Big brands and even bigger personalities … they have it all, don’t they?
The slick, well-designed Facebook pages, the ultra cool ‘n’ creative Instagram posts, the brilliant short, sweet tweets that get shared around the world in a heartbeat.
They’ve got every conceivable base covered brilliantly on every platform, emerging or otherwise. And the public can’t get enough of them.
It’s easy to see why many a small business owner has looked at the activities of super social globals and inwardly sighed with downbeat resignation.
It’s the Beyoncé factor. We all want to walk in her shoes and have a little taste of everything we touch turning to a spangly shade of gold.
Or the Audi affect. Super-sexy, well-designed posts that purr with sublime style as they cruise across your screen. It’s vorsprung durch deflating.
When we see how the big boys and girls do it, there’s no wonder that our zest and drive suddenly splurts to a splurty halt.
But you’re not comparing apples for apples, as my sales manager used to say.
When you make a conscious decision to celebrate, embrace and ignite all that is fabulous about being the whirlwind of a small business that is YOU, the social arena looks very different indeed.
Here’s a peak at how to get started.
Beyoncé, Coca Cola … They’re not going to form strong, unique and individual connections with their followers on a daily basis. And the truth is most small businesses won’t either … but you can. I call it the Ultra Social Factor (actually I just made that up, but I like it …) When anyone tweets me and includes my name, from that moment on we have context. The ice is broken for me, purely because they’ve used my name. It’s really that simple, so start right there.
I know all about ‘Overwhelm’; most of us do. It comes from pining for a dream so huge that you can’t see a practical route to achieving it, such is the shadow the dream casts over you. Try this simple daily step for starters: make one truly engaged connection every day, one where you take the time to learn just a little more about the other party. It’s about being interested and when it gathers momentum you’ll be amazed at where it will take you.
When I read about the need to always be ‘on message’ a little part of me falls asleep. I’m pretty sure I’d rather scoop my eyeballs out with a teaspoon than read a stream that was constantly ‘on message’. Even Beyoncé posts photos of herself first thing in the morning without a scrap of make-up, which tells me she’s not so much ‘on message’ as ‘a real person’. Boom.
In my humble experience the one thing that is sure to kill any chance of me feeling creative is worrying about not feeling very creative. Just hand me the duvet, a packet of digestives and move along … there’s nothing to see here. But in all seriousness, on the days when I can’t summon up a masterpiece, or even a minorpiece for that matter, I’ll set about looking for ways to help others. That’s not me looking for plaudits and praise, I promise. It’s just a good use of my time and I know that it makes a difference.
You know what I think is the hardest aspect of any longterm relationship, be it a marriage or the one we have with our customer? The need to keep it fresh and interesting. Consistency and repetition are important, but don’t let your posts or messages ever become reruns of what you said twelve months ago. Zing it up a bit. The chances are that as your confidence grows you’ll see new ways to say the same thing in a more compelling way … So think less “How to Clean Your Car in Thirty Minutes” and more “Give Your Car Some Sassy Showroom Sparkle This Weekend!”
In short, learn to concentrate on what you are, and less on what you’re not.
I’m never going to be Beyoncé. But then neither is she ever going to be the England Rugby Team’s most enthusiastic mummy fan.
Some you win, some you lose.