As a small business owner, I place emphasis on serving my customers, working with the team and overseeing the day-to-day business operations. As I've said before, it's easy to put my own marketing efforts on the backburner - and there are many times when creativity isn’t something that is easily summoned. But, that doesn't mean it should be ignored.
I've spent a lot of time working behind-the-scenes for a new client pre-launch and I've hit a slump with my marketing. But, it's during times like these that I need to keep it going because all business is cyclic.
Recently, I've started running small contests on my social media channels. I’ve rewarded watchful followers and clients with books and gift cards, each week. After a few weeks, we noticed the contests weren't generating as much attention. We were also struggling to make our service-based business more visual and appealing.
So, last week, we decided to mix it up with a contest based on a guessing game. To rev-up interest, we posted a small teaser a few days prior.
It went live on the channels Tuesday and we anxiously awaited for a response.
There are many times I've been surprised with the results of an effort - and this contest was no exception. I received a few responses on Twitter and Instagram, but not nearly as many as I anticipated. Yet, on Facebook and LinkedIn, the response was overwhelming. At publish date of this post, we've generated over 7,000 comments on LinkedIn, alone. (And the contest winners were already announced Tuesday evening).
While I've never advocated virality as a tactic for small businesses, particularly as a stand-alone tactic, I believe there's merit to the visibility. My LinkedIn profile has been viewed over 1,000 times the past week , which now puts me in the top 1 percent rank among my connections. I've also received a few leads from folks who seemed impressed with my creativity.
I may not be able to replicate this process for our clients and prospects, but there's something to be said for thinking outside of the box. Resourcefulness, an engaged following and timing certainly add to the success of an effort, as well.
My key takeaways, based on this experiment, include:
- Do not get complacent. What worked yesterday, might not work today.
- Experiment, even if that means taking a few calculated risks.
- Continually find ways to generate engagement and stand out from the crowd.
Will you find time to splice a little creativity into your efforts?