Small business owners know there is value to be in had in social media marketing. However, they either aren’t certain how to get started or the attempts they’ve made in the past just haven’t worked for their business. Often, this is because the approach used is no longer effective. Social media has evolved quite a bit since the early days of Facebook business pages and massive organic reach and it’s no longer a simple task of ‘post it and they will buy.’
The most effective companies on social media today are building community, telling amazing stories, connecting with their audience, and using their reputation and influence to make a bigger impact.
Here is our best advice for setting up your social media marketing for success:
The Power of Storytelling
“If your stories are all about your products and services, that’s not storytelling. It’s a brochure. Give yourself permission to make the story bigger.”
People are so tired of being sold to 24/7. You can’t turn on a device or round a corner without a marketing message being pushed at you from somewhere. It’s not that marketing is the problem. We all have money and we are consumers. We spend that money with businesses we want to work with. The issue is most companies, especially smaller businesses, make their marketing about them – their company, their product or service, their features, their expertise and experience. And, honestly, that reads like a resume. It’s not inspiring nor does it grab anyone’s attention in a positive way.
Human beings are drawn to stories. Throughout the ages, we’ve used storytelling to craft our personal experiences. Stories will draw your audience in and keep them around. The biggest secret when it comes to using storytelling in marketing is… make the story about your customer. That’s bound to get them to pay attention.
Know, Like and Trust
“We don’t do business with companies. We do business with people.”
Unless you are already a large, well-known corporation, today’s modern consumer gravitates towards someone they can trust. There are rare, few businesses that offer a unique product or service that can’t be found anywhere else.
I bet that you have plenty of competitors in your area. How does a client or customer narrow down their choices?
It’s all about reputation, credibility, and trust.
A lead’s decision-making process often involves asking some of the following questions:
- Who do I know that offers what I need?
- How do I know them?
- What are other people saying about them?
- What do I already know about them?
- What sort of relationship do I have with this company?
- Can I trust them to provide quality work for an acceptable price?
When putting together a social media marketing strategy, it’s essential that you are addressing these questions. How do you reach your audience so they can get to know you? What content can you create that will grab their attention and encourage them to engage with you so they can grow to like you? What can you do to build the relationship and your professional credibility so they begin to trust you?
Social Proof & Influence
“When you say it, it’s marketing, when your customer says it, it’s social proof.”
Social media is more than just a tool for marketing your products, services, and offerings. It’s also the place people go to vet influencers and businesses. They use it as a search engine and a research tool before deciding whether or not to sign up or sign the dotted line. There is also the ever-so powerful method of having conversations with others to help make a big decision – such as signing up for your program, service, or offer.
However, if your brand is nowhere to found on social media then leads can’t do that research, have those conversations, or make that decision to pick you over your competition. This is especially true if you have no website or a website that just isn’t robust enough to persuade and influence traffic. (That’s if you can get people to find your website at all!)
Social proof is more of an outcome than a process. The more visible you are online, the more social proof and influence you generate. This brand awareness and accessibility are important for staying top of mind, connecting with your leads and customers, and generating credibility for you and what you do.
As you can see, success on social media marketing is SO much more than simply posting your monthly special or sharing someone’s inspirational quote. Any business under-utilizing this amazing marketing tool often find they also experience under-whelming results for their efforts.
As a social media user, I bet you have noticed that people engage more with social media content when they relate to the post or resonate with the message. As a small business, are you ready to define your story and build a long-term relationship with a loyal audience? Sign up for a Discovery Session to see which social media marketing programs best fit your needs.
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, Instagram, and the tools to manage them.