SCORE Q&A: Tell the story of your business
August 19. 2018 11:58PM
Question: We’ve been using social media to promote our real estate business, but don’t seem to be having the success with it that I anticipated. Any tips you can offer that would help us pull in and maintain the attention of our customers and potential customers?
Answer: Social media gives small businesses an interactive way to connect with prospects and customers, yet many businesses still struggle with building relationships via the platforms they’re using. They fail to make their brands “human” on social media.
According to nationally known social media professional, Rachel Strella of Strella Social Media, “People relate more to other people than to a logo or brand image. This can give small businesses and solopreneurs an advantage over bigger businesses.”
Taking the human approach is successful for the simple reason that relationships are built on trust.
“For a small business, customer loyalty is often tied to the people who work in the business — the people who give that business’ products and services their staying power,” Strella says.
As a small business owner, you (and your employees) are your business.
Here’s how your small business can leverage that advantage to facilitate relationships via your social media efforts:
• Personally ask friends, family and industry connections to follow you on your business’s social media channels. They know you, so they’ll probably be happy to do that for you.
• Post bios of your team members. People love to learn more about the people working in a business. Make the bios fun, not just a reiteration of their job description.
• Share your backstory to create an emotional connection. Has a personal experience or cause prompted you to start your business? Even if you’ve shared it on your “About” page of your website, not everyone might be aware of it.
• Show some personality. Write your posts so they sound conversational rather than stilted and stiff.
• Add some humor — but be careful! What’s funny to one follower might be offensive to another.
• Post images and videos, not just text-only posts. Photos of your team collaborating or doing a good deed will allow people to see what’s going on behind the scenes. And posts with images tend to gain more attention than those without; according to the Buzzsumo blog, Facebook posts with images get 2.3 times more engagement than posts that don’t have images.
• Celebrate customers’ successes. With permission, of course, craft posts that share how your products or services have helped a customer solve a problem or achieve a goal.
• When responding to followers’ comments on your business social media channels, sign them with your first name. It adds a personal touch, and reminds followers that there are real people interacting with them from behind your logo.
This column is brought to you by the Merrimack Valley Chapter of SCORE, with nearly 55 current and former business executives available to provide free, confidential, one-on-one business mentoring and training workshops for area businesses. Call (603) 666-7561 or visit merrimackvalley.score.org for information on mentoring, upcoming workshops and volunteer opportunities. SCORE is a national, non-profit organization and a resource partner of the U. S. Small Business Administration.