If you look at the average Spartanburg social media account for local businesses, you’ll likely see some basic contact information, links to recent promotions, and maybe a photo or two. Other than that, it’s simply a sad, boring page without too much going on.
And when you really think about it, that’s not being very social at all. In fact, most of us would consider that anti-social.
Now, as a small business owner or entrepreneur, it may not make a whole lot of sense for you to place countless hours in building up a great social media profile and embracing residents in Spartanburg and Greenville, but that’s because you really don’t understand how social media works in the first place. After reading this article though, I might be able to change your mind.
Everyone is Looking at Social Media
The next time you head over to downtown Spartanburg or the WestGate Mall, take a few minutes to really look around and see what shoppers are doing. They’re shopping, sure, but I’m talking about what they’re doing in-between their travels from store to store. Look around the food court or check out the moms that are watching their kids on those neat slingshot trampoline contraptions…what are they doing?
They’re staring at their smartphones.
And as you know, one of the big favorites of any smartphone user is their social feed. That’s literally how they keep up with the world around them. Cousin Bobby got married. Michelle took the kids to Myrtle Beach this week. We love this senseless kind of banter because it’s easy to keep up relationships without putting forth any type of real effort. With just one tap of the “like button”, everyone knows that we’re on board.
Social Media Delivers Massive Traffic
As a business owner here in Spartanburg, those social media feeds can become especially important to you since they represent 100% free advertising with Upstate locals who already know and love your brand.
Think about it for a moment. You hit the “like” button over cousin Bobby getting married, and instantly 300-500 people know that you approve of the event. And some of them had no idea that Bobby was tying the knot, so they chime in the conversation as well…and that invites all of their friends into the conversation as well. So just one photograph at the altar ends up reaching tens or even hundreds of thousands of people, and they all end up happy for Bobby (even though most of them don’t know him) because somebody they know supports him.
Customers Love Social Media Recommendations
Now, if we apply this same type of social media campaign to your business, a single post can get your brand in front of thousands of potential customers across the upstate. And since it’s your best customers who are initially hitting those like buttons and leaving comments, they are actually serving as brand ambassadors on your behalf to get the word out about your company. And the snowball effect can literally become massive if you’re publishing content that’s social by nature.
What do I mean by that?
Well, everyone “liked” Bobby’s wedding because it was the polite thing to do., whether they were actually interested in it or not. People also like videos, funny stories, contests and dozens of other types of media because they feel personally connected to it in one way or another, and their friends pay attention because they value each other’s opinion. If you’re only posting sales material though, then there’s really no reason for someone to like it…even if they end up making a purchase.
Using Social Media to Build a Brand
So if you want your social media accounts to explode in popularity, the number one rule is to stop trying to sell. Focus on engaging people instead. After all, you have a website that should be fully optimized to showcase your products and educate consumers about your business, so you don’t need to try to do that all over again on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter…especially since every post you make on these social media sites will link back to your homepage anyway.
Instead, your one and only focus on social media should be about getting likes, comments and other types of interactions. And the real beauty of it is that it doesn’t matter what you do to get that positive feedback- it doesn’t have to have anything to do with your brand at all. Because as people find enjoyable content on your social media pages and begin to share it with others, you’re creating the opportunity to talk to thousands of new Spartanburg customers on a daily basis just by showing off your personality…and the sales part can definitely come later through other channels.
Where to Start with Social Media
Suddenly we’re back where we began; at your dreary Facebook page with 47 likes and nothing but boring promotional material. And you’re probably thinking, “All of this sounds great…but how do I start connecting with customers on social media and make them appreciate my brand?”
It’s actually pretty simple to do…just contact Upstate Synergy and we’ll handle everything.
Seriously though, it really is not that difficult to start building your brand on social media. Start with some type of promotion- a giveaway, a contest or almost anything that you can display in your storefront that would grab your customer’s attention. Consider it a bribe of sorts; if they follow you on social media, then you’ll reward them with a little extra something.
For example, if you own a restaurant here in Spartanburg, then offer a free soft drink with any purchase in exchange for a like on Facebook. Then set the offer on your counter, let people complete the action as they’re waiting in line, and they’ll have a confirmation page to show your waitress/cashier that grants them an inexpensive freebie. It’s that simple.
For other types of businesses, I suggest going with an iPad giveaway. Because even though that tech toy will cost you $500+, you can give one away every few months and gain tens of thousands of subscribers for that minimal investment. Another good method is to give away an industry guide in exchange for a social media like and an email address, because you’re educating your customers and building initial trust at the same time.
Keeping the Conversations Going on Social Media
Whatever you choose to do, getting that initial like is simply a stepping-stone towards building an actual relationship with your customers and their friends. So once they start looking around at your social media wall, they should see all kinds of great photos, videos, local news, testimonials, fun stories and other things to make them appreciate you. And once again, this doesn’t have to be solely about your business or what you have for sale…it just has to be engaging and there should be lots of it.
Before you start a campaign to gain new followers, I’d recommend having at least ten posts on your account for people to look at.
And once you start getting new fans on social media, just give them a few additional content pieces per week so you stay sharp in their minds. Even something as simple as “What do you like most about <your business name>?” or “What’s one feature you’d love to see added to <business name>” can get conversations started and get you in front of new customers within the community.
That’s the only real goal here…posting content that makes others appreciate you and eager to join in on the conversation. Just make sure you add attention-grabbing photographs or the occasional video since it makes your posts stand out a whole lot more.
For more information on building a killer social media account, feel free to contact us via email for a complimentary needs evaluation. We are always happy to help out.