What Fuels Your Social Media Marketing?

Not long ago I was having a conversation with Jan and Steve, a married couple who were starting a subscription-based consulting service, and wanted some ideas on social media marketing. Their service was addressing a highly compelling need in the marketplace. With their combination of professional backgrounds, their plans showed tremendous potential. As we were initially speaking over the phone, I still remember Steve telling me about their plans. Then he uttered these words: “We have a website and everything.”

I happened to have my computer up in front of me, so during our discussion, I went to check it out. I found the website. Not so much for the “everything.”

You may be able to imagine: they got someone to build a WordPress driven site using a free template (unbeknownst to them) that was simply modified with their new logo. Apparently there had been some thought and energy put into the look and feel of it—but not much else. Outside of a generic tagline that could apply to any business, there was no message whatsoever. Of all the site’s six pages, there was no content. But the contact us information was there, as well as subscription rates.

It was a dressed up package, but absolutely nothing inside.

When it comes to social media marketing and branding, it is amazing how much thought, time and effort business people will put into addressing HOW they want to say something, with very little energy directed towards WHAT they want to say. In reality, it should be the opposite…don’t you think?

Ultimately, when it comes to engaging and serving prospects and converting them into happy loyal customers, it is the message—not the media—that must first get its due.

Don’t get me wrong: the means of communication is vitally important, especially in this age in which the variety of media has exploded. There are countless social media marketing channels from which to choose. People not only want and need information and content that offers value up front, they want to be able to access it on their terms. If you can’t do that, you won’t reach them (no matter what you are saying). Nor will you get them to share news and say good things about you online.

But my very simple point here is this: if you are looking at marketing and even re-branding your business, don’t allow fascination with various media channels (the how) distract you from what you are going to say. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider your value proposition first.

Remember: in this context the value proposition is NOT a reason for a prospect to buy…but rather it is simply why they should WANT to have a 20-minute conversation with you. That’s it.

As you build your message and content strategy, it begs the question: with our central value proposition down, what supporting information can we further deliver on a regular basis that drives that message home? This may include but not be limited to:

  • Numbered list-style articles/reports educating prospects (“Five Ways to Tell if You’re Paying Too Much for _______”)
  • Seeking questions from the public that relate to your company’s expertise, and answering them in blogs or on video (and social media is a great channel to solicit such questions and engage people)
  • Stories that focus on RESULTS you created for previous clients (and what others can learn from those stories)
  • Testimonials in which loyal customers not just sing your praises, but share what they learned along the way and the measurable benefits they now enjoy (the return on their investment)
  • Curated content from other sources (and giving credit where credit is due)

All these possibilities (and there are countless more) lend themselves to filling a content and editorial calendar that enables you to begin reaching out and serving your prospects on a regular basis, through your website and through social media. So, in an effort to keep my reminder here simple: Moving forward, as you consider all the social media marketing channels at your disposal, don’t lose site of the message.

Let the prospect know that they are on the top of your mind, and in the process you will remain on the top of theirs.

Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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