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“Special on massages this month only. Sign up now with the promo code ‘summer’ to qualify for 10% off!”Pretty generic, right? And 10% off? That’s not very much. Certainly not enough to get someone who couldn’t afford to book a massage this month to come in. What’s most likely, is that you’re going to be giving a discount to people who are already within your social network and were likely to come in for a massage anyway. That doesn’t seem very effective nor does it offer an opportunity for much brand awareness.
“A special summer treat for you and a bestie! Tag one of your best friends below for a chance to win a 1 hour massage for both of you for this month! A $350 value! We’ll randomly pick 1 person at the end of next week. You can enter up to 3 times by tagging 3 different people in 3 different posts. Good luck to everyone!”A few important things to take note of. First, the offer. A free massage for 2 vs. 10% off a booking. It’s obvious which one is more likely to get people commenting, sharing, and excited about your offer. Second, because you are encouraging your network to tag people, there’s a very good chance they’re going to be tagging people that are not part of your network, which extends your reach and brand to new people. Finally, the wording of the post is a bit more playful and engaging with words like ‘bestie’, instead of seeming serious and business-like. You need to always be aware of how your brand is being perceived and make sure that you push all the way to the edge of the boundaries.
A local Toronto artist has a unique way of engaging with his community on instagram, while giving his followers a chance at snagging a piece of his art for less than they would have to pay at a gallery. Anser (@ansermysteriousdate) posts a unique piece of art every Friday under the hashtag Affordable Art Friday. What this essentially means for his over 12k followers is that they have a chance to claim a beautiful piece of artwork each week at a lower cost than what most artists would charge at a gallery, assuming they’re the lucky one to send him an email first!
Now, why would he do this? Does this diminish the perceived value of his work? In speaking with another local artist, that fear certainly is real. It can also be tricky when an artist is signed to a gallery to distribute art anywhere but there. However, in this instance, I think it’s important to take note of something; these are not finished, gallery-ready pieces on canvas. These are quicker sketches, sometimes on unique materials, and the engagement generated from his posts on instagram each week are unusually high.
When comparing his instagram engagement to other local artists, there are a few things I notice. Firstly, the comments on his work seems to be from people outside of his own social following. Why is this important? The value in a strong social media presence is not just better engagement with your friends – it’s also for reaching new people! This is why often with social media contests you are asked to tag a friend in the comment section to enter. They don’t just want you to see it, they want your friends to see it too! Secondly, it’s easy for supportive friends, family and followers to say “love this!” but to see post after post with people upset that they couldn’t get their hands on a specific piece of art? That kind of demand is hard to drum up! Finally, it’s hard not to think about the valuable insights you can gain by looking at which styles are engaged with the most. How many emails you get for people wanting a specific piece. The feedback it encourages is enormously valuable.
All in all, what I think matters most in this particular case is that sometimes it’s good to get outside of the status quo. We often have a tendency to price ourselves at a certain level, which is great, but being creative and trying to drum up new business however we can get it is important. If you are a creator of content, whether it be art or music or anything else, you should be creating non stop. You need to love what you do and pour every ounce of yourself into it. Not every piece is gallery worthy, or album worthy. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t share that with your community and give them a reason to care about you in return. Maybe giving back just might be what actually gives the greatest returns back to you.
Social media. Most of have social media accounts for our own purposes, but when it comes to using social media for our businesses, many of us fall short. Some of us have a hard time finding value or ROI in social media, where others know they should do it, but just don’t know where to start. Let’s take a look at some interesting stats from the BDC on how Canadian entrepreneurs are using social media currently:
When we look at these numbers there are a few startling things that jump out. Firstly, the percentage of business owners that have a website in today’s digital age should be 100%, or as close to that as possible. Secondly, online advertising is one of cheapest, low-hanging fruit client acquisition things that you can do. If you aren’t advertising online, you probably aren’t doing any other form of advertising. Finally, while 2/3 of advertisers are doing some form of social media advertising, the degrees at which “doing” vary are vast.
While there are fundamental pieces that all business owners should have as part of their marketing strategy, often the best way to get ahead of your competitors is to exploit things they aren’t doing properly, or at all. This is where a strong, well planned social media strategy can help. Not to be too much of a Canadian cliché, but what made Gretzky so great at hockey is that he went to where the puck was going, not where it was at currently. We should operate our businesses the same way. The consumer shift to social is already in full effect, why are we not engaging with those consumers where their interests lay instead of trying to lure them away from those platforms to where we wish they were?
If you’re serious about improving your overall marketing strategy and want to look into adding a social media strategy to your efforts, we would love to help you out! Feel free to check out our social media section for more details.