What Businesses Don't Know About Social Media
Social media is constantly changing, updating and developing. It continues to change how we receive information, and it’s revolutionizing the way we work. Abundant resources provide instructions and guidance on how to use social media, but what they tend to overlook is how businesses should be using social media to connect and collaborate with other businesses.
You may be wondering why we would want to connect with other businesses on social media since most of the time our efforts are focused on connecting with a community of consumers.
As a social media strategist, I teach a strategic approach to using social media. One of the most effective strategies is identifying your target market. While traditional marketing strategies say that knowing your target market helps to craft a more impactful marketing campaign and message, it also helps to know what other businesses are serving that target market. These other businesses that service your target market can then become collaborative partners and an extension of your sales force.
In 2013 I worked with a real estate professional in Los Angeles. “Joe” was fairly new and was struggling with building his business. He knew he had to be on social media (as all real estate professionals do) but didn’t want to be just like all the others. As you can imagine, the Los Angeles real estate business is not an easy one to break into and even harder if you have little to no experience.
What was Joe’s unique differentiator?What was Joe’s target market?
After spending time with Joe and looking at what made him unique, we uncovered the fact that Joe absolutely loved animals. He and his wife were loving pet owners. They spent their weekends at dog parks or hiking with their pets. They were vegan, had a recurring donation to SPCA, and were foster parents to two kittens. After realizing how much of an animal lover Joe was, we decided to make that his differentiator. We branded Joe as the “animal lover’s real estate professional.”
Joe traded in his Jetta for a Toyota 4Runner and turned it into the perfect transportation vehicle for pets. He had leashes, treats, collars, water dishes, and even carrying cases for the smaller animals in case his clients wanted to take them on the home tour.
Joe’s conversation to any interested home buyer was always “do you have pets?.” If the answer was “yes,” Joe dove right into the conversation of how he knew all of the best homes and neighborhoods for pets. Joe knew that avid animal-loving homebuyers would want to find a home that their pets loved as much as they did.
Now that Joe was clear on the exact type of buyer to attract, we set out to help him find those other businesses that service this customer as well. This is where the fun part came in. I taught Joe how to use social media to find and connect with all the other businesses that service pet lovers. Businesses such as groomers, veterinarians, pet supply stores, etc. When Joe reached out to these businesses via social media and indicated he was interested in learning more about what they did, believing his customers would be interested, the partnerships started to form and he began to generate leads.
Using social media to connect with other businesses is a powerful and effective strategy. It also allows you to provide continued support to those businesses by liking, commenting, sharing and even promoting those businesses’ social media pages and content. The more support you show to their social media pages, the more visible you become to them and the more they will, in turn, start to show you the same amount of support.
So, assuming you know your target market, I suggest you take some time and make a list of at least 10 businesses that are serving your target market, then start searching for them in your social media platforms and let the collaborating begin!
About the author: Karen Liz Albert is the founder of Behind Your Curtain and has 20+ years marketing experience providing impactful social media marketing consulting and services to hundreds of business owners. She is the host of her WomenOnTV.tv show, “Behind Your Curtain” and is a regular guest on some of the top radio & podcast shows for entrepreneurs.
Download her free guide “10 Ways To Boost Your Business Using Social Media”: http://byc.scion-social.com/eguide www.behindyourcurtain.com
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