Several years ago, I offered a single immutable law for using social media as part of your company’s marketing plan.
There are as many different opinions on how these tools and platforms should be used as there are ways to navigate your commute.
What’s the secret to success in social media? There is no secret.
But that doesn’t answer your question, does it?
When the question of “How do I get more followers?” comes up, we answer with one of two follow-up questions:
Benefiting Your Customer: Their Pains and Gains
One tool to consider using is a Value Proposition Canvas to find the “fit” for your tactical use of social media, and maybe even each social media platform. After all, how you use Pinterest and how you use Twitter should be quite different because the tools and the audience are different.
In using the Value Proposition Canvas, you’ll be able to find your customer’s pains, gains, and what they are trying to accomplish. A next step would be to test those assumptions by asking them (either in person or using social media or your newsletter) if those assumptions are correct. This results in you having a better answer in how to use social media (or other tool/product/service) to benefit your customer.
This exercise is an important step towards successful results. Maybe you’ve heard the Abraham Lincoln quote on chopping down a tree? Give him six hours to accomplish the task and he would invest the first four hours in sharpening his ax.
In a few conversations about the levels of SmallBizTracks, we’ve come across several comparisons and similes.
We have levels of Basic, Advanced, and Master, each having a deeper, richer development than the previous level.
One comparison was like choosing where to go out to eat, with Basic being Fast Food, Advanced being Family Restaurant style, and Master being Fine Dining.
Another was likened to the automatic car wash: Bronze, Silver, and Gold, with the Gold Wash getting all the fixins.
Perhaps my favorite was the seating on Amtrak, with each option having its own value, but also more accommodations, depending on your route and type of use:
Except for the Amtrak comparison, most of the ones that we came up with also have a Do-it-Yourself option. Much like the levels of SmallBizTracks.
Sometimes, we’re so focused on “Saving Time”, we lose sight of taking the time to “Rescue Focus”.
A well-known Zig Ziglar quote warns us: ““Lack of direction, not lack of time, is the problem. We all have twenty-four hour days.”
If you’re a small business owner, you’re a busy person. But don’t let “I wish I had more time” become a mantra. Maybe your focus needs more focus.
We all have 24 hours in a day. Rescue your Focus.
Photo on Flickr by John Harvey
Earlier this week, I shared the genesis of a small step towards a larger project for SmallBizTracks – the Doing Less Can Lead to More campaign. All of a sudden, I saw it everywhere – not my post, but articles and videos singing a similar message harmoniously. Here are a few:
Less Doing with Ari Miesel
The Art of Doing Less: How to Maximize Product Development from OpenView Ventures
Start Small by Evan Carmichael
Little Things Towards Big Goals via Kim Yuhl
Milimeters of Change from Tony Robbins
The challenge, whether it’s in a business project or a home project, isn’t always the size of the project – but the size of change, the size of detail, the size of components you’re going to attend to first. Take the big things on, head-on … a small step at a time.
As a youth, Saturdays were filled with visual candy of cartoons in the morning and movie matinees in the afternoon. In 2014, we’ll be sharing Saturday videos from TED, subscriptions from YouTube, and other videos shared via feeds.
Written by Sarah Gray
Business leaders and corporate executives have come to realize the importance of storytelling and how it can encourage a company’s success. While facts and statistics may seem like a realistic approach, you’ll find that you can incorporate personal anecdotes and stories to engage more customers.
Honesty and Truthfulness
According to brand advertising firm Brandfever, “Employees and customers are on an ever-increasing manhunt for transparency. We want to know where our food is grown. We want to know how it’s made. We want to be not only reassured through advertising, but given data and hard facts about GMOs, nutritional additives, worker’s rights, equal pay, fair trade, and any number of minute parts of the whole.” An insincere and inconsistent story will only confuse your clientele and send them in the direction of your competition.
When it comes to storytelling, you want your tale to be honest, truthful and relatable to your business. This relevance will also make your product or service seem more realistic in what you’re trying to portray to the consumer.
Practice What You Preach
Sounding scripted can give your story too much of a sales pitchman type of approach. That’s why you want to ditch the verbatim dialogue by practicing what you preach. When it comes to trying to sell your product or service to the consumer, you want your message to come across genuine and sincere. Try abandoning the cue cards and teleprompter and speak directly to the consumer from the heart.
Take a Personal Approach
A personal story related to what your company offers can tug at the heartstrings of your consumer base. If you sell prosthetic devices that can aid in a person walking, seeing or using their hands, you can personalize this approach. Showing video of an individual getting the chance to experience movement for the very first time with a prosthetic limb will allow your customers to remember your business more than citing studies and research findings. You can also humanize the storytelling further by talking about your own personal experiences in using the product or service.
The Recipe of a Good Storyteller
As with any good book, your business story should have an interesting beginning, middle and end to it. A strong opening should reel the client in with its captivating cast of characters. The middle should provide drama that correlates to the problems and discord the characters may be experiencing. When it’s time for the end, the culmination should bring everything together with the right resolution. A good story will make your clientele feel glad that they came along for the ride. It will also instill curiosity into sticking around to see what else you have in store for them.
Save Something for the Future
While a good story should be a page turner, you want your audience to come back wanting more. Saving something for the future is an excellent marketing tool when you implement little teasers through social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. Piquing their curiosity with future stories is also a great way to build the right rapport and earn their trust. Strong customer relationships will also generate word of mouth contact when your current clients speak highly about your product or service to friends, family, neighbors and co-workers.
Integrating good storytelling skills into your business brand advertising is a relatable way for your customers to stay connected. It also plants a seed for future ideas, emotions and thoughts into their brains, so you can relay the right message for your company product or service.
About the Author
Photo on Flickr by Nazareth College