With a couple of notable exceptions, all of our clients can all be characterized as “small- and-medium-sized businesses.” We ourselves are a small business. For the most part, their needs and expectations match up with our skills and experience. But for many small businesses, embarking on a content marketing mission for the first time can be bewildering.
I have a few words of caution and wisdom for you to consider as you think about investing in content marketing and social media management for your small business.
Understand the limitations of the social platforms … We do not expect you to be an expert in social media. That is what you hired us for. But, with full awareness that the functionality of the major social platforms is changing all the time, we will try our best to explain to you what exactly we will do and what the purpose of each of those actions is. Suffice it to say, if you are just starting out with social media, gaining traction is going to take some time.
… But know that your audience is there. Whether they are casual Pinterest or Twitter users or bona fide Facebook addicts, your customers both actual and potential are on social media. There are also tools and techniques associated with each major platform that enables us to connect you with more people in your target groups. And trust us, an engaged advocate is the most powerful marketing there is.
Understand the limitations of your platform … While the social platforms themselves are so crowded that it can be difficult to get noticed right away, it is also crucially important to take a good long look at your business. While we hope you do truly believe that you offer a great product or service, social media makes the world a smaller place and that means you need to be keenly aware of your place in the industry. If you are not the leader in your industry, do not expect to be the most popular on social media either.
… But be confident about what makes you great. Think about your business and what originally inspired you to start it. Think about the problems you have solved and the people whose lives you have affected. It is these core values and the story that defines you that we need to tap into on social media. As great as your product or service is, it is the positive impact on people’s lives that will make it translate on social media.
We have had plenty of potential clients come to us because they want to use social media to solve a business problem. Here is the thing that is often hard to understand: It is not really about helping you sell more of this or that. Indirectly, it will. But only by way of providing value to your audience and earning their trust with the information you post every day — by being authentic and connecting with your brand champions.
I hope these ideas have helped clarify a little bit about the current climate for small businesses on social media as well as how we do things.
Image credit: CC by ATLAS Social Media