Small Business Success: Elevating your brand with Christine Gritmon
Watch the replay of our workshop with Christine Gritmon on creating a social presence when you have a smaller marketing team.
6th August 2021
Social media can be scary if you're a smaller business or marketing team! You may not think you have the resource, time, or even the courage to get started, but trust us when we say putting a little more effort into it could be a huge game-changer.
71% of consumers use social media to make purchasing decisions, so it's essential that we all have a presence, and go big when it comes to standing out amongst our competitors. Spoiler: It's actually super fun and creative, and doesn't always require huge campaigns!
To tackle these challenges, we enlisted the help of small business expert and social media coach, Christine Gritmon, for a workshop designed to help those with smaller teams get the most from social channels in a manageable way.
You can watch the replay below, or keep scrolling for the full summary blog!
"Small is a superpower" - Christine Gritmon
Christine shared three fundamental goals for any smaller marketing team on social media:
- Be found - 77.6% of small businesses use social media to market themselves, and it can be your most powerful tool. It allows people from around the world to see your brand, rather than a minority group that would get to see a flyer or physical advert.
- Stand out - This is your chance to show the world why they should love you above everyone else! Taking risks with content isn't just reserved for the big brands.
- Be human - Human-to-human marketing sells! Customers want to feel like they have a connection with the person behind the brand account - it adds authenticity and trust to what you're saying. People forget the social part of social media!
Let's break each of these long-term goals down and look at how you can achieve them.
You want people to know that your business exists, but it's more than just posting anything and everything onto your social media platforms.
Christine has five questions that we should ask ourselves when it comes to being found on social, which will also help you decide how, when, where, and what to post:
Why do you want to be visible? Why should people care about your content? Are you trying to build brand awareness? Generate sales? Create a goal for yourself!
Some examples of goals Christine suggests you could set:
- Thought leadership (become the go-to expert in your field)
- Direct business (give people the chance to buy from you then and there)
- Further visibility (share educational or fun content that people find value in, so it creates other opportunities such as invitations to speak at events or collaborations)
A great example of someone doing this well is Matthew Kobach. Matthew is an employed marketer who has amassed a following of over 100,000 on Twitter, for becoming a thought leader in the marketing industry. People go to Matthew's channel if they want inspiration, motivation or thoughts on marketing.
Who do you want to be visible to? If you're talking to everybody you're talking to nobody! Define your audience based on buyer personas and talk directly to that group. If you go too broad, you'll get lost in the noise.
Think about what your audience needs and why you should be the one to deliver it - there are probably other people who do what you do, so you need to stand out! Even just being likable or having a unique backstory goes a long way.
What do you want to be visible for? Many people worry that by specializing in a niche, they won't be found, but it's what makes you unique! Hone in on what you want to be known for, and once you have built an audience, you can then introduce them to other types of content or aspects of what you do.
Where do you want to be visible? You don't have to be visible everywhere! If you hate TikTok, you don't have to post there! Create content that's enjoyable for you as well as your audience. They will be able to tell if you believe in what you're creating.
That said, Christine suggests it's best to not turn your back on these social media platforms completely - keep them in the background so you can still drive people towards your main channels where you'll be doing most of the posting.
For example, if you're particularly strong on YouTube, drop into your Instagram captions that people should check out your YouTube channel, or post a snippet from a video that will make them want to see more.
Where you're going to be visible is a lot of the time down to WHO you're talking to! If you're talking to 45-60-year-old businessmen, they're more likely to be on LinkedIn than TikTok.
Facebook: More conversation and community-led.
Instagram: People go to Instagram to be happy and see pretty things! Audiences want to feel something through a visual.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is for business. You can still be personal, but it should be professional!
Twitter: Lots and lots of open conversations and room for opinions.
Christine's most important piece of advice is don't use social media to sell, sell, sell! Social media acts as people's place of escapism during their downtime, and they often don't like businesses intruding on their personal space. Be conversational and get on their level - fit into their experience!
The best ways to be found on social media
- Make sure your profiles are fully complete and consistent in terms of branding! Having a totally different username or color scheme across platforms will make it hard for people to join the dots
- Be recognizable! Maybe you have a catchphrase or an aesthetic audiences know you for and find easy to recognize, use this across all channels so people can spot you on platforms they don't already follow you on.
- Trust is key. Show the human side of your brand or personality on social media and sales will come naturally. People buy from people!
It's great having a social media presence and growing channels, but if people don't really know what you do, it won't transform into sales! As a business, you don't want to be famous for being famous.
But the big question is...how are others describing what you're known for?
We have our own language to describe what we do, but when people are searching for products and services online they may not be using that same language! Match your internal language to that of your audience, across everything - not only as part of your social strategy, but your SEO and SEM strategy too.
How can you bring value to the people you're trying to reach?
People are out for their own needs! Always consider the challenges of your audience before the physical product you're trying to push. Giving them value for free is a great way to draw potential clients in when scheduling and publishing social content.
Standing out has a number of benefits:
- It helps you connect with people - if you're embracing something unique about yourself, or talking about a taboo subject, you're likely to be picking up the attention of someone hiding that same thing, and empowering them.
- It helps people remember you - you want them to think about you even after they've left your social media channels
- People engage more - people don't just buy from people, they love talking to people too! If you have a more human tone of voice your audience is more likely to engage with what you're saying. Make sure you're commenting back to keep the conversation going too!
For paid promotional posts, Christine suggests using content that would do well organically, rather than advert-style copy, it provides a better return on investment! Think of your organic content as free market research for what will do well as an ad.
"But what if I want my feed to be professional?"
You get to define what is professional! Even if you're in a heavily regulated industry, there are plenty of ways you can stand out while staying in your lane. It's about the delivery of your message and its value.
A great brand example of this is the bank, Monzo. They're a financial institution so have a tonne of protocol to follow, but still make banking (a non-creative industry) fun for their millennial/Gen Z target audience. (If you want to learn more about how they do it, join our workshop live or on-demand with their social media manager, Richard Cook here!)
Here are Christine's top tips for staying human on social media:
- Tell your story! Even the biggest brands started out as a small business or idea, and every business has a back story that will help people resonate with what you do. It can also lead to great throwback content. Christine's favorite person who's doing this is Sara Blakely, Founder of Spanx. Despite being a billionaire, Sara frequently posts throwback content on her Instagram of when she was in her bedroom hand-packaging orders.
Introduce your humans! Not just who they are in your company, but also who they are beyond their jobs. Perhaps one of your key stakeholders also loves volunteering at animal shelters...show that off!
Share your day-to-day! The things you may think are mundane, other people love to watch. Show off your office, what happens on any given day, or even stories of interaction (did you have a particularly great or funny experience with a customer?)
Try and jump on trending topics where possible...but proceed with caution!
Evaluate the relevance of what you can contribute to that topic, but don't use it solely as a sales opportunity, stay human!
Consider collaborations and partnerships! Collaborating with another person or brand on your content can:
- Show real people engaging! Even if your tone of voice isn't as human as it could be, it shows you are a real person, interacting with another human
- Reflect glory! Partnering with the right brands allows you to open up and share your audiences, which is great for creating further opportunities
- It shows you're not all about you! It builds relationships and shows you're a brand that helps others
By tying all of this together, you can create a simple strategy that builds an engaging and effective presence on social. Remember, you don't have to do everything and definitely don't have to be doing it all at once! Our free social media posting template might help with this!
Don't forget to connect with Christine here if you enjoyed this session!