A roadblock for many in beginning to use social media is “what am I going to talk about?” or “what should I say?” And let me say that your instincts are correct that simply posting what you are wearing today (unless you are Vera Wang) or what you are eating (unless you are Bobby Flay) is not what most of us are hoping to hear!
As with all your other marketing efforts, your social media messages (Facebook and Twitter) should be consistent, and focused on appealing to your specific target market. It’s well worth the extra time to get your “messaging” clear and focused before venturing out into the social media waters, and I have an excellent recommendation to help you with this task.
My friend and branding whiz Maria Ross has written a wonderful book “Branding Basics for Small Business-How To Create an Irresistible Brand on Any Budget.” Ross, the owner of Red Slice Marketing, does an excellent job of explaining why having a “brand strategy” is important, attainable and affordable for a small business.
In my work with new clients, I have them read Ross’s book first , so they can drill down to exactly what they want to communicate; then my job selecting which social media platforms to use is much more effective.
Here are three reasons to rush out and buy her book, pronto!
1. There is a fantastic 10-question process to help you build your “brand strategy.” While it will take some time and brain power to formulate your answers, isn’t your business worth it? Giving significant thought to answer the queries about pricing, target audience, benefits, competition, metrics, etc. as you begin to build your empire is a key factor to your success.
2. Using the “brand at work” examples of real-life companies that are scattered throughout the book, Ross does an amazing job of bringing her principles to life by telling us success stories from companies that have implemented these concepts. They are inspiring and show us what can be accomplished by having a strategy – and actually following it!
3. The section on “Who and where is your audience? How can you find them?” is worth the price of the book. Through my association with BNI (Business Network International), I work with many entrepreneurs and small businesses that are scared to death to narrow down what they do, or to establish a target audience. They typically prefer to “help anyone with anything,” which unfortunately often means no one hires them at all. Ross claims this ability to define your ideal client is the single most important aspect to a brand strategy – and I wholeheartedly agree. Knowing your ideal client/target audience intimately helps you focus on a specific strategy that brings you the clients you want to work with, that are the most fun and the most profitable. I dare you to try it!
This book has helped me truly appreciate the important work of branding, and created a new appreciation of its role in small business strategy and communications. I’d love to hear what nuggets of wisdom you glean from the book – happy reading!
Edmonds resident Karen Rosenzweig is a social media consultant/trainer and owner of One Smart Cookie Marketing. She writes weekly about how companies, entrepreneurs and restaurants can increase their customer base and gain visibility through Twitter, Facebook, blogging and other social media tools.