Social media for businesses, in general, is advertising meets user interface, so it tends to deliver an ad, in a quite traditional manner, just on a digital screen.
How I like to see social media is, how can your business socialise with people, who might be near or far, but via their devices, using the social media platforms as the tool to connect you. You chat to these people like they know you, because over time they do, and because they’re your target audience so they have things in common.
How can your business share, inspire, teach, and connect with their followers, on a human level, around and alongside the business’ message?
Ultimately you’re trying to grow trust, and validate your own experience, but also grow a strong bond with your followers, in both directions, creating conversation.
Kendrick Shope, says “All things being equal, friends buy from friends. All things not being equal, friends buy from friends”. When she says this, she doesn’t mean only your friends will buy, she means when people have a connection with you on a deeper level than just “getting” your brand, they’re more likely to want to buy from you, over your competitor who they don’t have any connection with.
Often this is easier to do if you know what your point of difference is. If you don’t know, or haven’t decided, you might just be doing the thing, and not fully have a message around it. Even a plumber can have a point of difference. It might be your service, it could be how easy it is to book a visit, it might be how friendly your team is. Try not to make your point of difference your price, that’s the easiest to replicate and beat, and it’s not really based on a connection.
Sometimes this isn’t as important when you don’t have much competition in the physical space, but online, you’re competing with everything, Facebook, Instagram, their email, that thing they need to Google, any notification, a text, a call, or that online store app they check every day, everything. When distraction becomes competition, building that connection just means so much more.
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Social media is about making a connection
Posting what you’ve been up to on social media is a great way to do this. Recent projects or work, team meeting fun, or trainings your team has been on. Introduce the team, and incorporate them into your content, because your team is your business. If you don’t have a team and you’re riding solo, you will need to be at the forefront of your social media, for people to make that connection with you personally. Growing connection without a human face is just harder, so peppering yourself in there will help, and it gets easier over time.
So ultimately, next time you’re planning your social media content, think instead of what you can promote, but what you can talk about, help with, or share to start a conversation instead.