treasured and passed on, that I included that on my website with photos, and on LinkedIn profile (under my company summary) as something I enjoyed doing.So, I now have visibility on multiple platforms for my business: a Facebook page where you can see photos of my work and promotions offered throughout the year, my Blog which I try to keep current, a website, twitter account and Instagram. But I’d have to say, the biggest boost was when I put my business on Yelp! I always ask a new customer how they heard of me, and over the past year, at least 75-80% said they found me through an online search, and my reviews on Yelp are what led them to me!Paid advertising vs FREEI like to support my community, so I have paid to advertise in local program booklets, support local causes through advertising on their site, even a church bulletin. I have also tried a few Bridal site listings: The KNOT, Wedding & Party Network, just to name a few. And I joined the Chamber of Commerce in my town for one year to see if that would increase visibility in my town. All of these ran for several months, some ran close to a year. All with absolutely NO results.Now, my Facebook page, LinkedIn, Blog, Website and Yelp are all FREE, and here is what I have discovered. Although those paid ads went to good causes and I’ll probably continue to support some of them through paid advertising, it’s the NON paid advertising that work the best for me.I recently received a voicemail from a CSR at Yelp, telling me that I recently have had a “huge influx of activity” (no kidding!) and to call him back. No doubt it is to sell me an “upgrade” which I don’t need. Thanks Yelp ! It’s a FREE listing, and it works just fine for me! J