What Can Your Small Business Offer on Social Media?

One of the most important things to keep in mind when you are planning and executing your social media strategy is that there should always be a value exchange between your brand and your audience. Social media is fundamentally a virtual representation of real world relationships. And just like in real (healthy) relationships, there must be a give and take.

A big mistake that companies of all sizes make when they get on social media is to use it as other forms of advertising media. They begin to take their promotional messages and ram it down their audience’s throat. “Click on our website!” “Check out our new products!” “Buy more stuff from us!”. It might seem extreme, but it does happen, often due to a lack of planning and strategy applied to their social media plan.

Instead of posting only when there’s something you want the audience to do for you, remember to craft your communication with the goal of both giving and taking in mind. Find out what makes your customers and potential customers excited, happy, fulfilled, amused, satisfied, and feel appreciated. Then do it for them in the way that your company can.

One easy way to do this would be to do some sort of free giveaway, or special discount. You can work a little give and take into it by asking them to share something about your company with their friends in order to enter. But remember, there must be a balance. If you are offering something small (“Here’s a little extra 10% off your next order), then don’t expect them to do something big (“All you have to do is tag 100 people and overnight FedEx us your right arm”).

When thinking of what you can offer, don’t underestimate how much people like to simply be amused and entertained. We all know those internet memes which gain so much traction because, well, they’re just random or funny or interesting. People may want to follow you because they find the things you post amusing, and that is actually value for them. A giggle, an inspiring thought, learning something new, can all be things you can provide to your audience in an easy way, but the key being that you stay on theme with your brand voice & purpose.

Finally, as in any real relationship, don’t forget to listen. If someone comments on your offer or your funny quote, take the time to let them know you heard what they said. A great example is Groupon’s response to comments on their special Banana-themed item.

What do you think your small business can offer your target social media audience?

If you’re not sure about how to approach your social media strategy, we’re here to help! Contact us, we’d be happy to chat!

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