The reason why many small businesses fail to find success on social media is because they fail to understand the concept of social. Many approach it as they would a traditional marketing vehicle in which a business distributes information about a product, sale or location and the customer in turn buys the product, shops the sale or visits the location.
But social media is more like a cocktail party than it is like a traditional marketing. The rules have changed and now marketing is a dialogue.
Imagine yourself going to a party and think of the people you might meet there.
- Guy sitting in the corner mumbling to himself — Nobody is going to be approaching him any time soon. He has a lot of interesting things to say, but nobody can hear him over all the other voices and he isn’t willing to engage.
- The loud, overly boisterous person — He or she may be funny or witty for a little while, but there’s no substance and the constant jabbering without listening gets annoying after awhile.
- The dull guy — He or she may be a rocket scientist, but the message is too involved. You know you should be interested, but your not.
There are so many other people you there, but which one do you want to be. Be the person everyone is always happy to see. The person who not only has interesting information about their business, but also about the community. They have great tips to share and fantastic pictures (and not just of their children or their grandchildren). But most importantly, they listen to you when you talk and are interested in what you have to say. The kind of person people want to build relationships with.
How does this translate to social media?
- Post frequently, but not too frequently. How often depends on the platform? Google, “How often should I post on …?”
- Have a variety of posts about important information your community might find useful. Don’t just post about sales and specials, post about community events, your favorite tips and tricks, even about others you do business with.
- Watch your analytics. What posts are your community interacting with? Make sure you increase those types of posts. It’s also ok to reuse popular content. Just make sure you wait long enough.
- Be active. Social media for business takes commitment. Use available tools to make managing your social media a little easier.
Social media isn’t hard. It’s like building any relationship. It takes time and energy. Put forth the effort and maybe a little advertising money and it will pay dividends.
If you need help managing your social media, contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org.