When it comes to social media marketing for small business, knowing where to start is often the hardest part. We all get busy working in the business, that working on the business and creating a top-notch social media presence can end up on the back burner.
Social media marketing in small business should be about building a community of loyal fans and sharing content that reflects their values back to them. Social media is not just about sales. No one wants to be sold to.
Knowing what to post on social media, and creating a social media presence that embraces your audience without being too salesy is a fine balance. Maintaining this balance consistently day in, day out, can be daunting and can feel like a mammoth task, this can paralyse us from doing anything at all. It’s enough to make anyone throw their hands in the air and give up. But it doesn’t need to be difficult.
So how do you create great social media content without spending tonnes of cash or hours creating and agonising over it? Here are some simple guidelines.
Its all about the story
You’re new to town and in need of a decent coffee. Where are you going to go? Somewhere that simply tells you how great their coffee is? Or somewhere that tells the story behind the carefully roasted single origin beans and the wonderful people who help bring you your daily dose of caffeine? Storytelling is an ancient art that for a while was lost in the world of “buy now”, “hot price” marketing, but it’s coming back strong. Tell a good story and you’ll be surprised by how many people look up and pay attention.
Progress over perfection
When you started a new school year as a kid, did you try to make the first page of your textbook so perfect that if you made a mistake, you would rip it out and start again (and again and again) until it was looking just as you wanted it? Would you stress over the bumps in the Duraseal and get dismayed when your ruler smudged ink? No? Maybe it was just me, but I have learned since then that that sort of perfectionism needed to to be nipped in the bud if I was to get anywhere in my professional life.
When we worry that our photography or video skills aren’t there yet, or our message isn’t quite right – we are just delaying doing actual work. We put it off for another day, then before we know it, our Facebook page is sitting idle, unloved, on it’s the way to the cyberspace graveyard.
Constantly being unsatisfied and stalling because something isn’t perfect is just another form of procrastination and does no-one any favours. Get out there and tell the world about your amazing work. Take a picture on your phone (not 100 pictures), upload it, tell the story. Trust me, everything will be fine.
Be relatable and authentic
Today, it seems that every second person out there is vying to become the next social media influencer, only sharing the most curated version of themselves. Blah. How boring! Deep down, we all know that this is not a true reflection of life, however, for whatever reason, we still have this niggly feeling that we’re not quite good enough in comparison.
If you’re a small business servicing real everyday people, be that – and show it on social media. Talk about your real struggles and triumphs as a business. Your fans will be relieved to see that you are human with real struggles and experiences. Of course, avoid sharing the most embarrassing or confidential bits, or anything that might make anyone look incompetent, but do share the relatable ups and downs. Rushed off your feet but have had an amazing evening serving a great group of people? Share it! Just freshly baked an awesome looking cake? Insta it! Made a cake that inexplicably flopped? Tell the world!
We all know deep down that no one is perfect, yet social media somehow has a way of making us forget that, Bringing your true self to the conversation is like a cold drink on a hot day and your audience will flock to it.
If you must push a product – make it interesting
People only share things that reflect who they are (or who they want the world to think they are).
No one is going to share a post of a product on their own Facebook page unless they are a raving fan. They might private message it to a friend if it’s relevant (we’ll talk about the importance of Word of Mouth Marketing in another post). But they’re not going to share it publicly.
Plenty, however, will share a post of a super cool trick or something unique and different. Find your something unique and different. It could be your barista making a great coffee and doing an awesome design on top, or it could be how perfectly organised your new line of the stock has been laid out. Whatever it is, make sure it stands out from the status quo and makes people think – ‘neat, I want to talk about that”.
Have a plan
Randomly throwing content at the wall and hoping some sticks will only lead to frustration, sub-par content and stress. Plan out your content in advance, use a social media calendar if you can and ensure you are aligning it with your overall business goals. In a future post, we will detail how to create a simple calendar that meets these goals.
Remember, these are all only guidelines, but they are good rules of thumb for any small business wanting to kick start (or amp up) their social media presence. Keep it real, keep it simple, and don’t overthink.
Contact us to discuss social media solutions for your business.