Go online to generate a buzz for your small business, advises How2become.com’s Richard McMunn
6th June 2013
Big companies with a budget are able to invest in glossy PR and marketing campaigns, but this is not the case with non-profit organisations and small businesses. For non-profits and small businesses, it is important is to do a lot with a little – making the most of the resources that you have, rather than focusing on the things that you don’t. The buzzword of the moment in marketing, as it is in PR, is “organic”; which means getting others to spread the word about your business for you, like word-of-mouth marketing. The ethos of this kind of marketing is that non-profits and small businesses can generate an interest in what they have to offer in an organic and successful way.
The key rules are to be visible, engage and network online.
Blog, blog, blog
If your non-profit or small company does not yet have a blog, then this is the perfect time to start. With a blog you can talk almost directly to those visiting your site, you are able to educate them about what you like and get them interested in projects that you are working on. It is also a good idea to offer your blogging and opinion-writing services in other areas like magazines or online publications – this will increase your visibility and the visibility of your non-profit or company.
Use social media
Social media, in this day and age, is the key tool used by PR and marketing companies. It is the best way to organically generate interest and reach a lot of people. If you want exposure and interest, which you do, you must establish profiles on the major social networking sites including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You want the content you share between these three networks to be consistent and to work together to expand the knowledge of your organisation. Each site has its own way of doing things; LinkedIn is a more professional site where companies can list themselves, as well as individuals. With Facebook you can have a page for your organisation that you update at least once a day. With Twitter, you need to be updating as regularly as possible. It is the most time demanding of the three social media platforms, but worthwhile if you have the time.
These kinds of media are very useful in engaging with your consumers and those interested in what you have to offer. But you can also use sites like mailVU and Youtube to get videos out to those searching for you. It is important though to synchronise your web presence as much as possible.
Always remember that as a non-profit or a small business you are not alone. There are other people and companies in a similar situation to you. It might seem odd, but this can be a blessing because if you are smart, you will develop a relationship with these organisations so you can cross-post information about each other. This means that their followers will get information about you and vice versa; automatically expanding the number of people who know about you.
There is no trick to making the best of PR on a tight budget. It is simply about using the resources available to you in the best way possible. It can take some time, but it will deliver results.
Richard McMunn is director of career website www.how2become.com