Ten ways you can efficiently grow your business off social media

Towards the end of 2021, after investments into marketing support for my Instagram and Facebook, I decided that these Meta platforms were no longer aligned with my business’s values. However, I would be lying if i didn’t say that the feeling of no longer wanting to be on these platforms was running through my mind many months prior making my final decision.

As a business owner, you might probably think, “you’re nuts” or “how are you going to get leads?” but we, the business owners, have been conditioned to believe that social media should be our only priority in marketing our businesses. However, taking my business offline has been one of the best decisions for my wellness studio, TrunkStudios.

Leaving the Meta platforms forms doesn’t mean that we’ve been able just to take it easy. Instead, we’ve had to get creative and ramp up our offline marketing game to keep up with our competitors, gain new leads and maintain our relationships with our members. However, the difference is that all of our current marketing strategies align with our company values.

Before taking all of our marketing off Facebook and Instagram, I decided to trial a one-month ‘logging-off’ period. This trial aimed to see how these platforms contributed to my business and if the investment of time and money was paying off. Interestingly enough, that month made no difference in how my business was performing. Members were still coming into our studios for regular classes, leads were flowing through, and our community was still growing.

All we did was shift our offline marketing focuses and gave more attention to what was working. Ultimately, we then decided to leave Instagram and Facebook permanently.

How can you market your business without social media?

Currently, we are focusing on a wide range of marketing tactics that are targeted at building our community and spreading our message outside of Facebook and Instagram. Proving, that traditional marketing methods are still vital in growing your business. Below, I’ve outlined ten strategies we are currently using that you can adapt to your offline marketing if you too are thinking social media isn’t working or even if you just want to ramp up your business.

Create a customer referral program

Everybody likes to be rewarded, so when our clients refer us new customers, we like to give back by saying thank you with a nice discount. In practice, this means that we offer our existing clients an account credit that can be used on their next purchase.

The program gives our loyal clients the motivation to tell their family and friends about our studio and means that we are attracting people to come by hearing inspirational stories from people they trust. We have managed to acquire new members through our referral program.

Become an employee wellness hub

Over the last few years, businesses have had to become more conscious of their employee’s health. Due to this, more companies are introducing physical and mental health incitatives for their staff. This shift has led to TrunkStudios becoming the go-to place for several local business employee wellness programs. How does it work? Their staff receive a discount on our memberships, and the business owners either pay for the passes or subsidise them.

This strategy has worked well for us, the employer and the employees. The employer shows they care about the staff and are contributing to a healthy workplace, the employees enjoy our classes and improve their wellbeing, and we boost our business.

Partner with local businesses

Partnering with local businesses that align with our core values has helped us gain new local clients. We partner with a little cafe, where clients receive a dining discount and a membership discount at our class. Partnering with local businesses allows all parties to tap into each other’s audience to build brand awareness among those who may not use specific platforms.

Step up your email marketing

Even though we’re no longer on social media, we still do our weekly e-newsletter featuring health-related articles, updates about our studio and upcoming specials and information.

Since leaving the Meta platforms, we’ve spent more time making sure these newsletters are top-notch. Combining promotional material with educational material and studio updates is a great way to engage your audience and keep them informed about your business.

Improving Website SEO and page optimisation

If you’re not sure of what it is, SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’; the process of getting traffic from free, organic, editorial, or natural search results in search engines.

It aims to improve your website’s position in search result pages. Remember, the higher the website is listed, the more people will see it. Without social media, you’ll want to make sure you come up on the first page for Google searches relating to your business. We routinely check out site speed, backlinks and anything that might affect our SEO.

Create a PR strategy or hire a PR team

If you’re a business owner, you’re likely a specialist in your chosen field. Reach out to online and offline publications to write specialist articles or look local for local events to present.

These could be local markets, wellness expos, or other special events. If you’re unsure of where to start, reach out to an agency. We are working with an agency that is taking care of our publicity. PR is also a great way to help with your SEO and build credibility to your brand.

Over service new clients

I have created clear internal processes for our staff to follow for contacting clients when they first try out our studio. We check in with them regularly to see how they enjoy their trial period and help out if they have questions. I always make sure they feel looked after and welcomed by the staff. There is no exception to this rule. Sometimes they don’t convert, and if they don’t, we receive helpful insight on things in the studio that may need changing.

It’s a great way to get direct feedback… almost like filling out a survey.

Old school advertising

There is a reason why so many companies still do old school advertising; it’s still an effective form of marketing. You don’t need to purchase a billboard that overlooks a popular highway or purchase space in a local newspaper; there are many ways you can incorporate old school advertising in your marketing. We have posters up in cafes and display them at the markets.

I’m always in awe of people mentioning them as a referral source. Think of other businesses that our ideal customer visits and see if you can pop some posters nearby or even speak to the marketing team at your local school newsletter.

Clear process and top-notch software

Set out transparent processes for your staff to follow and ensure you have adequate software to help with client tracking and managing bookings. This will address any pain points and allows you to pull up data easily about attendee patterns, busy times and class sizes.

It’s also a great way to track what is working in your marketing efforts to get new business. Simply, add it to your landing page when people contact you and ask where they found you.

Excellent, warm customer service

This seems so basic, but I’m surprised how many businesses these days don’t seem to get it right. Don’t be afraid to chat to your clients about how they are enjoying your product or service. The same goes for email enquiries, be available and treat every enquiry as important.

You never know what one conversation might lead to! So if social media is no longer aligning with your business, or you too, no longer trust these platforms, you have do options. Just always keep your target audience in mind and don’t give up too early; it takes time to find the right strategies that will work for your business and if you’re unsure, hire the experts.

Moving to Australia at age 22 speaking almost no English, Rima Alijew has gone on to study a law degree and climb the ranks at Coles to become one of the youngest women in senior management before going all-in & investing her savings in starting her business Trunk Studios.