Your Social Media…
Focus on how you feel when you hear that word.
Dollars to doughnuts that pair of words cause some type of emotional response. Whether it is a sense of dread or urgency or maybe you get a smile on your face. Social media is one every small and medium sized business’s mind. No matter where you are from Silicon Valley or here in Western Oklahoma, small businesses have an opinion about whether or not they need social media. There is thought about why, or why not social media is good for their particular industry. Some business owners have tried it and were left either frustrated or unimpressed with their results. Ask anyone who is a member of your local Chamber of Commerce “Who do you not have social media?” You will hear a full spectrum of reasons. From not having the time to, nobody wants to see what we are having for lunch that day.
Social media is a lot of descriptors from largest time suck around, to most amazing community building tool since the fire pit. Yet is not all about what someone had for supper or fluffy kittens, or dogs failing at being dogs. Social Media is more of who you and your company is about. Social Media is the platform for your business culture to shine. To tell your story and allow your potential customers and fans to get a peek at the behind the scenes. Often people who see that a company has a great culture and synergy about them, are drawn to that company, and may not even be able to explain way.
So before you shun social media and turn your back on the opportunity to help people understand why you get up in the morning. Why not look at a few of the benefits of social media. And first off let talk about food pictures
Does your company serve your employees food from time to time? Is it a fun time or a very solemn event? Now, I don’t know anything about your company’s culture, yet I am pretty sure there are a more than a couple of smiles going on when lunch is on the boss. Often, from my experience, there is a lot of fellowship and smiles going on. So, why not share what you are having for dinner? Let the outside world know that you know how to relax that tie and show everyone that you are glad you have these employees. Even if that employee is Shane. Spread the fun around, have a good time share why you started the company in the first place. Be human, for Christ’s sake. Your customers will like to feel that they are a part of that event. Your fans want to celebrate with you.
1) Make your brand more Personal
Your company has a personality. I am sure you are aware of it. Then again, you may think that the culture is one and it is something different. Again, I don’t know. But if for whatever reason you are wanting to change your company’s culture then be mindful of your culture. What about it needs to be changed? You can use social media to show the positive parts of your business’ culture. With those good points you can then show your team where you are wanting to go with the attitude.
Social media is also a way to give inside baseball views to your company. You can show what work is not the regular grind. Show how you keep inspiration flowing. Anybody can be a boring working stiff but it is your special signature sauce that makes your company inspiring to other people. Why does your customer or even potential customer want to buy from you? Give them a reason, and out of all the reasons, why not have because your company is dependable. While being refreshing at the same time.
2) Allows your customers to connect with you.
Yes you have a telephone, you have email. But most of your customers are going to be using that phone for something other than, well, a phone. They are going to be texting and Tweeting, sharing on Facebook and posting on Instagram. All of these channels are used and allow the people who matter to your company to share successes that your product brought to their task. Your customer wants to the opportunity to pat you on the proverbial back and say, “Thanks!” But also allow for the times when your customer is having a problem, and only your company can fix it. If they have a grief, again help them out.
[bctt tweet=”Your customer wants to the opportunity to pat you on the proverbial back and say, “Thanks!””]
3) Allows your company to be the hero
Now I am a seeder. I know it sounds bad but basically I like sunflower seeds. I am forever spitting out shells. And I found a brand that I have thoroughly enjoyed called BIGS Sunflower Seeds. This company has some of the best flavors around. Hidden Valley Ranch, Vlasic Dill Pickle, The hard to find Old Bay Seasoning, Franks Red Hot Sauce, and Bacon flavored Sunflower seeds. My favorite is the Old Bay but the bacon is a very close second and most stores these days have the Bacon flavored seeds. Well, my story happens when I bought a bag of Sizzling Bacon flavored seeds. Ripped open the bag. Dumped a handful of those tasty seeds in my gob and it then hit me. These didn’t taste right. They were hot in fact they were a batch that had gotten mislabeled and were actually Franks Hot sauce instead of my beloved bacon.
Now after my initial Holy Crud that was unexpected! Response died off I shot a tweet to BIGS to see if they had a known issue of their seeds getting mixed up. Now BIGS could have reacted in two ways they could have ignored me, or they could help. They chose the latter. They reached out and asked what the problem was and offered a sincere apology and then to show that they asked for my address and then sent me not one bag but 4 bags of BIGS Bacon flavored sunflower seeds with some coupons and other cool bits. With doing so they have a dedicated customer. If I go into a store that doesn’t have my seeds then I don’t settle for less. I am a BIGS or nothing fan.
So use your social media channels to be the hero. Your customers will love you and your company even more.
4) Faster means of getting the word out.
Now this is what most business use social media for and it works as a means of broadcasting. But I do want to also say it is not just a broadcasting platform or your good deeds. Broadcast value. Many companies fear giving things out because then their belief is people won’t buy. Far from the truth. if you give people something valuable they will want to repay it. And often by purchasing something from you.
5) You control your narrative
There are two paths you can choose. You can let someone talk about your company and generate whatever view they want or you can control the story and with transparency share it. Take Taylor Swift, some paparazzi had taken some pictures of her in a bikini and were shopping around for a price. So what did the Taylor Swift team do? They took the story and controlled the narrative by releasing their own pictures. It took the wind out of the photographer’s sails and it was nowhere near the scandal it would have been if Taylor had tried to suppress the pictures.
Social media is more than just food pictures and kitten videos. In fact if that is all you are seeing in a feed that company is not using social media properly. Yes they are getting engagement but they are not providing any value. Help your fans and customers our and they will cross deserts for you.
Are you trying to come up with a good reason to implement social media into your small business? What problems do you see in using social media? Share your thoughts and concerns below in the comments.
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