By Clark Gapen, compiled from Peter Shankman’s Vocus presentation: “Be Your Own Evangelist: Word of Mouth Marketing”
One way is through general word of mouth marketing. This means focusing on becoming likeable rather than on garnering likes. Although social media is a platform where we can simply talk aimlessly and say whatever we like, WE SHOULDN’T. The basic concept that small business owners trying to promote their services need to understand is that rather than saying “I’m awesome” or “my product is awesome” they need to let others to talk about how awesome they are. In other words, show – don’t tell. Let others do the telling for you. No one will believe how great you are if you’re the one saying it.
Perhaps you’ve considered hiring a social media expert to help you promote your small business. Before you do, consider the fact that social media experts do not necessarily equate to marketing and revenue. If you’re going to hire a social media expert, be sure that they also know marketing, as it is the most important component of selling your business. Social media knowledge alone will not make your business more profitable.
Something else to consider when tackling the social media challenge is the makeup of your audience. Never assume who your audience is. You may think your audience doesn’t have a Facebook or Twitter presence but you can’t be sure until you get on these platforms and see for yourself. Try things out and learn more about who your audience is as well as who your audience is not.
Write well. If your social media campaign (or any other aspect of your business for that matter) doesn’t contain good, polished, grammatically correct prose, you’re greatly hurting your business. Learn how to write well and do it.
Never forget that in this day and age, there is no longer much of any separation between professional and private. What you post on your own personal Facebook account also reflects your business. Therefore, you should be conscious of what you’re saying and how you are making your business look. Don’t whine on social media – no one cares. You are your brand which means when you look like an ass on the internet, so does your brand.
One final key to being likeable in social media and expanding your own word of mouth marketing is being different. You want yourself and your small business to be remembered, not recalled. Make an impact. Be unique. There will be people who won’t like you for it but at least they will recognize and remember you. And of course, there will be those who do like you. In order to make any kind of splash in the social media pool, you must distinguish yourself which may mean stepping outside your comfort zone. Don’t fear change and take calculated risks to create a unique and interesting brand for your small business. If you follow these tips I guarantee your social media presence is likely to grow, your business will go up, and I don’t care what the scoreboard says at the end of the game, in my book you’re going to be winners!