There’s More to Social Than Sales
Q: Should your business be using social media to promote the products and services that it sells?
** This answer requires clarification.
As discussed in my first post, “Should Your Business be Using Social Media?”, these tools provide a great opportunity to make consumers aware of your brand and its product / service offering. However, suggestions that this is the only way it can add value to your business are incorrect, and are usually made by those narrowly and exclusively focussed on return on investment (ROI). In contrast, a successful social media strategy needs to incorporate sales activity as just one of many narratives being communicated by your brand. In this feature, I will introduce three content ideas that you may explore and adapt for your own use.
1. Personalise the professional
One advantage small businesses have over large corporations is the ability to more easily personalise their brand. This approach is particularly important for businesses that rely strongly on the support of their local community, i.e. independent retailers, service companies, etc. How do you achieve this? Tell the story behind your brand, introduce team members, share examples of how your involved in local events, etc. This helps place you at the forefront of peoples’ minds as they look to live and shop more locally.
2. Allow a peek behind the curtain
Incentivise people to follow you on social media by giving them an experience(s) that they cannot gain in-store. Share insights into your creative process, explain the process that brings your products to market (i.e. who designs them, where are they made, how are they shipped, etc), share / tease projects you may be working on, etc. For shop-owners, this can also positively affect your foot-traffic. By not constantly showing potential customers what is happening in-store, it gives them a reason to come and visit.
3. Connect and Collaborate
When creating content, look to enhance your reach by connecting other local, non-competing businesses to your posts. The linked businesses will be notified of your posts, which should inspire them to like / share / retweet / regram the content to their own community. In this way, you automatically reach a new audience that may not have heard of you before. Potential targets when creating these types of posts are local councils, tourism providers, media outlets and industry associations.
Such features demonstrate to your community that you’re willing to engage, interact and converse on topics that go beyond simple sales. Further, posts that give a personal, behind-the-scenes look at your business give followers a feeling they are more deeply connected to your brand. The natural progression is that you hopefully convert these followers into advocates, and that is when your reach and momentum really begins to grow.
Obviously, these are just three of many content options available to you. If you want to discuss others, don’t hesitate to get in touch here!