How does a business stand out in the crowded marketplace? How does a small shop compete against the giant corporation with 20 satellite offices? Like people, businesses have personalities—we just call them brands. Consumers make purchasing decisions based on the basic economics of supply and demand, but don’t think that personality (read: branding) doesn’t play a part for businesses of all sizes.
How can you craft a personality for your business in a cluttered market? Social Media.
Some Social Media Statistics:
- FB has over 1.1 BILLION users, 48% of whom log in daily.
- The average FB user is connected to 130 friends.
- Twitter has 255 million monthly active users.
- Over 500 million tweets are sent on a daily basis.
- LinkedIn has 300 million users, and 3 million businesses have professional profiles.
There’s just no denying it anymore. Social Networking has arrived and is here to stay. People of all ages use them to post and share anything and everything, but at their heart, social networks thrive on building connections: relationships, really. Here are five ways to use Social Media to share your business’s personality and cultivate relationships with potential and current clients:
When you start a profile, focus on the content rather than building a following. There needs to be an incentive for people to connect with you. Share some great content, like timely offers, relevant articles of interest, or pictures to begin telling a story about your business.
Networking is a long term goal; having hundreds or thousands of followers is too. Don’t rush it. Start off with friends and employees, people close to the business, vendors, or even competitors.
Mix it up with the competition. Many national brands have made headline news out of a friendly back-and-forth that was timely and humorous; exchanges like this can go viral. Be the Oreo of your local community.
Find a role model. Everyone has a part of their personality that isn’t truly unique. As Picasso himself once said, “good artists copy, great artists steal.” Find some social accounts that you think are great, and follow them. Make note of how they cultivate engagement with their network.
Always consider the needs of the customer. Only your most loyal customers will network with you to engage in conversation. The potential customer is looking for something—maybe they want to know about a sale, or are wondering about your services/products, or are searching for reviews from other consumers. Always have an aim in posting something, whether it is to start a conversation on an industry-relevant topic, ask a question of your customers, or promote an offer.
This list could be endless. There are a million and more different ways to use Social Media to your advantage. It’s easy to see why the prospect of jumping in with two feet is daunting to the local business owner with limited resources. However, with no risk comes no reward. Leveraged effectively, Social Media can reach countless consumers at a miniscule cost, and showcase the personality that got your business off the ground from the start.
Matt Graul is a Digital Account Coordinator for Wicked Local Media Solutions and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Let us help you spread your Digital Word of Mouth.