Tag: storytelling

How to Grow My Business Using Social Media

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.”
Jay Baer

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.”
Simon Sinek

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.”
Andy Crestodina

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 LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

 

How to Tell a Story for Your Business in Social Media

Storytelling matters. It matters in our lives and it matters in our businesses. Human beings, since the dawn of time, have been drawn to stories. It’s how we learn and it’s how we relate to one another.

One of the reasons many businesses struggle with social media marketing is that they are using it strictly as a sales tool. However, people aren’t on social media for that reason. They open up their social apps to connect with other people, to learn something new, to become motivated or inspired. If your content isn’t doing these things, then it’s falling flat.

If you want to garner attention and interest on social media, you need to create content that your audience actually wants – and often that involves telling a good story.

Here are some ways to tell a story for your business in social media:

Create an Editorial Calendar

It’s difficult to weave together a consistent, relevant, and clear story if you aren’t certain what you are going to post on social media on any given day. An editorial calendar is a compass for your social media content, outlining what type of content you will share on what days. Once you have a plan for sharing and promoting your content, you can use your editorial calendar as the structure for your storytelling.

Without a calendar, you could find yourself in a situation where you are talking about your service one day, your ideal client another day, sharing a motivational quote another, and then forwarding an article that caught your interest later in the week. What’s ineffective about this approach is that there is no strategy involved. On any given day, you are posting content that isn’t related to the other posts. While you get points for consistency, this method of posting is not telling a cohesive story that motivates people to act.

Here’s a better example of utilizing an editorial calendar:

For the current month, you’ve chosen the theme of ‘Sharing Our Business Origin Story.’

You know that on Tuesdays, you share your main piece of original content (this could be a video, a podcast, or a blog post). On Monday, you post a quote from that content and share it as a kind of teaser of what’s to come. The day after you share your original content, Wednesday, you create a post that’s promotional, tying in what you do with what you created. On Thursday, you share some behind the scenes photos of a past project, your workspace, or an inside peek of how you began your business. Friday is a great day to engage your audience by posting a poll or asking a question.

In this scenario, your editorial calendar looks like this:

Monthly Theme: Our Company’s Why & Why It Matters

Weekly Theme: Our Origin Story

  • Monday – Quotes
  • Tuesday – Original Content
  • Wednesday – Promo Day
  • Thursday – Behind the Scenes
  • Friday – Engagement

For ease of use, keep the calendar the same every week/month, switching out only the content themes.

An editorial calendar is really the foundation of any successful social media strategy. It allows business owners to know exactly what type of content to create and also provides a structure around their storytelling and calls to action so that the output is easy to understand and has a natural flow (like a story).

Plan for Engagement

Any social media marketing plan comes with a word of warning: DON’T be one of those businesses that posts content and then disappears. Scheduling social media content is a great way to save yourself time and to stay on track with your messaging, but social media is meant to be… social.

Too many businesses use a post it and forget it strategy and then go around telling any other business that will listen that social media marketing doesn’t work. The truth is… it doesn’t work for absentee business owners. Have a plan for social media engagement. Even if it’s only 15 mins a day, 3 days a week – some presence is better than none.

Your audience will quickly grasp onto the knowledge that you aren’t there for them and they will take their time and attention elsewhere, leaving your story to be unseen by the people you want to attract.

Showcase Your Brand

We encourage our clients to share their personal and professional stories on social media as often as they can. It’s important that, in your content, you are showcasing your personality, your business culture, and all of the things that make your brand unique. This helps your audience get to know you better which builds both interest and trust. No one is going to do business with you until they trust you.

When showcasing your brand and business on social, have your audience in mind. You want them to be inspired by the good you are doing in the world, but you also want them to feel motivated to strive for more so that they’ll sign up for your product or service. How can you make your audience the hero of your story?

Not everyone is a writer and storytelling doesn’t come naturally to all. However, mastering the art of sharing your story online is the most impactful way to build your brand and grow your business.

Are you looking for social media training you can participate in, right from the comfort of your home?  Join others utilizing our 40+ video training series that you can participate in, at your own pace, from your home.  We have a Private Facebook Support Group, Monthly Ask the Expert Mastermind Sessions, FREE Ebook and regular new videos to support your marketing. Learn everything from creating the editorial calendar, to creating custom branded images, to the best use of hashtags, to paid ads and reporting by joining the Social Power Program.

 

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.

#CelebrateSuccess – Share Your Success with Your Tribe

When was the last you gave yourself a pat on the back? Like most people, it was probably some time ago. For many of us, celebrating success feels like bragging, and it makes us feel uncomfortable. The truth is, there is nothing wrong with tooting your own horn once in a while. In fact, experts tell us that celebrating when things go well does a lot more than just give us a warm fuzzy feeling. It helps us build confidence, reinforces a positive attitude, and helps keep us motivated.

Aside from what celebrating our success does for us, it can do a lot for those around us. If you’re honest about it, you would probably admit that without others you never would have had the success anyway. So why not share the success with your tribe—those who got you there.

There are lots of ways you can celebrate with your audience, and social media is one of the most accessible and useful ways to do that. Here are five ideas for how you can make sure that the people who help you know how they’ve contributed to your success.

A Simple Thank You

The most straightforward way to share your success is to thank the people who got you there. That thank you can be in the form of a shout-out, a gift, promotional pricing or some other thoughtful gift.

Customer Success Stories

You can tell the story of a successful customer and how they got there. After all, their success is your success.

An Employee Profile

Your employees do a lot to help you succeed. Why not let your audience get to know them a little better by talking about how they made you successful?

Share Your Secrets

Is there something special you do that contributes to your success? If so, why not share it with others who might benefit? It may be a tool or a technique that you have mastered or a philosophy that works particularly well in your industry.

Pay It Forward

When you re-post information by a customer or another essential member of your tribe, you are helping to contribute to their success; whether you comment on something they write, retweet something they pass along, or respond to a comment, you are helping them become more influential.

No one achieves success on their own. Letting those who helped you know that you appreciate their contribution to your success will make both you and your tribe feel good, provide motivation, and bring a more sustained positive attitude. So start celebrating!

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.

#GrowYourBusiness – Providing Value to Your Social Media Audience

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.

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.


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