Studio 42 Workspaces • June 25, 2020
You’ve started a business. You’ve got great products. You offer tremendous value to your customers. So that must mean people will come rushing through your door, right?
Think about it: when was the last time you rushed to spend money with a new business? So why would other people do the same with your new business?
There are two reasons why new businesses struggle in their early stages:
- Customers don’t know they exist
- Customers feel safer spending money with better-established rivals
So your new business needs to do more than offer great products and fantastic service. You also need to find a way to build trust, credibility and brand recognition with your customers.
That’s where social media marketing comes in.
Hang out where your customers hang out
You need to hang out where your customers hang out – and your customers are hanging out on social media. Not all the platforms – just some of them.
If your customers are older, they’re hanging out on Facebook and LinkedIn. If they’re younger, they’re hanging out on TikTok and Snapchat. If they’re creative, they’re hanging out on Instagram and Pinterest.
So hang out with them. And keep getting in front of them. Because the more times you get in front of your customers, the more trust, credibility and brand recognition you’ll build.
There are two ways to get in front of your customers:
- Publish content
- Engage with their content
Publish content your customers care about
There are two types of content you can publish:
- Content about your business
- Content about your customers
Always choose the second option.
This may shock you, but customers don’t care about your “holistic synergies” or “game-changing solutions”. If you publish that sort of content on social media, you’ll be ignored – which will do nothing for your trust, credibility and brand recognition.
Instead, you should publish content your customers find interesting, relevant and helpful. That means you should:
- Solve problems
- Answer questions
- Bust myths
- Share news
- Analyse trends
The more you do that, the more people will come to see you as a trusted authority figure. And people want to do business with trusted authority figures.
Engage with your customers’ content
The second way to get in front of your customers while on social media is to engage with their content.
Don’t just like their posts, photos and videos – everyone does that. Instead, you want to comment on their content. And don’t just say things like “Amazing!” or “Well said” – again, everyone does that. Instead, take the time to leave thoughtful comments (at least 10 words) that show you care about your customers and their content.
If you really want to stand out, find a way to advance the discussion by sharing a heartfelt opinion, an interesting stat or relevant anecdote. Now you’re not just someone who cares – you’re also someone who’s cool and intelligent.
Get in front of your customers every single day
So far you’ve learned you need to:
- Hang out on the social media platforms where your customers hang out
- Publish content they find interesting, relevant and helpful
- Engage with their content in a thoughtful, intelligent way
But you might be wondering how much publishing and engagement you should do.
Ideally, you should post at least once per day and do at least 30 minutes of engagement per day, so you’re getting in front of your customers daily. Yes, that can be time-consuming, but there are some hacks you can use to make the process more efficient.
Instead of creating content every single day, why not set aside a three-hour block each Friday to create a week’s worth of content?
Instead of manually publishing every single day, why not use a social media scheduling tool like Buffer or Hootsuite to publish the content for you? After creating your content each Friday, you can then upload it to your scheduler. .
Instead of jumping in and out of social media to engage, why not set aside a 30-minute block at the end of each day to interact with your customers’ content?
Alternatively, you could just outsource all this work to a content marketing agency and make it their problem.
Don’t let your rivals have the field to themselves
Social media can be tricky for small business.
It can be challenging and time consuming to create content and engage with other people’s content. And, sad to say, none of this posting and commenting delivers immediate results, because it takes time to build trust, credibility and brand recognition.
But the alternative is to stay away from social media and not hang out with your customers.
That means your customers won’t know you exist. It also means you’ll make your rivals very happy – because they’re hanging out with your customers every single day.
About the Author
Nick Bendel is the CEO of Hunter & Scribe, a content marketing agency that writes social media posts, blogs, emails, ebooks and website copy for small business.
This blog has been created in partnership with Studio42 by a guest author. The opinions represented in this article are the individual views of the guest author, and do not in any way reflect the views of Studio42. This post has not been sponsored and any products or companies listed have been included solely at the discretion of the guest author. If you have any concerns about the content of this article, please contact Studio 42.