Social Media Marketing for small businesses

If you know anything about running a business, then you know how important yet challenging it can be to build brand awareness. Brand loyalty, conversions, and consistent traffic make up the triangle foundation of any successful business.

But let’s be real– getting your name out there as one of millions of small businesses is a time consuming task. Many entrepreneurs give up early in the process since standing out from huge competitors can seem nearly impossible.

The #1 restriction, I and most small business owners, have for business expansion is budget. A small, borderline non-existent, budget in many cases. 

Digital marketing has been skyrocketing, and 2020’s ‘stay home’ situation has transformed social media marketing into (arguably) the most important form of advertising. You won’t find people on the streets, but you’ll catch them on their social platforms every single day.

free social media marketing
Businesses really can’t afford to not invest time in social media marketing. But notice how I said time, not money. Figuring how to secure an organic traffic source is the key to success.

You shouldn’t be paying for traffic before you have consistent revenue that’ll cover those expenses. I get it though —  what business owner personally has the time to invest in building a presence on (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.).

Building your business brand from scratch using social media platforms without the funds to invest in media advertisements takes forever. Unless you’ve got some serious connections.

So what’s your best bet for reaching maximum consumers without spending a cent?

Which social network is worth your start-up’s time?

Social media platforms that most big business use include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and potentially Snapchat or Tiktok. So you should follow behind in their footsteps right?

Unless you have big money to invest, I wouldn’t recommend it. 

There are numerous small social media platforms whose organic presentations have not yet been saturated with business branding and locked down by algorithmic revenue controls. Those are the ones you want to focus on when creating social media marketing campaigns, since you won’t have to pay to be noticed. 

You’ll likely stand out just by being a business. A few niche-specific social networks include: Behance (Art), BurdaStyle (Sewing), Houzz (Architecture), NextDoor (Neighborhoods), and Pingster (Community). 

free social media marketing

The one I want to focus on here is Pingster. Pingster is all about building local community awareness, a niche every single business could benefit from. 

Believe it or not– “local loyalty” is a totally real thing. According to a 2020 survey of U.S. consumers by ZypMedia, more than half (53%) of consumers are more likely to buy from a local business. Even if you’re a 100% online business.

When these consumers were asked why, 84% said it’s because they want to support their local community, and 54% said it’s because of the local economy.

Why Pingster? (My experience)

Now let’s get into the good stuff. As in, what is Pingster even and how its’ helped save my small business. Pingster is a geo mapping social network that displays posted photos based on proximity to a user’s location. 

So no matter where you are, the platform instantly displays photos taken near you. Pingster’s photo sharing focus resembles Instagram, but Pingster:

    • Isn’t concerned with prioritizing photos taken by people you know
    • Doesn’t have an ‘influencer community’
    • Isn’t polluted with irrelevant content (selfies are a rarity!)
    • Requires photo geolocations
    • Has an extremely small business to consumer ratio
    • Allows 100% free marketing, equipped with in-app business tools

Pingster’s in-app business tools

  • A coupon feature that allows coupons to be create in the Pingster website, coupons that link back to your website, includes your store’s location, and the ability for Pingster users to claim for later access at your store location.
  • Business profiles equipped with location, website, contact info, discount coupon icon and description, & niche
  • Free posting of all advertisements, all of which can be tagged with location and displayed to users nearby.
  • Online Businesses can also post coupons in their business profile and be searched in the coupon advanced search feature.

Pingster – GSP Coupon

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Free posting of images and all advertisements

Includes additional surrounding images

Here’s my Etsy Shop.

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For my Etsy shop, Pingster has been a game changer. The coupon I offered exclusively to Pingster users was for just 15% off a digital logo from my shop, yet the click throughs didn’t disappoint.

My Pingster Business Profile

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Here’s my Etsy Stats.

free social media marketing

That’s right– Social media traffic is up 1,318% from last month. That’s the equivalent to 156 visits for my shop. I can fully attribute that gain to my decision to diversify my social sources. Yes, Pingster is still relatively small but it packs a lot of potential. And even though plenty of those clicks didn’t convert into sales, I’ve been able to build brand awareness like crazy. 

  • Now those people who clicked at least know where to look if they ever do need a logo or are asked for a recommendation. 
  • Is Pingster some magical source to instantly boost traffic? Of course not– you have to be willing to put in the work to create attractive graphics, enticing coupons, and informative profiles
  • Even an amazing tool won’t lead to anything if you don’t have the drive or time to fully utilize it. However, with a little patience and a winner’s mindset, you won’t be disappointed.
Business Profile - On Pingster

Final Thoughts

And hey, if you do have other social media accounts or possibly an email newsletter, don’t forget you can entice followers with Pingster exclusive coupons. That’s what I do for my shop and it helps limit the amount of people with access to my discounts. I have a pretty tight budget after all.

Sign up for a business profile today and look forward to a potential shout out in a future article! Feel free to check out my shop and coupon on Pingster. Let’s grow our businesses together.

Pingster Username: cierrasmith
Pingster Display Name: Cultured Simplicity
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