In order for advertising and marketing to be effective, it has to be directed at where the people are. And where are the people today? Why, hanging out in and with social media, of course! That’s pretty simple and straightforward.

Whoa, hold the (smart) phone! Who said it was simple and straightforward? Has anyone seen just how many social media networks, platforms, and websites there? It’s a jungle out there, and it’s confusing as all get out.

Retailers are looking for ways to bypass (or slice right through) all of the clutter and engage in reliable methods of reaching potential customers. Here are a few ways that are way more creative than just sending out a mass email that says “We are nice, shop with us please”.

And once you’re done, check out “6 Ways to Reach Online Shoppers in 2015” for some more insights into marketing, twenty-first century style.

Hosting a Google Hangout or a Webinar

These tools let you reach a large number of people in a surprisingly intimate setting. Google Hangout is a great way to forge personal connections with customers. And as far as webinars go, people appreciate the visual medium online, something which engages their attention and isn’t just pages of text with a few images thrown up there.

Attractive, Exclusive Content

People like feeling special, as if they’re part of something unique and not accessible to just anyone. Everyone deep down has that fundamental need to be included in the secret clubhouse. While it may be impractical to build a tree house or snow fort and invite people in, businesses can start up a Special Members promotion that gives special deals and unique content to its members.

Letting People Help

Perhaps your business has a mascot that needs a name, or even a full out makeover. Or maybe you’re overhauling your website and need ideas. People not only like to feel special, they also like to feel useful, that their efforts can result in change and possibly recognition. Hold a contest with a reward and/or recognition for the winners. Because do you know what happens if a handful of customers submit content or designs to your site and are accepted? Those people turn around and tell all of their friends, saying “Check out my stuff on this site!” And those friends tell their friends, and so on.


Here’s an idea that’s really outside the box. Take a look on any social media network, and you’ll notice that you can’t swing a dead Willy Wonka jpeg without tripping over a dozen memes. It’s very possible to take memes and custom-tool them to actually relate to your business. It’s funny and it’s visual, which means it will be easy for potential customers to remember.

Find Us On … Pinterest!

It seems that more often than not, when conversation turns to social media, it’s always the mantra of “Facebook, Google Plus, and LinkedIn.” Fortunately, some businesses are turning to Pinterest to feature their products as well as call attention to their site’s content. As an added bonus, there’s now Pinterest Analytics, so businesses can see who is pinning their pins, thereby measuring popularity.

These are just some of the ways that businesses today are trying new approaches to customer outreach via social media. There’s a lot more inspirations out there for the ambitious marketing professionals who want to not just follow the crowd. Just make sure that you don’t alienate those people, and this article, “Learn The Most Important Social Media Etiquettes To Boost Your Small Business” will help you avoid some of those pitfalls.

The potential customers are out there; all you need to do is go get ’em!