If you have limited your social media participation promotional content only, you are missing the point. There’s nothing inherently wrong with using social media as a place to share announcements about new products, upcoming sales, and specials, or boost flagging sales. In fact, doing these things is a good idea.
It’s just that your biggest opportunities on social media channels isn’t promotion. It’s branding, and the best way to improve your branding is to reach audiences with your unique messaging. Remember that consumers don’t just care about your products and prices. They want to connect with brands that reflect their values.
1. Give Your Audience a Behind The Scenes Look
Your values and your mission can be best seen in your daily operations. Invite customers in by filming behind the scenes videos. Let them meet the people who produce your products and run things behind the scenes. The passion, enthusiasm, and professionalism that is reflected in your workplace can be infectious. This is especially the case when customers see that your branding and your operations are in line with one another.
You’ll accomplish something else by doing this. People enjoy feeling like insiders, and as if they are in the know. It makes them feel as if they are a part of something exclusive. Behind the scenes content gives people those feelings.
2. Highlight People And Causes You Believe in
Is your business active in social causes? If so, let your audience know the causes that you support, and that they support by patronizing your business. Even if you don’t include charitable giving in your business model, you can still find causes that reflect your mission and signal boost them on your social media pages.
Don’t forget about inspirational people. Has someone on your team beaten a serious illness, run a marathon, or accomplished some other amazing feat? What about someone in your community. Share their story on social media.
3. Curate Humorous Touching or Inspiring Posts That Reflect Your Brand
Finding trending stories and videos that make an emotional impact is relatively easy. In fact, you could probably head to your Facebook feed right now, and find at least one post that fits in this category. The challenge is finding the right content to curate.
Sharing just any viral post or video might earn shares and a little bump in traffic, but that doesn’t help you with your messaging. The key is to find content that resonates and represents your values. Instead of thinking, ‘hey, a lot of people will like this post’, think ‘people who like this post share the values that my brand represents.’
4. Tape Introduction Videos of Company Representatives
Why not take the concept of the ‘About Us’ page to the next level. Film video introductions of the folks who represent your company, and who were responsible for getting your operations off of the ground. People will feel a much stronger connection, and will buy into your messaging if they connect your brand with people they believe are sincere and trustworthy. Getting to know you content should be very important to brands as part of a marketing strategy that focuses on customer relationships.
5. Use Visual Content to Make Emotional Connections
Trust is a key element when forming connections with your customers. Visual content has been shown to evoke feelings of trust. It also evokes emotions. So, include pictures, videos, and other visual elements in your social media posts.
To really connect and give your messaging impact, share lots of photographs with members of your team. Remember that smiling pictures of women are especially good at increasing trust.
6. Ask Questions And Solicit Opinions
It might help to think of social media marketing like online dating. You can tell potential matches all about yourself. You can broadcast what you like and dislike, your stands on social issues, even share your future goals. In the end, in order to establish a relationship with anybody, conversations have to take place.
On social media, you have to create openings for these conversations to happen. The way to do this is to ask open-ended questions and invite your followers to share their thoughts. Then, when they do this, engage them. When you participate in conversations, rather than simply posting content, you help to establish and strengthen customer relations.
7. Focus on Accuracy And Consistency
The best way to make your messaging connect with your followers is simply to show up with good content on a regular basis. If you curate content, source it from reputable sites, and be sure that your sources’ values are close to your own. Remember that when you share content, you aren’t just endorsing a particular piece, you are endorsing its source as well.
When it comes to the content that you create, it should be relevant, accurate, and it should focus on meeting your audience’s needs. If you become known as a source of quality information that helps people to solve their problems, you will have no trouble getting your message out.
By focusing on messaging instead of promotion, you build trust, establish your brand and your employees as thought leaders, and create believability. Doing this takes creating and sharing content that reflects your values, allows people to get to know your people and your story, and that is high in quality and visual elements. Finally, consistency is key.
If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Social Media.
Kerry Creaswood is a passionate writer and blogger. Her topics of interest are SEO, marketing, and social media. To find more about Kerry – check her Twitter