It’s no secret that social media is now a pay-to-play system; however, you can still get some free publicity by networking with other local businesses.

To do this, follow, share and like other local businesses in your area that are not direct competitors of yours. For appliance repair businesses, think roofers, home builders, concrete and paving companies, insurance agents, housecleaners and realtors. Realtors are especially savvy and prolific social media users and since appliances are part of owning a home, it’s a natural fit!

Building up these relationships might take time and you should take time to go through and find content you think your fans and customers would benefit from. Since most are likely to own a home, maintenance- type articles are always a good share.

You can follow this simple strategy on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest. Using free program like Hootsuite, you can create a separate stream or group of local businesses. That way, you can scan and periodically share content from this special group. Make sure you keep note and track who is sharing your content and also make sure you comment on content they share as well.

When a local business shares your content, they are helping to broadcast your message while also gaining you exposure to new fans, followers and customers.

This strategy won’t get you all the exposure you need and paid advertising of some type should be part of your overall marketing strategy. However, this simple strategy costs you nothing but your time and could help expand your social media reach in addition to netting a few new customers.