Have you ever wondered, am I even doing this whole social media thing right? Of course you have, because social media is the ever-changing monster under the bed... we were all afraid of it at one point or another in our lives. But the secret is in befriending it; understanding it enough to make it your new BFF. But how can we even begin to try to understand it when the pros up at headquarters are constantly changing the algorithm on us? We stay consistent with what we DO know. And what is that exactly?
Acting in truth goes a long way... truth in who you are, what you represent, and how you operate your business. Anytime you can share some truth with your followers, clients, and patrons, do it! Connecting with your "fan base" makes you memorable because you are relatable. It's proof that you are a real person with a real family, with real hobbies and interests, and a real life. As small business owners, our ability to have genuine relationships and share similarities with others in our community is what makes us stand apart from corporate America. We aren't cold and impersonal. We are a familiar face that people can tie a story to. And that story is our legacy.
How many times have you been to a large company’s website and seen more than one color theme? Or different logos? What about fonts? Are they all over the map, or is there an obvious design to these things? More than likely you would say you recognize the smooth consistency of a singular theme - that’s not to say there isn’t more than a monochrome color scheme or a single font type used but there are never more than three (font types that is).
Now, what if you head over to that same large company’s social media sites, do their images look similar to those on their website? Same color scheme and overall tone? You betcha! And all of this for better brand recognition.
The same goes for written content in the format of tone. If you were to read the web copy, blogs, and solicitations from that same company you would probably hear one singular voice speaking to you characterizing the speech as if it were alive and breathing the same oxygen.
As small business owners, it’s even more important that we follow suit of the major majors because we rely even heavier on brand recognition but there’s a twist!!! We ARE the brand, walking around the supermarket, playing at the park, strolling down Mainstreet. Our face, our voice, and our style are all key identifiers for our business (whether we like it or not). So that means you too need to be a constant in the community in your presence, participation, and collaboration, and showcase your involvement by snapping photos and posting about them! It’s not narcissistic, it’s organic advertisement.
Building a network of other small business owners in your community on social media is an extremely powerful tool! But how do you start such a thing? By lifting others around you up!
Posting celebratory captions and photos for other locals recognizing anniversaries, ribbon cuttings, or even hosting events is a natural way to say “ I have your back and support you! Wanna have mine?” in cyberspace language. By making these connections you are bound for some reciprocal publicity here and there AND you look like the hero you really are to your “fan base” by lifting others up. You at your core are a fabulous person, so that means your brand stands for fabulous things, and what better way to highlight all of that fabulousness than by moving the gratitude spotlight around the crowd?
Stay tuned for the 3-2-1 rule when it comes to operation uplift for social content in a future blog post to come.
One of the biggest areas for improvement that I see amongst small business owners on social media is the engagement portion. What the heck do I mean by that? That sounds insulting, right? No, the insulting part is when we post something as entrepreneurs asking for followers to share, DM, comment, etc. and we don’t respond or follow up with them.
I know, we don't usually have a whole marketing team fielding those interactions 24/7 for us like some of the economical giants but responding within 24 hours seems doable and has become the expectation of your followers. If you can’t commit to actually following through with an engagement ask….don’t post them in the first place. Your silence works against you making you appear too busy, uncaring, or like someone who is holding a grudge. The truth is that we either didn’t see it or have enough time to respond but that’s not where most minds go first; as humans, we tend to assume the worst whenever possible.
If you need help managing your social feeds, schedule an hour out of every day just to respond and engage with new potential connections or hire someone else to do it for you. Not only are there marketing firms and freelancers like myself that manage ALL of your social content, but there are these powerful folks called virtual assistants that would be more than happy to do the job for you among other tasks!