As a small business owner that might sound a little scary because you’re being told to put a lot of effort into your social media. Your sales are your livelihood. Your social media strategy, though, should be hyper focused on cultivating and promoting your brand. Social media has the ability to influence sales but you can’t think of it as a product page on your website or a basic menu listing. Aside from the fact that the major social media sites will show your content less if you’re not providing great, interactive content, here are 3 reasons why you should focus on promoting your brand over sales on social media:
"Experience is about the emotions we have when we interact with brands…We know that if those experiences are rewarding, that our customers will have an even greater connection with our brand." John Mellor, Vice President of Strategy, Alliances and Marketing, Adobe.
Keep it simple here by thinking about your ideal customer. How do you want them to feel when they come to one of your social media sites? What do you want them to remember? What should be their takeaway?
By creating an experience that your clients and customers can connect with emotionally, you’re developing a community and fostering relationships. You’re going from “us" and "them” to “we”. On social media, you have the ability to create relationships between you and your clients as well as your clients with other clients. Community on social media means having shared purposes and experiences (and also realizing that it means you just cannot authentically connect with EVERYONE). So engage with your tribe: respond, compliment, thank, and give.
"Creating a community in which you authentically interact with social media followers makes it more likely that the people who follow you will become brand ambassadors. This is your ultimate goal on social media."- Elyse Flynn Meyer,President and founder of Prism Global Marketing Solutions
The ultimate goal of any brand is to create loyalty. For any small business, success with social media will need to focus around your brand in a way that fosters a positive experience, relationships, and engagement with quality content. By doing this you can increase the likelihood that your loyal customers will eventually turn into brand ambassadors. These are the people that are going to promote you without being asked to. They’re going to have your back when you make a mistake (and own up to it). They’re going to value you over your competition regardless of cost/convenience. This word of mouth promotion you get from the members of the community you created around your brand is priceless!