It’s no longer viable for businesses to ignore social media as a reputable online marketing channel.
If you sell a product or service, even if you don’t use the internet to do so, you need to have an online presence to really connect with your audience.
And at a minimum, you’ll probably need about three accounts: Google My Business, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
If you want to be seen online (think product imagery and stories through Instagram and Pinterest) and heard online (think Facebook, LinkedIn, and reviews and ratings through Google My Business) then you will need to spend time building your brand on these social channels.
When you leverage the power of social media well, you can achieve more in a relatively short amount of time what would traditionally have taken much longer; for example, if you relied solely on traditional word of mouth, print or tv advertising, or a Yellow Pages listing.
Contrary to traditional marketing, social media is about connecting and engaging. Like its name states, it’s “social”. It’s about letting people get to know your brand. It is about showing them who you are and inviting them to build a connection with your brand.
Social media is not about selling products, but of course, that’s a nice bonus!
So let’s learn how to make social media work for you!
The best way to make social media work for your business is to inject yourself into the social media presence
Customers find it increasingly difficult to trust in faceless brands or bigger corporations, but they will still trust in people.
Studies show that people are more likely to respond to sales pages with a human face than those without.
Using yourself, or your team, as the touchstone of your brand makes it easier for people to trust you and quicker for them to become familiar with your business.
By leveraging off the free and unique selling point social media has to offer – a connection to you! – you are creating a platform where buyers are more likely to buy, as they grow to know you, like, you and trust you.
When SEO isn’t enough
People who have never heard of your business before can search for you through search engines, by using keywords and search terms that answer their questions.
If you sell yellow umbrellas, then targeting the search terms ‘yellow umbrellas’ could be a fantastic place to start.
But your largest competitor in the industry, and the ten competitors under them, will have already targeted these keywords, and there is a real chance that they already ‘own’ them.
When a potential customer searches for ‘yellow umbrellas’ you not only appear around the 17th page of search results, you have nothing about you that shows to them that you are better to buy from than anybody else.
This is where social media can play a critical part in nurturing a customer to the sale.
Stand out from the crowd by using your face
It is becoming more and more obvious in research what stands out in the over-crowded, ‘noisy’ social media feeds: images and videos. It is especially true that faces stand out to people more than text alone. In fact, we process images over 60,000 times faster than text – how is that for power?
Putting your face front and centre of your social media presence not only makes your brand more interesting, but it also makes it more memorable and more relatable.
This familiarity and relatability build trust in your brand faster than if you kept yourself behind the scenes. Social media as a marketing channel is the perfect platform to share your face and voice through personal stories to build genuine connections and increase your conversions.
Through Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn, you can be your own brand face essentially for free. And your face, your story, your reason for starting the business, your passion for what you create – these are the things that will attract customers to you.
In this way, you have more pulling power than bigger brands and corporations who may not have a face to their brand. How’s that for a huge benefit in your favour?
Sharing your ‘why’ gives you the upper hand
Social media is how you share the story of your business and what drives your brand. This isn’t just what you do, it’s why you do it.
Sharing your ‘Why’ creates a more authentic experience of your brand for your customers and makes you more approachable.
By using your ‘Why’ to tell stories and explain what your business stands for, your motivations and underlying values, and why you are here, connects with customers. This is what convinces potential customers to buy from you over your competitor. It also fosters customer loyalty.
Let’s put the YOU in unique
Your social media presence allows you to create a whole vibrant picture and complex sensory experience of your brand.
Your social media presence is how you show potential customers that your brand is unique and that you are the right unique match for the uniqueness that is in them.
Start by telling your story about the problem you faced and how you solved it – and then how this became your business.
Show your personal and probably excellent insight into solving problems in your specific niche.
Show how you create/d your products or programs.
Show the good and the bad.
Show your journey.
This is what social media is all about: sharing and connecting, with a dash of documenting.
(Notice there is no “selling” in that list!)
Social media is the human in your business connecting with the humans in your audience
As well as showing how unique your brand is, your social media presence is the best way to showcase the human (or humans) behind your business name to build connections with people through social media.
Despite the fact that we are all behind computer screens, people on social media are looking for real, genuine human connections on the platform.
Just as no one sits at home watching infomercials ALL DAY LONG, no-one wants to open their social feed just to read a stream of promotional posts!
The human in them is who engages with your brand and who decides to buy your product. It is the human behind the business that they will start to trust and build a relationship with.
Your social content, therefore, needs to connect with their desires, aspirations, and motivations, to trigger emotions, stick in memories, and become an authority figure.
Sharing this kind of content builds the customers ‘know, like, trust and recommend’ factors which all work to your advantage.
Buyers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that they trust
You can start to build trust in your brand (no matter how new you are) by:
- Including reviews and testimonials on your social media profile
- Mention bigger name clients, stockists, or suppliers that you work with
- Mention causes and charities that you support
- Showing how your brand fits in with its community, the environment, and society as a whole
- Talk about how you are going to be the change you want to see in the world
- Asking your customers to comment about your brand or post user-generated content of them interacting with your product
- Communicating directly with people who comment about your business, whether their feedback is good or bad
- Taking every opportunity to show your customers how your fears, hopes, and dreams align with theirs.
If we pare it right back down to the core, you’re going to want to show yourself, share your journey, speak authentically, and be consistent.
How to inject more YOU into social media
First of all, you need to get over any objections you have to putting YOU all over your business social media pages.
It doesn’t come naturally or comfortably to everyone. You might feel that you will lose privacy and not really be comfortable being in the spotlight.
If it helps, the lifespan of your post visibility is anywhere from 15 minutes to maybe 7 days if you’re lucky. And if you post something you don’t feel great about, you can always delete it!
You don’t have to share EVERYTHING, EVERY DAY – unless of course, you are creating your own reality TV show. But consider that people love to support smaller, local, and newer businesses, especially those that have people and families, just like them, behind the brand.
Ideas for unique and personal social media posts
Looking for more ideas and inspiration?
Around 80% of what you post on social media should be content that provides value to your followers, while no more than 20% should be salesy in nature.
Give your followers a valuable and interesting mix of social media content, including these sales-type posts:
- Instructional or educational items
- Asking questions that get people talking
- Items that make them laugh
- Items that evoke a strong feeling or opinion
- Items that spark their curiosity
- Polls and surveys
- Tools and downloadables
- Imagery and videos of your product creation, display, or use
- Offers, discounts, and competitions
And personal posts such as:
- Candid videos of what happens behind the scenes at your work
- Posts with photos of you out connecting with customers, suppliers, or stockists
- Shots of your downtime, at home, or out and about. You can do this without including too much detail or losing your privacy, but still in a way that people relate to (this works great for location-specific businesses)
- Photos or video of a customer opening your product or talking about your service
- Shots from your point of view of activities that customers can connect to, such as walking the dog (pets make for excellent social media fodder!), eating out, or sightseeing in your area
- Interview members of your team for fun snapshots of the business
- Show images of your brand at work, even if you think they might be mundane. Shots of all of your orders packed and ready to go, or you choosing between materials for a new product not only look great – they show insight into the business and can be a good start off point for conversation.
- Include shots of books you are reading, new products you enjoy at home, or links to the songs that are high on your playlist this week
- Showcase inspirational quotes or funny memes that connect with you, as these are very likely to engage your audience also
- Links to blogs and articles that you found interesting, and that you think your customer will enjoy too
- Throwbacks to pictures from years ago that spark a sense of nostalgia and familiarity in your audience.
Need help with social media?
Injecting more you into your social media presence not only helps you to be unique, but it also helps you to build trusted relationships with your audience faster than any other marketing strategy.
If you are sick of fading into the background of social media, it may be your time to find the courage to be seen.
If you need more tips on how to create a unique brand experience and a social marketing strategy that works for your business, book a Strategy Session with me.
What’s your best performing social media post this month?
Share a link in the comments below so we can check it out and connect with you on social media!