Whether you’re new to the business world, or you’ve been at it for a while, marketing for your small business is an important function. Here are three marketing ideas that can work well for virtually any business:

Social Media

Social media is becoming more and more popular as a marketing tool. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. When most people think of social media marketing, they think of posting direct promotional content. As an example, a real estate agent might post a link to a new listing, or a direct appeal to their friends and followers to refer people to them. But that’s not how social media marketing should be approached.

A much more effective approach is to use social media to position yourself as an expert in your field. You can do that by posting content relevant to your market or industry. The good news is, you don’t even have to create the content yourself. Just post links to informative web articles along with a brief description of what the article contains or your own thoughts about the topic. By positioning yourself as an expert, yours will be the first name that friends and followers think of when they need whatever it is you sell.

Live Seminars

With the advent of technology that makes it possible to present seminars on the internet (known as webinars), the live, in person seminar has become less and less common. But that doesn’t mean it’s any less effective as a marketing tool. Localized businesses can still benefit greatly from putting on a live seminar.

The subject matter of such a seminar can be anything related to your market or industry. But you’re not limited to that. As a community service, you could also sponsor a seminar about topics not at all related to your business. Either way, live seminars are great ways to get your name out in the community beyond your existing circles of influence.

Community Support

In every community, regardless of size, there are organizations that provide various services to people in the community. Whether it’s a senior center that helps retired folks stay active, a youth program that keeps kids engaged in wholesome activities, or something in between, opportunities to serve and support the community are everywhere.

Your community support activities may not lead directly to new customers, but the do help position you as someone who cares more about the community than just the income it provides you. That kind of positive public relations can’t be bought at any price, not to mention the positive difference you can make in the lives of others.

For additional advice and ideas for marketing your small business, check out the Marketing Your Small Business For Dummies cheat sheet. There are also other great online resources that can help. Just Google “marketing for small business”.