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Surviving Underground in a Social Media Marketing Landscape

In the “real” world you think of yourself as confident and charismatic, ready to brand your new idea and share it with millions of people who are going to kneel down before you and call you a genius. That’s what you’re secretly thinking, anyways. And then you remind yourself that you don’t have a Twitter, Facebook, or Google+ account. So, how are you going to market this idea to the masses without being “connected” to a multitude of social media platforms?

Brace yourself, it’s not easy – but it’s possible.

Living in 2013 (let alone marketing in it) without a social media account is like living as a mole (no, not the animal) in an abandoned subway tunnel in New York City. You’re within arm’s reach of the biggest network in the world, but for whatever reason you’ve decided to lurk in the shadows instead. While some may chastise you and ridicule your methods, it doesn’t mean that you can’t take advantage of the other resources you have access to and feast on the fortunes of those living above ground.

shutterstock_127773098People branded, marketed, and made money off their ideas well before the social media craze took off, so don’t think just because it’s out there you have to use it to succeed. Whether you’re too stubborn to join the herd or have a strong ethical opinion about social media marketing, there are ways to thrive using other methods. Here’s how.

Spread Your Message

When you don’t use social media, it’s vital that you’re the driving force behind your message. This involves stepping outside your house, surrounding yourself with people in your target niche, and talking to them directly about the products or services you can offer them. There’s a real art to this technique, because if you’re too aggressive or oversell yourself then your potential client or customer will be turned off.

shutterstock_10492000Before you set foot on the battlefield, arm yourself with business cards or flyers that clearly and concisely inform the reader about your company. Remember, the information you give them is only as good as the impression you make when you shake their hands, smile, and sell yourself. Only 33 percent of Americans have ever followed a brand on social media, so taking advantage of this face-to-face interaction to establish an immediate trust is an important element to take advantage of.

Promote Your Product

People love free stuff. According to PPAI Research, 83 percent of American consumers like receiving a promotional product with an advertising message. Additionally, 69 percent of people said they would pick up a promotional product if they found it useful. What this gives you is an opportunity to promote your product or service on an item you know people will happily accept when you hand it to them.

shutterstock_79276369The goal here is not only to reach your target audience, but to make your product or service resonate with them so they think about it long after they’ve met you. When deciding what kind of item to use to advertise your company on, consider these statistics:

  • 91 percent of people have at least one promotional product in their kitchen.
  • 74 percent of people have at least one promotional product in their work area.
  • 55 percent of people have at least one promotional product in their bedroom closet.

Network at Events

If you’re not using social media to engage potential customers and clients, network with professionals in your industry, or learn about new trends, how else are you supposed to do it? Yes, that’s right, the good old-fashioned way. Attending commercial or industry-related events is a great way to network and exchange contacts. The more people you meet, the better. If you’re talking about your product or service – and it’s as good as you claim it is – other people will talk about it too.

Ultimately, your success depends on how great your product or service is and how much legwork you’re willing to put in to share it with the world. Although social media has attracted an exponential amount of users in recent years, the number of industry events and trade shows has increased too. What this means is that people are still meeting face-to-face to discuss their ideas and help advance them, which proves that networking with other entrepreneurs and using each other’s strengths still works.

shutterstock_106732184No one knows how temporary or permanent different social networking sites are. What we do know is that it’s human nature to think of an idea, develop it, and find a way to share it with others. In today’s culture, that sharing is done predominantly through social media. Although it’s useful and convenient, there are other ways to market your idea and capitalize off of it.

Can you think of others not listed? Leave a comment below.

About the author

John Rakowski