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Grow your small business with low-budget internet marketing efforts

Your business is a small, fledgling enterprise, and to help it grow, you’ll need to tap different avenues in order to reach a wider audience or clientele. Two such avenues are public relations (PR) and marketing.

The first deals with image shaping—imagine your business reaching out to the public and the media, informing them on how your company works and giving them up to date info about your new products and services. A good PR can enhance your business’ reputation, making it more appealing to your clients. On the other hand, marketing is a game plan—how do you promote your product? What should its price be? How do you distribute it?

First, answer this question: ‘What will interest my readers?’ Once you’ve figured that out, it will be easier to update your Facebook, Twitter, Multiply, or any other social networking accounts with posts that will capture the attention of your target clients. You can post stuff directly related to your business—maybe new products, services or events. But if you’re putting out 3 or more posts in a row that go consistently without comments, it’s time to change your content strategy. For this you can try posting videos, news articles and other tidbits that you can relate to your products. Just remember to keep things exciting. ‘Your volume will come from how interesting you are,’ says Amor.

Take some time to nitpick what your customers are saying about you. If it’s communicated as a thoughtful criticism, a request for help, or a real issue, then the best approach is to handle it very quickly (think ‘pizza delivery’ fast) and publicly. It makes your page more credible and demonstrates the all-important customer service factor. If more clarifications are needed, you can opt to send these commenters a private message, or provide an avenue for an ‘offline’ discussion. However, if the feedback is mean-spirited, nasty or abusive, then it may be time to put that ‘block’ button to use, or plan a more decisive action off the Internet.

It’ s also important to get your customers into Word of Mouth marketing. The questions to answer are these: ‘What have you given your customers to share? Have you given them an interesting experience or an insane offer? Are you a solution to a frequent problem people often discuss? Sure, customers may respect your business, but if you haven’t given them something to share, they’ll just keep you to themselves. Always innovate and think of ways so that people will rave about your business, and make them eager to tell their friends and family about it.

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