What do I say? How do I respond? What is it and why is it important?

Yes, in my experience in social media there are certain questions I get asked over and over again. Each business is different, has a unique target market and message. Just as each business in the same industry is different, so must be our marketing campaigns. The platforms you are active in most depend on your ideal client. And, yes, I do want to help as many people as I can, BUT….I’m not giving away costly information for free. Lesson learned. As any professional in social media will tell you, the questions are constant and the line gets blurry when it comes to sharing information and tips.

So, with that said, there are some strategies that remain the same. A same ‘formula’ to using social media for business. Particularly small, owner-operated businesses who deal directly with the consumer. I plan on writing several blogs in the future that focus on a number of industries like health and wellness, beauty, real estate, business consulting, etc. But for now, I’ve listed some ideas to think about when marketing your business through social media.

Uniformity

No, you don’t have to be on every platform there is out there, just typing that sounds exhausting. But, the ones you are on who appeal to your target market must display the same feel, the same design and same overall message. No, this doesn’t mean copy and pasting posts on different platforms. Each platform has it’s own language. By making everything universal, it gives the consumer the reassurance that they are communicating with the same company. This goes for listing sites as well. Make sure if you are listed that your contact information is correct. I’m referring to sites like merchant circle, yelp, etc. Depending on the region, you may have different business listing sites consumers use.

Emotional Connection

No, I’m not going to get all mushy on you. But, there should be a reason people connect with your business online. Whether it be you share a funny joke, helpful tips or news updates, consumers want to hear what you have to say once they follow you. To get them to take action, you must connect with them emotionally. You can do this by humanizing your brand. Tell your story. Why did you get into this business? Who makes up your team? Why do you do what you do? As business owners, we all have different stories. And people love a good story. This doesn’t mean going into detail of why you are the best. Steer clear of ‘salesy’ posts….it’s not sales media, it’s SOCIAL media.

Messaging

When I refer to messaging, I’m talking about the posts, the links, the graphics, the images you send out to the world on behalf of your business. This also includes direct messages and customer service, because there are entire generations who would rather send you a message on Facebook than call you. Just as each generation is different, so are target markets. So when thinking of posts to create or share you must keep your ideal client in mind. What types of information would THEY find interesting, helpful, funny or educational? This can also be links to articles of interest. If you are lucky enough to have a writer on staff, you can create blogs on your website and direct traffic from social media. That is the best case scenario, you want the consumer to move from social media back to you instead of an external site. Now, this isn’t always the case, we can’t all have a writer on staff. But you can use your website for material. Entire campaigns can be created using the content already on your site. Ideas like a series of posts going through and answering questions you get asked the most, a series of ‘did you know’ facts about your business, etc.

So, look for more to come on specific examples of content ideas and messaging for specific industries. But overall, keep it consistent, keep it fun and light, and tell your story. We all want to hear what you have to say. Each one of us has an experience, has had an obstacle to overcome and a story to tell. You can, in turn, help others by telling your story.