Starting a new business almost always begins with one of two things: a great idea or a great drive to be one’s own boss—and new businesses will eventually require both if they are to be successful. And great ideas don’t have to be revolutionary new products, they can be new perspectives on old products and new locations for opening markets.
Those of you who want to start your own vinyl decal business often have all these ingredients—you want to be your own boss and you want to improve either stylistically or locationally on a product that’s always in high demand. Once you have your set-up ready (and in some cases before) the main thing you need to focus on is marketing.
Marketing is a skill that takes honing for it to be most effective. For some people, those of you who earn extroverted status in all personality tests and excel at social scenarios, getting word of mouth out about your products and services is a breeze, while others hope all they need is quality products for the customers to come a’ calling.
Unfortunately, silence is not an option when you want to start a business and even the best sales personnel can benefit from a lesson or two in social media marketing. The following is a snapshot of how social media can bolster and boost marketing efforts and how to get started with it today:
Glean Valuable Customer Insights
Even before you start your own decal business, you want to be doing research into your target market. Once you begin, you’ll want to ramp up your social media even more to learn more about who your customers are and what they want. That’s because in a business like sign-making, you never know who your best customers will be. Maybe you live in a city like Nashville where just about everyone is booking a gig or event that needs promoting. Or maybe all the non-profits in your town like to choose you because you prioritize sustainability. Once you find out who wants your products and why you can tailor your message to best appeal to what that audience needs and wants.
With social media, you get a large amount of data that tells you just about everything you need to know about your customers in real time… as long as you routinely engage with them and experiment with a variety of images, written tones, and specials. Let your audience create conversations around your brand and then capitalize on them.
Boost Branding and Brand Consciousness
When you begin your own sticker business with a strong presence on social media, you make it that much easier for customers to find you, research your products and rates, and connect with your company. Through your social media accounts—your Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and maybe even Snapchat—you can craft a brand that those social media visitors will know you by. This means going beyond just a logo in creating a unique and personal conception of who and what your vinyl business represents.
By creating an engaging and entertaining company persona and doing so via social media (where the vast majority of your audience will be), you’ll be more apt to boost brand consciousness, attract more followers, increase customer retention, and cement brand loyalty.
Reach a Wider Audience
The best part about social media is that all of the above can reach out to a much wider audience at much cheaper rates than possible with traditional marketing efforts. That’s because traditional advertising is framed upon outbound techniques in which an expensive and large net (like a billboard or television ad) is created to try and appeal to everyone but is only heard by a select few (those driving down a certain highway or tuning into a given station); therefore, there is never any guarantee that the results will be worth the effort.
In contrast, everyone and their mother (and their mother’s mother) are on the Internet. With social media, you can reach out to the stay-at-home parents, the working professionals, and big conglomerate PR departments. You can experiment with a certain ad or video for just the cost of production. If it fails to garner attention, you move on to the next thing; if it succeeds, you scale up. It cannot be understated how important of a role social media plays in helping new businesses take time necessary to precision-work their presentation and create a winning brand.
So go out and blog!