Why Social Media Will Make Your Business or Brand a Rockstar:
“I’m not paying 5 dollars for a cup of coffee!” This is what you typically hear before someone like my father actually tries a cup of Starbucks coffee. Which then turns into a one-Venti-a-day habit. The same thing happened with my parents and cell phones. “I don’t need that”, or “I don’t text.” Which soon give way to “how do I download this app” and “text me”. The list goes on.
We sometimes hesitate to adopt the latest gadget or trend because we think “I don’t need that”. But when it comes to social media and your business, you definitely need it. Look at it this way, if you’ve always relied on word of mouth for your business (which really is the best marketing) this is still word-of-mouth advertising only to a potentially untapped audience.
Notwithstanding the negativity and fake news, social media is here to stay. When it comes to your business or brand you need to get on board or reexamine just how to use it effectively.
A college president who’s name escapes me said, “continue to do things the way you’ve always done and you’ll be left behind.” And there is no quicker and easier way than social media to connect and more importantly, engage your audience and ideal clients.
Lets look at some words of wisdom from Seth Godin.
Successful media (let's define 'successful' as media that can make a difference, make a connection and possibly make a living) has four elements:
Too often, particularly online, people just worry about the first one. It's a race to go viral, to go low, to make a bunch of noise. The quick hit, the shortcut, the inflammation.
But attention is insufficient.
Enrollment means that your audience wants to go where you're going.
Trust earns you the benefit of the doubt.
And permission means you don't have to begin from scratch every time. You've earned some attention. The privilege of delivering anticipated, personal and relevant messages over time.
As Seth so wonderfully put it, it’s more than throwing something out there to get “likes”. You need to build something with your audience and ideal client. There is a reason why the Kardashian’s are mega-millionaire superstars, they’ve built, gained, and yes, earned their devoted following.
Think about how you want to work towards the goals of getting attention, or enrolling your audience, gaining their trust and earning their permission. No matter what social media platform you chose, this is key.
“continue to do things the way you’ve always done and you’ll be left behind.”
Who Are Your People?
Now that we know how to work towards becoming a social media guru we need to determine exactly who our audience is. Or better yet your ideal audience. This will determine which platform or platforms is best for you.
You may ask “can’t I just push the same content to all the platforms at once?” While you can do this, we are learning one key to social success is having custom content for different platforms.
You will find Instagram may work better for a younger audience while Facebook is preferred by an older demographic. What you are selling or promoting also determines which outlet is the best. Have a special event, use facebook. A snapshot, instagram, a rant, Twitter.
Not every business has time/budget/resources/patience to create customized content for multiple channels let alone one. At the very least you should push content to one. And if that is too much, hire someone who can. If you gain even one new customer it can pay for itself.
Share And Share Alike.
It’s ok to experiment. Soon you will see exactly what interests your followers. You can’t go wrong with images of people and faces. Just watch the selfies. No one wants to see 97 pictures of you by you. Even if you are your brand, give them variety. Give something others want to share. Something funny, valuable, informative, solve a problem for them, be shareable.
Consumers connect with similar likes, dislikes, beliefs and personality. What means something to you will mean something to them.
A BCG study is ample proof of this syndrome. Over 50 percent of U.S. Millennials (18 to 24 years) prefer brands that "say something about who I am, my values, and where I fit in."
No denying, everybody loves free shit. You don’t need to give away a car like Oprah. Just something of value. Try the words “free”, “coupon”, “BOGO”, etc.
Rebel With A Cause.
People love to give to charity. Know what they love even more? Sharing with their friends that they gave to charity. Make a campaign based around a cause that matters to you and others will follow.
BCG's study on Millennials found that 48 percent of them "try to use brands of companies that are active in supporting social causes." Another study by TBWA/Worldwide found 70 percent of young adults consider themselves social activists.
Not only should you share with your followers you need to engage with them. Follow them back, like and comment on some of their posts, create offers and give-aways just for your loyal fans. And most of all listen to what they say.
What Do They Want!?
Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuk best known for his work in digital marketing and social media said on the question of, what do people want out of social media? "People want the same thing that they want in life. Fame, money, attention, now we can cut out the middle man, no restrictions."
Get A Plan, Man.
Depending on how often you share, daily or weekly (at the least) you’ll need content. Instead of scrambling for anything to post, work out a schedule. Create your content in advance. There are many resources for creating engaging content. Canva and Adobe Spark provide excellent templates for easily creating great looking content. It’s ok to experiment. An offer this day, a picture that day. This enables you to see what resonates with your audience.
So be brave, be bold, be different, be positive, be engaged and be human. Paul Pierson of Carbone Smolan Agency said “people use digital tools as a substitute for human interaction.”
There is no turning back. The internet and social media are impossible to separate from our lives because they are our lives. Like anything it’s what you make of it so make it fun and the rewards will be dynamite, huge, you’ll see.
Good Design Matters,