In a sense, social media has completely changed the culture in the 21st century. It allows us to connect with those on the other side of the world, people who you would never meet in “real” life. It has bred the career of “influencer”. Social media has even fueled movements. It is the next phenomenon that small businesses need to adapt to their marketing strategy. Think of it as an extension of your brand reach. That’s because social media is a great place to be honest and transparent with your audience. Here are a few tips in regard to your small business’s social media strategy.
Social Media Strategy: Getting on the Platforms Your Ideal Clients are On
Social media is a good example to show how important it is that you know your ideal client. And no, “anyone who wants to buy from you” is not your ideal client. Your business exists to solve a specific problem. That means you need to reach a specific group of people. You need to know who your ideal client is – their specific wants, needs, likes, and dislikes. You also need to know what their customer journey looks like and how you’re going to reach them. As a small business owner, you have too much to do to spend time on every single social media platform. Knowing your ideal client, and what platforms they are on, allows you to focus your efforts on the ones giving you an optimal return on investment.
When you can define your audience, you can crystalize your messaging to be as clear as possible. Remember, your job isn’t to solve your client’s problems, rather it is to help them help themselves solve their own problems. Consistent, to-the-point messaging on the right channels will help build trust and widen your reach.
It’s extremely important that you commit to the channels you decide to engage in. You need to be consistent both in branding your content but also in the frequency in which you post. We always suggest starting with an editorial calendar to help you continually create effective and relevant content. Utilize the strengths of each channel and allow them to work together to help increase the success of the over-arching strategy.
As your website acts as your online hub, all of your social profiles should be linked to and from it. And each coordinating social media platform should utilize the same voice and point of view as the website. You don’t want it to seem like a completely random person is in control of your social media efforts. Each platform should seem the same while still showing insight into company culture and authenticity.
Located in East Liberty, honeygrow is a small whole food, wellness franchise. According to their website “honeygrow is about thinking different when it comes to our approach, our style + our people. Founded by Justin Rosenberg in Philadelphia in 2012, honeygrow brings people together over the highest quality, wholesome, simple foods. As a newly converted proponent of a plant-based diet and tired of the mediocrity in both food and experiences presented by many of the older + emerging fast dining options, Justin decided to leave the cubicle world, train in a fine-dining kitchen, and pursue a life that spoke to his passion: creating awesome things through the lens of nourishing foods.”
Their audience is those wanting to make more conscious choices in regard to their holistic health. A lot of members of that segment are millennials who flock to Instagram for aesthetically pleasing feeds. Honeygrow utilizes images as a means to compel. Their bold color scheme is bound to grab a few eyes. And you can tell their food is made with care. Their feed is an accurate, yet creative representation of their mission.
Showcase Stories Rather than Promoting Yourself
Remember, people go on social media to connect, not to make a purchase. Do not give in to the temptation of littering your social media feeds with promotions for your products and services. Rather utilize it as an opportunity to truly engage with your audience. Ask them questions about their frustrations. Share educational content to help them overcome their obstacles. You can even share stories of people like them who used your products to create their own success.
When you aren’t focusing on selling to your audience, it creates a new sense of brand loyalty. It starts to bridge your clients to your business, as they feel you see them as people and not just another sale. Sincerity usually wins at the end of the day. Let that authenticity drive your social media content.
There’s a reason “user-generated content” is used by almost every big player company. User-generated content is essentially a positive review for your business, and it’s not coming from you. User-generated content is a great way to showcase your customer as the hero of their own story who just needed your guidance.
Remember, we are each the heroes in our own stories. We aren’t looking for someone to save the day, rather we are looking to save it ourselves. Do not force yourself as the hero as not many customers will be receptive to that language.
Networking with Like-Minded Business Professionals
As we said above, social media is about connections and relationships. That’s why as a business owner, it’s important to use these channels to connect with like-minded business professionals. Remember, in order for small business success, it’s important to make connections with those you aren’t in competition with, but who also share your target audience. Set aside time in your work schedule to direct messages or respond to comments on your social media platforms.
Content is Still King
In the last post, we discussed the topic of your content approach. And we mentioned it’s wise to build out your content calendar. The content within your calendar is what ends up on your social media strategy. Meaning you need to be considering questions and comments on these platforms when creating your initial strategy. Let your business’ social media profile guide some of your editorial calendars.
Remember your passion. A business’ social media profile doesn’t have to be boring or feel robotic and automated. Take time to reflect on your passion and create content accordingly. The more emotion content holds, the more it will connect with your audience. Not to forget to mention, this more emotional content also sees more engagement.
Embracing Social Media
The first step to building your social media presence is making sure you’re present on the major networks where your customers are. Claim your profiles and make sure your branding is consistent for a good user experience. Even if you don’t plan to be active on social media, these profiles still must be claimed and established, because they’re going to show up in searches related to your business. Once you’ve got the pages established, claimed, and branded, you can begin thinking about putting out some basic content. Don’t forget, social media is a great place to show your brand’s personality and core values through posts regarding brand culture.