Maximizing Your Social Media Presence
As the younger generation continues to age and come into buying power, the way they communicate and the way they find businesses will be pivotal for any business owner to understand and maximize.
And overwhelmingly, social media is the resource that millennials and Generation Z use most often.
“Social media is their first touchpoint for decision making,” says Darren D'Altorio—head of social for the digital marketing agency Wpromote. “So if you’re not there and your competition is, you’re already at a disadvantage.”
So what do businesses need to do to make their social media an asset? D'Altorio spoke with National Oil and Lube News on how to maximize a company’s online social presence.
AS TOLD TO PAUL HODOWANIC
Authenticity fosters professionalism.
I think businesses get caught up in trying to be “professional.” They hear the word professional and think you might have to be more reserved or a little more measured. I don’t necessarily agree with that. I think authenticity actually prompts the notion of being professional. Doing good work, having a quality product, doing it on time and doing it your way should be the aim.
Use your social media presence to communicate who you are, what you stand for, what your value system is, the things you take pride in. Is it a family business? Is it a passion you picked up? Maybe you were an accountant one year and now you’re working on cars. All these things resonate with people. You have to be able to tell these stories and do it in an authentic way. That’s what people are gravitating towards.
You could make videos introducing your employees to your customer base. Tell them why your business can be trusted. And with authenticity comes having fun. If you’re not having fun, people can sense it. Include some quirky things about your employees or shop. You don’t have to come off as a perfect place. Take some risks. That’s when things go viral.
Professionalism has its place.
Now of course professionalism still matters, both in posts and comments. You definitely want to make sure you’re being yourself, but not confrontational. Make sure your posts don’t include swearing, cigarettes or alcohol. For the customer it comes down to, would I trust them with my car if that’s what they’re portraying? Don’t give customers a reason for that question to pop up.
Same thing goes for comments. The “troll” cultures of the world are for real. Knowing that there’s going to be people that may want to rain on your parade and might show up in your comment section with negativity, you should meet it with positivity.
Engage with that person in the comments and say “I care about your experience. I’d love to learn more. Do you mind if we move this offline so I can learn more about the situation?” Seeing that interaction from a business owner in a polite way, is very powerful. It lets the consumers know there is a pulse behind the profile.
You should also be disciplined in producing content regularly, having a diverse array of content with photos, video, stories. Months, even weeks, shouldn’t go by between posts. Be a consistent voice in your community, plan out a consistent posting schedule to stay on track.
Go beyond promotion.
This goes hand in hand with being authentic. It’s impossible to be authentic if you’re only using it to promote discounts or notifying when the shop is open or closed.
Social media is social. You have to be social on the platform. Over-indexing on promotions is not social. It’s very one-sided. There’s no variety there. There’s a lot of different ways to earn people’s business, and a lot of times it’s about the other pieces. It’s about the story behind the business. It’s about how they play into the community. It’s not about the expertise.
Consumers are trying to run away from advertising. If all you’re doing is promotional messaging, that puts people off over time. Customers are willing to pay for a great experience, so showcase that, not a 20 percent off coupon for the next oil change.
Tailor to the platform.
All of the different platforms have a place in the customer's journey. That’s where you start to make decisions about personality. Your Yelp profile should be super professional. You should have very pertinent information. That’s where you give holiday hours, or notifying that you’re open during a snowstorm. People go there to leave reviews. They go there to find credibility.
Now Instagram and Facebook, that’s where you can have a little bit more fun. If someone’s on your Instagram or Facebook, they may have already researched you on Yelp and saw good reviews and ratings. Now they’re coming to see you at a different angle.