Three wise monkeys (Photo credit: Moyan_Brenn)
It’s common practice for small businesses and non-profits who are new to social media marketing to look at what the big guys are doing.
Let’s take a minute to re-think Social Media Practices – Big Business vs Small Business
The essence of Social Media Marketing:
When we want to buy something important, don’t we often go online and see what others are saying about it? Amazon.com, Yelp.com, etc… or just a simple Google search?
Don’t personal reviews from consumers of that product influence our decisions? Don’t we also pay attention to testimonials when we see them anywhere online?
Of course we do.
In Social Media venues, do we pay as much attention to a commercial, or anything that sounds like a commercial, or even smells like it might be a commercial? No, because it is usually either annoying or a turn off to be sold to in a social environment! Right?
YET – when small businesses and non-profits try to post material on their pages and sites, they often come off, well… like a commercial.
Why not, you say? The big companies do it, you say? Macys, Best Buy, Old Navy, Home Depot… they promote product and are successful. Shouldn’t I follow their example with my small business or non-profit?
NO! NO! A Thousand times NO!
Think about it. Big Retailers and businesses are actually at a disadvantage on Social Media. They can’t begin to interact with fans and followers on the same level as a small business can – much less on a personal level. Since they have hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers from all over the nation, they have to use social media as an extension of their traditional marketing.
Why would you follow the example of a business that can’t even use the medium for that which it was created?
As a small business or non-profit, you have the advantage of local influence. You have the advantage of being a part of the local community. You even know a good many of your fans and followers by name or sight or even have relationships with them.
Say you were in line at the movie theater and you recognize a consumer in the line in front of you.
- You might say a cheerful hello and remind them of how they may know you.
- You might thank them for shopping with you.
- You might talk about the weather or latest big news or the Big High School game
- You might ask them what they’ve heard about the other movies showing at the theater….
But would you pull out a picture of your latest product and begin to sell them on it?
Sure, at the end of the chat, you MIGHT remind them to come by your business and check out a new product or service or hand them a business card or such, but you aren’t going to stand there and pitch them the whole time you are in line. At least I hope not!
So why would you do any differently on Social Media?
They recognize you as someone in their community. If you come across as strictly business, you will lose your credibility as “the neighborhood” merchant that they have come to know and trust on a face to face level.
Instead, you’ll just be regarded as just another retailer or business person... Why would you want to do that?
Did you get that AHA moment there?