• Are you telling your brand story in social media?

Tag: storytelling in social media

If you are like most social media managers, your first goal is to create content that will get your audience to engage. Share, likes, and comments are all good as gold regardless of the platform. The only problem with using engagement as your key objective is that you have to get people to see your content first. After all, you can’t get engagement if you don’t get views. What’s the best way to ensure that your content gets seen? Make sure you are providing value to your audience.

Let’s think for a minute about what it means to add value. When it comes to social media content, providing value means giving your audience something they can’t get anywhere else. Exactly what that is will depend on your particular circumstance but let’s talk about the top 5 ways you give your users value through social media, regardless of your product or service.

  • Solve a Problem: When you solve a problem for your audience, you are making their lives better and perhaps removing an obstacle that is preventing them from achieving their own goals. There are many ways to create content that solves problems. A how-to can be a great way to do this but so can an answer to a question, a product discount, or an informative product review.
  • Tell A Story: Storytelling is a great way to help your audience learn more about you, your company, and your products. Success stories, stories that give insight into your mission, profiles of your team or your customers, can all help your audience learn more about your and add value.
  • Make Something That is Complicated Simple: Infographics and lists are particularly good ways to turn difficult topics into something that is easily understood. While technical content lends itself well to this type of content, your subject doesn’t have to be technical. A description of a process can also work well in graphic or some other easy to follow format.
  • Teach: Common questions that users have can be fertile territory for developing content that will teach a lesson about your industry, your product, or your company. How-to videos can be particularly good for this along with solving problems.
  • Ask Your Community What They Need: Of course we should know our customers well enough to anticipate what type of content will bring them the most value but sometimes it’s still best to go straight to the source. Reach out to your audience to ask them what they need. You might be surprised what you’re missing.

Developing content that gives your friends, fans, and followers value may take a little work, but it is sure to pay off. Once your community learns that the information you provide will make their lives easier, they are sure to come back for more. They are also like to pass it along to others. Providing value to your followers will pay off in spades in terms of brand loyalty, trust, and online presence.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

As a social media marketer, you know how important it is to have content that is high quality, frequent, and consistent. Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? The truth is, it’s not easy at all. In fact, it’s pretty hard to keep producing quality content that is engaging, well written, and offers something useful to the reader. What’s the solution? In a word: storytelling.

In marketing terms, storytelling means that your copy makes a connection with the customer BEFORE it introduces the product. You can probably think of many TV commercials that use storytelling that way. Think of the ones that catch your attention because they hit your emotions. You may not even see what they are selling until the very last frame.

Focusing on the story rather than the product may sound counterintuitive, but the goal is to create a connection with the customer, not necessarily to drive them to run out and pick up the product. A good story will create trust and stay with a potential customer when it comes time for them to choose a product in your niche.

Once you begin to think in terms of telling a story rather than showcasing what you’re selling, you’ll find fertile ground for building new content. From stories that relate to why you started the business to educational experiences, your stories can provide your customers with new insights into your business and your products.

Before you start to build your stories, you need to make sure that you really know your customers and what type of information they will make a connection. For some, educational stories will work best while for others, stories that tie to the news of the day will make the most sense. Whatever type of story you believe will work best for your audience, your stories should follow some simple rules:

Be Truthful: If your message is contrived, it will show. Use your own experiences to craft your stories.

Write Well: It may seem obvious, but your stories should not only be expertly worded, but they should also hold together by having a beginning, a middle and an end.

Be Consistent With Your Brand: Like all your marketing materials, your stories should communicate the image you have designed for your brand. If it is not consistent, your customers won’t believe it.

Make it Personal(ity): To help your customers connect to the story, make it personal and fill it with a personality that is compatible with your brand image.

To help trigger your creative juices, take a look at some of the best storytelling campaigns: Apple, GoPro, Allstate, McDonald’s, and State Farm are all master storytellers. Once you are inspired, get to work on your story and be sure to make storytelling a crucial part of your social media campaign. Remember, it’s not always about the short-term sale: you are building for the long run.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

When you are running a small business it can be difficult to maintain all the different facets of running a successful company. Owners need to manage the work, the clients, the numbers, the team, and the marketing. It can be both daunting and overwhelming. Many entrepreneurs and business owners simply overlook marketing due to a lack of time, energy or experience. However, business growth is dependent on your marketing strategy. 
Business Plan
First, you need to have a plan. The more detailed your plan the easier it will be to set measurable and achievable goals. Your plan should incorporate what you intend to do during the year – the amount of work, the level of profit, staffing, expenses, purpose and messaging. Leave no rock uncovered when you sit down and develop your plan. This will include your marketing strategy for the year. 
Branding & Storytelling
What a lot of business owners don’t understand about their brand is that it exists whether you develop it or not. How the public views you, and your company, makes up the elements of your branding. Owners that ignore this fact will find that the public has 100% control over how their work is perceived. Smart companies understand the power of creating a business message – a method of storytelling for work – that projects the image that business owners want their staff, clients, competition and the general public to associate with their work. Understanding your own brand and company story is the first step in developing a marketing strategy.
Target Audience
We no longer live in an age where we market our services to everyone. Traditional advertising is slowly becoming a marketing tool of the past. Why? Because it is ineffective to sell to a wide group of people without narrowing down the demographics. Want an effective marketing strategy? You need to hone down exactly the type of people that make your ideal client. The time and effort involved in sales and marketing should be utilized only in areas where your target audience works, plays and relaxes. If you don’t have a picture of your ideal client, then you need one right away.
Types of Marketing
Now that you know your message and where your clients hang out, you need to determine the types of marketing that will be most effective for what you do. This will be different for every business. The variety of marketing options feels endless. This list alone will have your head swimming. 
In 2016, online marketing is the place to be. This means social media marketing and content marketing are huge right now. Building a mailing list (or funnel) is another area that many marketing experts say is essential for your business. Developing content and booking stages is a type of marketing as well, called influencer marketing, and can be quite effective for establishing expertise and presence. Relationship marketing is a great way to build a village of partners that are invested in you and what you do. 
This article showcases a study that proves the younger generation does utilize social media when it’s time to make purchasing decisions. Another reason that demonstrates how knowing your audience is vital. 
Marketing Plan
Having an editorial schedule with goals and focus for your content, messaging and social media is practically essential.  If you are not certain which direction to take, do some initial experimentation. For instance, you can concentrate on one type of content or platform each month, while maintaining your other marketing channels.  If you switch it up and continue focusing on different platforms over a 3-6 month period, you can see which platforms are doing the best for you and get a better understanding of each option. 

If you know one choice will work well for your business, focus your energies on developing that area first and then slowly begin incorporating other channels. Often it’s better to do one thing well than to do a variety of marketing tactics on a sub-par level.
Networking
Networking is another way to grow your circle of connections.  You can do this both on- and offline.  Recommendations back and forth are extremely beneficial.  You can also reach out to your network if you have questions about how to get the most out of your marketing, social media platforms, content and emails.  You might have a connection who is masterful in a certain aspect of marketing you are you’re interested in.  You and your connection might work in the same industry, but have different niches.  If you both have blogs, you can refer to each other in your content. This is a great way to develop both referral and power partners for your business, not just new clients!
The best advice is to have fun!  Think of your marketing strategy as an adventure.  You will learn so much about how you want your business to look, feel and present itself to the world. 

Having trouble creating your company’s story? Don’t have a clue how to put together an editorial calendar? Just don’t have time to deal with all the little tasks involved with staying on top of your marketing strategy? Give the team at The Social Media Advisor a call – we specialize in small business marketing strategy development!

~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 


Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+,YouTubePinterestInstagram and the tools to manage them.

A true sign that you have finally started making waves in your business is when you get to the point that you need to add people to your team. Being the CEO of every aspect of your business only works for so long. In order to grow professionally, you will need to bring people into the fold that can manage various areas of your work. Many entrepreneurs and small business owners find that they actually become more profitable once they begin to delegate certain time consuming aspects of their business to team members.

Why do you need a social media team?
Social media marketing is definitely an area that many companies, especially those without internal marketing staff, look to experts for assistance.  To be effective at social media, there are several factors that go into consideration:
  •        Must understand the different social media platforms, the best times to post, the demographics, the purpose, and the individual tactics and lingo.
  •        Need to remain consistent in social efforts since a lapse in content will cause a loss in followers.
  •        Knowledge of advantageous social media practices and concepts such as like/know/trust, 80/20 rule, prospecting, analytics and platform advertising is extremely helpful.
  •        Keeping on top of engagement such as thanking people who share content, responding to messages, and being reciprocal with favorites and likes is a necessary element of generating followers in social media.
  •        Understanding the various social media tools to help automate certain elements of social and save time.
  •        Responding quickly and appropriately to any bad review or other potential social media crisis. 

That is a lot to keep on top of for just one task. Unfortunately, to be truly efficient at social media, all of these elements need to be handled on a regular basis.
So, who do you want on your team?
You have some options. You can hire a full-time person in house just to handle social media. Most companies aren’t quite big enough yet to justify a full time staff member. This means outsourcing the work to a social media company who will give you a plan based on your business needs and who will be able to maintain most of this for you.
What you may find when you are seeking your own social media manageris that they tend to specialize in different areas. Some of them are experts in a specific field or niche. Others are great on content creation but may not tackle engagement. There are companies out there that offer all of the above. Make sure you know what type of assistance you are looking for before you begin interviewing potential social professionals.
The tasks can also be divided into different fields or specialties. It’s possible to hire a content creator to write, design and publish various content but then also bring a SEO expert on board to get the most bang out of that content. If you are attempting to build a tribe or community, hiring someone to manage your engagement should be the goal. There are other possible roles such as a public relations individual or expert at reputation marketing to manage your online presence, a data driven team member focused on analyzingresults, or a IT person well versed in web development and coding for blogging and website assistance.
Don’t hire a team member or company that can only provide pieces of what you are seeking. There are enough people out there in the field that finding one to meet your needs should not be too difficult.
Remember that your social media marketing is a part of your brand. The story you tell in social media is vital to how the public views you and what you do. If you think of social as anything other than elaborate storytelling in order to build relationships, then you don’t really understand what social media can accomplish.
Want to learn more about social media and storytelling? Contact The Social Media Advisor team. We’d love to chat with you about how you can #BeAwesome online!
~ Social Media is changing the way people do business.  Don’t get left behind ~ 

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!
Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Blog, Google+, YouTube, Pinterest, Instagramand the tools to manage them.

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