Social Media – it’s NOT all about you
It’s tempting to use social media as if it’s a blunt instrument that you beat your customers about the head and neck with in an attempt to get their attention. Sure, you CAN do that, but if you want to continue to be welcome in their streams, you’re going to have to do better than that. Remember, it’s social media. Community, back and forth, conversations. If you’ve cleared the hurdle of getting them to allow you into their stream in the first place, you’ll need to make most of it about them, not you, to keep them.
Cool, so what does that mean?
First, know your customer. If you have a business, you should have that down already. Now, what do they need? Information. Entertainment. To feel wanted, needed, appreciated. Okay, now you’ve got something to work with.
Here are some ideas for the types of content to look for with specific examples that I’ve shared with our bakery account.
Do you have a brick and mortar location? What’s going on in your neighborhood? Festivals, street fairs, races that are closing roads, art openings, theater, comedy, etc. And sprinkled in there, you could include some things that are about you: in store events, new items in store, menu specials, etc.
You know your customers, so you have an idea what they might find interesting. Facts, recipes, and how to’s all make good informational posts.
No, entertainment doesn’t mean fill your feeds with cat videos. But do sprinkle in occasional posts that are humorous or cute and that your customer would enjoy.
What’s on their mind
Ask them questions. Let them have actual input on your business.
Show the love
Just tell them they’re awesome every once in a while and that you appreciate them. If you want, you can even give them some sort of coupon or discount just for taking the time to pay attention to your posts.
Finding content to post
Okay cool, that’s nice and all, but how do you actually get all of this information to post?
1) Follow your neighbors’ social media accounts. Neighborhood associations, community theater, community groups, local parks etc. Many larger annual events have their own accounts; follow them. They will post about neighborhood events so you can either post them to your accounts or retweet/share them.
2) Team followback. When people or organizations follow you, follow them back, when it makes sense. I look at accounts before I follow them to be sure they aren’t spambots. Here are some helpful hints on spotting spambots. This is one way to find out about things that might not have a huge presence online, but could be of interest to your customers. Then you can pick up on them when you’re scanning your timelines for inspiration.
3) You should already have a Google Alert set for your business name. You can also set a Google Alert for some combination of keywords that make sense for your business. For example, we have a vegan bakery, so I have an alert set for “vegan or vegetarian.” It gives me a handful of stories a day emailed to me that may be interesting to our customers.
Hope this helped tickle your brain and give you some ideas for posting to social media.
What is your biggest challenge in trying to maintain your social media accounts? Leave a comment and I’d be happy to try and help.