Small business owners struggle with figuring out why they should use social media and how they can share content. In this presentation that I gave to small business owners, I gave examples of how to share on social media to build your brand and communicate with your customers and prospects.
Using examples from brands I love on social media, such as Oreo, Post Planner, and General Electric, I wanted to inspire people to look for inspiration from social media, not to copy, but to see what they are doing and how they can do something similar. You always have the option of sharing someone else's content and giving them credit for this. Being generous is great and it is less content that you have to create from scratch.
Here are some ways that you can connect with customers on social media:
1. Share your story
General Electric is an established brand with a great history. They post current content and posts like this one that give great social proof to their company.
2. Gather email leads
Use the links and widgets available to gather email leads. If you don't ask, you won't build your email list. This example is from a Facebook page with an email signup box from MailChimp.
3. Top of mind awarenessKeeping active on your social media accounts keeps your brand alive in people's streams. Click To Tweet
Pinterest created this adorable Valentine themed board and shared it via email and social media to give their follower more great things to pin and visit their website.
Can you create some tools or shareables that your customers would enjoy and provide value to their social media if they shared it?
4. Show your brand's personality
Oreo never fails to impress me with their charming and funny social media posts.
— Oreo Cookie (@Oreo) February 11, 2015
5. Ask questions
Gary Vaynerchuk started a brilliant video series called #AskGaryVee. You ask questions, he answers via video. Gary is connecting with his community, finding out what people are interested in, getting amazing user-generated content, and building buzz for his YouTube series. Did I say brilliant? Yes.
6. Become more relevant
Mia Voss is a gem that I found on Google+. She's a connector and is using her networking skills to carve out a digital niche for herself. She shines on Google+ Hangouts and puts the spotlights on her guests.
7. Meet potential clients
Post Planner is hoping to meet potential clients on Pinterest by creating valuable resource boards for their current and future fans. It's a great way to show people what you know and what you're offering.
8. Create partnerships
Donna Moritz of Socially Sorted created a fantastic round-up post and asked for her colleagues to share an idea that she used to create a valuable resource post called 36 Visual Content Creation Tools the Pros Can’t Live Without
9. Connect with your community
I've started a weekly Thanks a Latte Facebook Q&A to connect with my Facebook community. It's great to hear what people are interested in, stuck on, or want to learn. Since people know I'll be live, they can get an answer on the spot or they can come back and read through other people's questions and comments. There are many people who are too shy to ask questions and you never know they are there – this can help these people jump into a conversation or just learn at their own pace in a manner that's comfortable for them.
10. Build expertise
In the example I used for Gary's #AskGaryVee series, he's building his expertise by sharing his responses to questions and I'm doing the same with my Q&A's. Is there a unique way that you can help your community, clients, and potential clients by sharing your expertise on a blog, podcast, or YouTube channel?
Create something that's memorable and fun!
One important note is that social media marketing is not for direct selling. You can work on the occasion sales item but social media is a conversation not a sales pitch platform. You can use social media to gather email addresses and then in your newsletter and updates, you will be able to talk more about sales, services, and products.Social media marketing works but only if you do! Click To Tweet