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.

 

#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.

#FreshContent – The Value of Storytelling

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.


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