Social media sites have become important marketing tools for almost all small businesses, but for those going after the college demographic, having a presence on Facebook, Twitter and other social networks is critical for engaging customers. College-age consumers can be easy to reach and represent an extremely profitable market if you're using social media the right way, but many business owners are still intimidated by the world of hashtags and likes.
Entertainment media company Study Breaks has successfully captured the sought-after college market with its line of magazines geared toward college students. While there is a certain amount of time and effort that goes into maintaining effective social media campaigns, the company noted that, considering the limited marketing budgets of many small businesses, the potential growth they can achieve with free social media accounts makes those efforts instantly justified.
Study Breaks offers three key strategies for small businesses to employ in their social media tactics when marketing to college students:
- Share photos. Social media users love to share their experience, and using your company's Facebook page as a platform for that will boost interaction. Study Breaks recommends hiring event photographers to take and upload photos of your customers, who can then tag themselves and share the picture from your page. If you have a product-based business, offering a free gift or incentive for snapping photos of customers with their purchases (or having them submit their own) is an easy way to build both content and loyalty.
- Be everywhere. As sites like Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram continue to gain popularity among college students, it's hard to predict what the next big thing in social media will be. Having a presence on multiple platforms will give your business an edge with customers who prefer using social networks other than Facebook and Twitter. You'll have to work a little harder to consistently update each platform, but you can be sure that your brand will reach the maximum audience.
- Promote groups. Many college students spend time looking for fun things to do near their campus. If you own a business near a college town, you can take advantage of Facebook groups to highlight local activities like concerts or fraternity/sorority events. Share the event details on your company's page to attract an audience that is genuinely interested in the content. They might just check out your products while they're there.
Once you've used these strategies to build up your brand and gain a significant following within the college demographic, Study Breaks suggests offering coupons, sponsorships and giveaways through your company's social networks. These types of instant-gratification tools will promote audience growth and shared links back to your website and/or social media accounts.
Originally published on BusinessNewsDaily.