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I have worked for three small businesses and two gigantic businesses in the Topeka, KS area. All of them have had different needs, successes, and failures.
Here are a few failures I have seen turned into successes over the years.
1. Many businesses forget that they can do a lot of their own advertising through social media.
Skip the middleman for a moment and figure out what you will need.
What platforms is your audience on? How can you develop a fanbase of your own by putting your brand on social media? How can you make a difference by spending 10 minutes a day creating a public space for yourself?
Do a little bit of research and create a plan that will better help you develop a following from a society that is already so heavily dependent on social media.
2. Focus on one or two platforms—this isn't a race.
Creating an account for every social media site you can think of may be good for securing usernames, but you don't need to update your Twitter profile every day if your audience doesn't use Twitter.
3. If you are going to invest in proper advertising, billboards, geofencing, online ads, make sure that you are choosing to test the waters before investing in them all.
Does your audience spend a lot of time online? Do you think geofencing (making your ads pop up when a customer goes to a competitor of yours online) will be an effective tool?
You will better be able to see where results are coming from if you only change one variable at a time.
4. Choose a branding point that every ad will lead to.
This may be your website, your Facebook page, or your online store.
Don't let your audience focus on your Facebook page if your website will lead them to spending more money, or vice-versa.
Where do you want your audience sent to that will brand you the best? Where will you get the most audience involvement that will translate into dollars in your pocket?
5. Find your brand and colors and put it everywhere.
Your website should reflect your brands colors—Walmart is blue and yellow, Pizza Hut is red and yellow. Make sure your brand colors help carry your brand as much as your logo.
Use it on your business cards and flyers.
6. Posting should reflect how your store is run.
Is the store smaller, and focused on its main buyers? Feature them online, or give them a shoutout. Take pictures and videos of your team displaying the values your company stands for.
Is the store larger, and focused on a mass of buyers? Feature more sales, graphics and lists to draw people back to your store.
You are in control of your own branding. Ask for help from your team, get creative. Put in the few hours of research so you can watch your business and your team blossom.