As an entrepreneur can build your social media influence. Are you ready to log on and blast your brilliance to the social media world? SLOW DOWN. It may be tempting, but it is very easy to wear out your welcome causing your target audience to completely tune you out. If you want to grab your audience, keep them interested and engaged from introduction to repeat sales, try these tips.
What is your message?
Before you start building your social media influence, you need to know what your message is. This is often, but not always, your tag line for your business. Here are 3 brand messages you are sure to recognize:
· “There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.”
· “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is There”
· “Melts in Your Mouth, Not in Your Hands”
What makes these messages so memorable? They have these qualities: they include a key benefit, they differentiate the brand, and they impart positive feelings about the brand.
Your message is what you’ll be communicating to your target market via social media. As you can see your message is very simply how you market yourself to the general public. Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of jumping into social media without being clear what their message is and how they will communicate that message. Other entrepreneurs get caught up in the social media buzz and stray away from their message. This confuses any potential audience and you will not be able build social media influence.
Think about your message in terms of the current presidential campaign. Each candidate has talking points and, if they are successful, stick to these points no matter what an aggressive reporter asks. Even though this may drive you crazy (they didn’t answer the question!), it helps the candidate drive home their message in the mind of the voting public. Your goal is to make your social media message pointed, consistent and as clear as a politicians. There can be no doubt in the minds of your social media audience about what your business is, what it does and the level of service and expertise you provide. Remember to think before you ‘speak’ on social media to be certain you stick to your message.
Talk to their Pain Points
Every entrepreneur is in the business of solving problems. Think about it. Even the garbage man is solving a problem (disposal of your refuge). No matter how you look at it every business is easing a customer’s pain. When you address the needs or pain of your target audience on social media, you show them you understand their pain and care about them. Your business needs to be the one that most efficiently eases your customer’s pain points to be successful.
When you claim you can ease their pain, why should they believe you? And who will they believe? Your target market will believe other people like themselves – your past customers. Share customer success stories, case studies, and testimonials of happy customers with your target audience. This is called “social proof.” (Learn more about social proof here.)
The success stories from your past (or current) customers should be the basis or your social media marketing efforts. Your target customer wants to know you will take care of their problem quickly and efficiently. When you provide testimonials from satisfied clients it lends legitimacy to your marketing message.
Think we have strayed from out topic of social media influence, not at all. Social media is not an isolated marketing tactic. It should be integrated into your overall marketing plan. Your social media should amplify your message, not broadcast an entirely different message.
It’s REALLY easy to become obsessed in social media and sink into its’ time consuming black hole. When this happens you waste a lot of time worrying about and tweaking all your social media platforms. You spend way too much time engaging in all the wrong kinds of communications. If you stick to your message and use social media to broadcast it and magnify it, you spend less time on social media. Remember, it is quality that counts not quantity.
Keep it about business.Social media is all about engagement with your audience. When you engage your audience it leads to a dialogue and builds trust. When used properly, social media will create authority. As I discussed above, you broadcast your message to prove you can solve your audience’s problems. A problem can occur when entrepreneurs cross the line between personal and business use of social media. That line is thin and very gray! Depending on the social media platform, some social interaction is expected. Your followers want to know you are a real person and have a life outside the internet. One of the best pieces advice I’ve heard to determine what is acceptable to post on social media is, “Don’t post anything you wouldn’t want your Mother to read (or see).”
If you engage someone on social media, remember you represent your business and your credibility is at stake. If someone posts a complaint about you, answer it professionally and remember to stick to your message. If the conversation degenerates into arguing, take it off line. If you remember the movie “Road House” with Patrick Swayze, he was instructing bouncers in a night club how to handle disruptive people:
“All you have to do is follow three simple rules. One, never underestimate your opponent. Expect the unexpected. Two, take it outside. Never start anything inside the bar unless it’s absolutely necessary. And three, be nice.”
All your social media interactions should reinforce your expertise in the minds of your audience as a problem solver. Deliver your message consistently and you will build your social media influence.