Category: Author: Danielle Azar
Managing your social media presence as a marketer can be a tricky business. As recent studies have shown, you are essentially in a space where your presence is unwanted. “Hard-selling” products or serviced through social media turns off your clientele as does posting content without any value.
Big businesses have it pretty easy. With their enormous marketing budgets they can hire market research geniuses, content creation mavericks, and offer fans irresistible prizes, offers, and incentives to get them to click, buy, or do whatever they ask of them. Unfortunately, for most small business owners, that kind of marketing investment isn’t in the cards.
However, as a small business, you have a couple things going for you that big businesses do not. For one, you get the chance to meet your customers face to face and get to know them on a semi personal level. There really is no substitute for being able to meet your clients in person. Another perk is that you’re seen as part of your customers’ local community, which is something they often go out of their way to support. The most effective way to take advantage of these perks is to use your social media as a community building tool. Creating your own online community allows you to promote your business to your advantage in a way that doesn’t feel like advertising and will keep your fans coming back for more.
It’s all about the approach
So how can a small, locally owned business create an effective social media marketing plan? It’s all about the approach. First of all, remember why social media was created. Believe it or not, it wasn’t built to be an advertising tool! It was created so people could share personal experiences and information. Think of your personal Facebook page and the kinds of things you share (or used to share) there. Your small business social media page should be modeled after a personal one, but now your business is that person. Confused? Here are some guidelines that will help you. Let’s use a dental office as our example.
Look in the mirror
Who is the face of your business? It’s okay to have more than one. People find business owners interesting because they’ve accomplished something great: running their own business! Whoever the face of your business is, share their stories. How did their business come about? What inspires them. Celebrate their achievements, hobbies, and successes. Even share the little things like your favorite quotes or even your exercise routine.
Look to your employees
If we’re treating our business page like a personal page, your employees are your family. Luckily, your employees are a virtual goldmine of share-able content. Every one in your office has a birthday, wedding, babies, along with their own personal achievements and milestones. Invite your fans to celebrate and congratulate them along with you.
Look at your office
Treat your office like your home. Did you decorate your office for the holidays? Show off your hard work and the process of getting up those decorations. Did you get new furniture or a new fish for your fish tank? Share those moments as well. The same goes for new dental technologies as well.
Look to your fans
In the world we’re creating, your fans are your friends. If you’re a dentist, you most likely talk to your patients about what’s going on in their lives. Some of your fans have incredible stories to share. Promoting your fans stories, achievements, and milestones on your page is a great way to gain new followers and increase engagement. When you feature a fan’s story on your page, be sure to tag them. Doing so will alert the featured fan that you’re promoting them along with all their friends and followers, who will in turn visit your page to comment and possibly like your page as well. It’s a win-win!
Look to your neighbors
By neighbors, I mean other small businesses in your area. Is there a certain eatery or shop in your town that you or your employees frequent? Promote their business on your Facebook page (tag their Facebook page too of course). Doing so helps create a sense of community and is a good deed at the same time. The business you promote will most likely be thrilled that you mentioned them and return the favor, exposing your business to their fans as well.
This community building approach will not only provide you with an abundance of great social content, it will make you more trustworthy and approachable in the eyes of your fans. All you need is a camera phone and some people skills and you’re good to go.
Do you have a different approach you like to take with your social media? Leave a comment below with your best practices on how you engage your fans with meaningful content!