If you’re like most small businesses owners, you either have or are considering a social media presence to increase customer engagement and boost sales. But if you’re new to the social media landscape, you may be unsure about which path to take. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and Instagram are all viable tools. But integrating them into a cohesive social media strategy can be challenging, to say the least.
There are many different ways to approach social media, and none of them are inherently right or wrong. That’s why the best strategy for any company starts with knowing who you — and your customers — are.
Identify Who You Are
Before you start mapping out your social media strategy, give some thought to what values and ideas your company represents. Ask yourself, “Why would a customer choose me over a competitor? What unique value do I offer my customers that they can’t find anywhere else?”
If you’re not sure about the answers, ask your best customers to tell you why they keep coming back to you. You may be surprised at what they have to say.
Once you’ve got some ideas, use them to write a statement that describes your company’s core values and goals. Then make this statement your social media “platform” — the basis of every post, image, and tweet.
Need an example? Here’s a great one from Ben and Jerry’s ice cream:
- Our product mission drives us to make fantastic ice cream –for its own sake.
- Our economic mission asks us to manage out company for sustainable financial growth
- Our social mission compels us to use our company in innovative ways to make the world a better place.
Know Your Customers
After you’ve developed a clear idea of your company’s mission and values, it should be relatively easy to hone in on who your customers are. Using Ben and Jerry’s as an example, you could define their customers as people who:
- love ice cream
- believe in shared and sustainable economic growth
- are committed to the greater good
Next, create a customer “persona,” — a profile of the kind of person you want your marketing strategy to reach. Are you, for example, marketing healthy organic produce to 30-something moms of young children between the ages of 2 and 6? That’s a good start. But a more detailed persona will make it easier to connect. Ask yourself, “Where does this customer live?” “What are her attitudes about life?” “What kind of friends does she have?” “How much disposable income does she have to spend?” These fictional insights will help you create exactly the kind of content your ideal customer will want to see.
Keep It Real
One of the biggest mistakes companies make when developing a social media strategy is trying to promote their product rather than telling a story about who they are. Your customers might come to your website or Facebook page to learn about your products, but they’ll come back because you touch them in a personal way.
How can you accomplish this? There are probably several thousand ways. Share personal anecdotes and company news. Share stories about ideas you’re passionate about that relate to your business in some way. Hold a fundraiser for your favorite charity and post photos of the event on Facebook and Instagram. Share an inspiring story and what it means to you. Offer free insights and advice.
Connect with your customers on an emotional level and they will want to come back for more.
At The Carmoon Group, we work with small businesses to develop strategies for success. We specialize in risk management, but our expertise extends to marketing, financial strategies and more. Give us a call today to talk about your needs. Or contact us online and we’ll get back to you right away.