Hey, we get it, getting a business loan can be tough. Lenders want to know your credit history, your business plan, and primarily, whether or not you can pay back the loan. The way they figure that out is by your revenue. The equation is: the higher your revenue, the more likely you are to get a small business loan.
But what if your revenue is not quite where it should be? How do you get those customers so you can get a little bit of business financing?
One great way to get new customers is through social media. Unfortunately, a lot of companies don’t take their social media seriously — when they don’t see results after a while, they give up. When you put the right amount of effort into it and you have a good strategy, social media is an amazing way to increase the amount of customers your business has.
Here at Lendio, we’re constantly looking to help people get those sometimes tricky business loans, so we’ve compiled 5 ways to use social media to get more customers this week:
- Run a paid advertisement on Facebook.
Facebook has one of the best targeting tools for advertisers out there. There is a ton of private information people are willingly share with Facebook. You can reach your audience based on age, location, employment, interests, and many other options. For example, if you sell surfboards for women, you could target your ad to reach only women between the age of 18-45 that live in California and are interested in surfing.
By looking at the advertising pulled off my Facebook page on the right, you can tell that I’m interested in SEO, Entrepreneurship, and Photography.
- Reach out on LinkedIn.
If you’re a business-to-business company, LinkedIn is a great place to reach out and talk to people that might be interested in your product. Find LinkedIn Groups that match your field of expertise and start building relationships there; ask questions, answer questions, and just generally be helpful.
Another great way to find potential customers on LinkedIn is through LinkedIn’s Advanced Search. This is a powerful tool to find the right kind of customer. When reaching out, be warm and friendly, and avoid being spammy. One way to open the door is finding people who are 2nd connections then ask for an introduction from your 1st connections.
- Run a deep shareable discount on twitter.
People love to get and share good discounts. Quickly get some customers by discounting your product heavily and ask people to retweet in order to get the discount. Find a relevant popular hashtag that fits your message and tweet about 4 times in one work day changing the message each time, but keep the discount and the hashtag the same. This is especially effective if you already have a sizable and loyal following on Twitter.
- Have an Instagram sale.
Instagram is not just for selfies, tan legs, and your neat-looking brunch. A lot of businesses are putting their products on Instagram and seeing great results. If you’re selling a product to consumers, Instagram is a great place to show it off. Make sure you have a good photograph of your product, a well written message with a link, and find the right hashtag(s) to reach your audience. For examples of companies using Instagram the right way, visit Instagram’s Business Blog.
- Start relationships on Google+.
Google+ is a grossly underutilized resource for businesses. Most businesses just post their latest article to their Google+ page, and are disappointed when they don’t see any results. When used correctly, Google+ has one of the highest interaction rates in social media.
First, make sure you follow some key influencers in your industry, leave meaningful commentary on their posts, and help answer any questions they or their followers may have.
Next, find communities that are relevant to your business, and follow anyone in there who could be potential customers. Make sure to use Google+’s circle function well, put people in the right circles. Post meaningful content to these communities and your circles — make sure to interact with people that respond. This is a great way to build warm relationships with people who could potentially be customers.
If you use it the right way, social media can do wonders for your business. If you have any questions about acquiring loans or customers, leave it in the comments below. Also if you have any social media tricks, we’d love to hear them, leave them below.