Welcome to the second in a new series for Small Businesses, to help you with your Online Marketing! If you would like to find out more, see our real hands-on advice from our Online Marketing book for small businesses! In this week’s post, and video, Bridget Willard and I, are going to talk about the top three things small businesses, or anyone really, need to consider when using Social Media.
Last week, because this is a weekly series, last week we talked about the three most important things a small business needs to have on their website. And today, we’re going to focus on, what makes you tick Bridget, social media. So I am a small business – give me three things that are important for me as a small business to know about social media. What three things can I do in social media that will help me succeed.
Bridget: That’s a great question. Here’s the thing, small businesses get talked to all the time by marketing agencies and look at something they think they should do. And then all of a sudden, they have analysis paralysis, and they’re doing nothing.
#1 Show Up
So the first thing you need to do is have the platforms go and claim your names. The thing you need to do, number one is consistently show up. So for many people, I don’t get leads because I don’t get leads from social media. That’s why I don’t use it. But also you don’t get leads from social media because you don’t use it.
Especially now we’re not going to chamber of commerce meetings. We’re not having those side conversations. We’re not going to be at any of those other networking meetings, we’re not chit-chatting with people as we’re waiting in line at the grocery store or at the pub, it’s not happening. I used to give away my cards at the pub, my business cards. So, when you consistently show up, all of a sudden people ask you, what is it that you do again? And the way that you can always show up is on social media.
#2 Be Polite
So number one, consistently show up. Number two be polite. Weirdly, I have to say be polite, but pretty much the entire topic of keys to being social. My social media book is about behaviour. It was called keys to being social because the media may or may not change the venue. That’s all it is. So your behaviour matters. For example, if you post something on Facebook as a small business and people respond to it, what do you think you should do?
Warren: Send them a coupon?
Bridget: Well, you could, but it’s easier to like their comment and replying to it. So it’s just like you say, being polite and getting into a conversation with them. Yes. It’s the conversations that you have on social media that matter. Everybody obsesses about metrics and the metric that matters are replies.
#3 Be Outgoing
So consistently show up, be polite. And then number three, be outgoing. When you are in a party or at a networking thing, or you have to go to a dinner thing with your client, you’re the one you ask questions you’re outgoing, right? You’re not just sitting there waiting for somebody to say, Hey, Bridget, here’s some money do a thing for me. You have some conversations you ask about their kids. You have to do that outreach. So what that looks like on social media is you have to be the one replying to other people’s posts on other people’s accounts.
If you’re on Facebook, for example, as your page or as yourself, you should find things that other people post and reply to them that works for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and it’s all about being seen. And in those side conversations that happen, this is especially important on LinkedIn – your brand is elevated. People start tagging you. Hey, Bridget, Willard, I saw this. It made me think of you. That happened to me four times last week. I comment on their things. So be consistent, be polite and be outgoing.
Warren: Sounds kind of like dating, or how you would handle yourself at a trade show or congress. And we don’t have those anymore, or at the moment we don’t have them. So, if I was a small business owner and I said, okay, now I’ve got to use social media. How do I do it then?
How do you handle yourself at a trade show? How do you help? How do you handle yourself at a chamber of commerce meeting? You show up, you’re polite, and you ask questions. Social media is just another platform, but you’re still yourself. You’re still doing sensible business activities.
Bridget: Okay. You can be yourself to a degree, and you need to be on your best behaviour. Like you’re at Grandma’s Sunday dinner. Yes. Okay. So that’s, don’t be yourself. If yourself is a jerk, That’s true. But you wouldn’t be yourself if you were a jerk at a trade show either. Hopefully.
Small talk is so important. So don’t be afraid of posting. Everybody’s talking about their lives. Their grandma died, their dog died, they got a new job. Their baby was born. They just got a promotion. What would you say if that person said that to your face, do that and start there and you’re going to have a successful time online?
Warren: Okay. So it’s small talk, and I think that’s always really important, especially with small businesses, you know the adage, start small to finish big. I think we’ve all heard that as well. I think probably, as we’re all locked down at the moment, something as accessible as social media, that doesn’t cost us anything, where we have access to people, we don’t need to travel, and we can take the opportunity to get to know people.
As you say, ask people questions, and if we ask customers questions, we’re going to know why they’re there, and then we can tell them about how we can help you all meet and make your life better? That sounds good. Good plan!
Bridget: Not only that, and I know we’re at the end of the episode, but this is the secret. When you ask people questions, you don’t need to rely on Google for search intent, you know, their intent because they said it.
Warren: That sounds like a great piece of advice and a great place to end. If you would like more information, Bridget has written two excellent books, Keys to Being Social, and The Definitive Guide to Twitter Marketing, which probably is a social media platform that all of us have difficulty with. They’re available on Amazon; they’re available in print and Kindle. And, if you’ve got Alexa, Alexa will read it too you as well. So you’ve got an audiobook too. We’re going to be here next week for three more small business tips! See you then!
Click here for information about our book, and a link to the Amazon paperback and Kindle version! http://warrenlainenaida.net/small-business-book
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Thank you so much to prostooleh – de.freepik.com for the cool image!
Your Voice. Your Power. Your Brand.
Bridget Willard – Social Media and Content Marketing
Business to business relationship marketing.