The bottom line for every small business is getting the customer to know who you are, what you offer, and why they need what you have. Customer knowledge is what leads to clicks on your website, which lead to sales. So, how do you get the customer to believe your claims? Why should they trust YOU more than all the other small businesses out there? The answer is simple: marketing. And the way to accomplish this feat is through social media optimization.
There are two main branches to marketing: publicity and advertising. Both are important and can’t be neglected, but they accomplish two different tasks in increasing your bottom line. Advertising has one job, to make the customer aware of what you have, what it’s worth, and why they need it. Publicity has a more nebulous task, but more important than you can imagine. The job of publicity is to convince the end consumer to trust you, believe in your product, and willingly part with their hard-earned dollars to keep you in business.
The basics of advertising are visible everywhere. It’s all about business presence. Billboards, radio ads, television commercials, newspaper flyers with coupons; these are all traditional advertising methods. In the age of internet business and information you can add Google AdWords, paid for website banners, “buy me” pop-ups on websites and targeted advertising on social media.
These methods are necessary and effective. Marketing experts have said that most consumers need at least seven contacts with a product before they will really “see” it and decide to make a purchase. This means you need to have your name out there in boosted Facebook posts, mentions in blog articles, and video content that’s sharable across multiple social media platforms. But if that’s all you do, you’ll be missing out on the super-charged power of publicity.
You know that sweet little shop your friend told you about last week? The one that had just what you were looking for so you stopped in? Why did you visit it? Psychologically speaking, our human tendency is to listen to and trust other humans. We value their shared experience, even if we don’t always agree with it. This is how publicity works: what you are offering has more credibility with John Q. Public if it comes from a source other than YOU.
It’s easy to tell someone how great you are, it’s easy for you to get excited about your remarkable product or services, but unless you can transfer that belief, in a non-threatening way, your marketing efforts are going to be filed in virtual and real recycling bins.
Publicity is the art of getting someone else, a trusted source, to tell potential customers why you’re so great. They can be news outlets, internet influencers, bloggers with consistent followers, or even your own social media brand, so long as you are offering something that helps your followers with no strings attached. People are leery of strings. By offering information that truly makes life better for someone, makes them laugh, or increases their knowledge, you can become the trusted source of information, not just the business looking for a few extra bucks.
If you’re serious about growing your business, and want to see a steady, solid growth in your bottom line, take the time to cultivate publicity on social media. It’s the tipping point for your small business success.