So, stop what you are doing for a minute at work and ask yourself a very simple question, is my company doing all it can to promote itself? If the answer is no, now is the time to speak up.
One of the first things you may hear from upper management is that weâre promoting the company within our budgetary means, aka we are spending as little money as possible to get our brand out there.
While it is understandable in a troubling economy that small businesses especially will want to refrain from large promotional expenditures, this would actually be a good time to be using promotional items in order to improve the companyâs brand recognition.
Keep in mind that many other businesses are also probably thinking that everyone else is not spending money, so why should we? The simple response to that line of thinking is that while other businesses are holding back on promoting their companies, now is the time to strike.
Whether you are an administrative assistant, an upper management employee or even a company intern, donât be afraid to offer your two cents as to how your employer can better promote the business.
Among the simple ways to do this include:
- Social media â Iâm still amazed when I peruse various sites on Facebook and Twitter,the two biggest venues for social media, and see that companies are missing the boat. I often hear that management feels it cannot get a true reading of return on investment (ROI) on its social media efforts, so the decision is made to bail on any additional SM work. The bottom line is that social media is essentially free, a great way to promote oneâs company, allowing companies to appear as an authority in their respective industry by sharing worthwhile information for current and potential customers. Whether you are active or not in your companyâs social media efforts, visit the company Facebook, Twitter, Google+ pages and any other sites your employer is on. Question the individual or individuals in charge of such sites if the pages are not updated regularly;
- Community events â Getting involved in the local community is a great way with which to promote your business. Such opportunities are not only a way to build up goodwill within the community, but also to network with other local businesses. In the event you run a local cell phone business, get together with your area realtor, florist, eateries etc. to promote each others businesses. The old adage of scratching oneâs back while they scratch yours is very true. Before you know it, you will have community members coming to you for business; hopefully you are returning the favor. Small businesses in a local community tend to stick together and patronize one another in order to keep the bigger corporations out, so be a leader in this area;
- Use bumper stickers, buttons, business cards, T-shirts, etc. â These are great means by which to spread the word about your company. Imagine the potential response rate your small business could get around town if just your employees alone were sporting bumper stickers on their cars promoting your Web site, wearing T-shirts to the local stores and more. It may sound hokey to some, but making up such items is relatively cheap and can be very beneficial to those not aware of what your company does;
- Buy local air or print time â This means to promote your company obviously involves some funding, but it can be money well spent. Even though many people tune out radio/TV commercials, and even though many newspapers are finding their numbers down these days, there still is a sizable audience that turns to these venues for news and information. Target the most effective times to promote your business, such as radio ads in drive time and coupons in the Sunday paper.
There are a variety of other ways you can employ in order to promote your small business, some of which may or may not get the ownerâs approval. Remember too to never overlook your community’s Chamber of Commerce.
The bottom line is ALL employees need to be thinking about ways to better promote the companies they work for.
Remember, each and every employee has a vested interest in the company doing well, so promotion is everyoneâs job.
Dave Thomas, who discusses subjects such as online marketing, writes extensively for San Diego-based Business.com.