Ask SCORE: What’s the best way to use social media for my small business?

You can bring out the human side of your business on social media.

Social media gives small businesses an interactive way to connect with prospects and customers, yet many businesses struggle with building relationships via the platforms they’re using. They fail to make their brands “human” on social media.

According to nationally known social media professional, Rachel Strella of Strella Social Media, “People relate more to other people than to a logo or brand image. This can give small businesses and solopreneurs an advantage over bigger businesses.”

Taking the human approach is successful for one simple reason, relationships are built on trust. 

“For a small business, customer loyalty is often tied to the people who work in the business, the people who give that business’s products and services their staying power,” explains Strella.

As a small business owner, you and your employees are your business.

Here’s how your small business can leverage that advantage to facilitate relationships via your social media efforts:

Personally ask friends, family, and industry connections to follow you on your business’s social media channels. They know you, so they’ll probably be happy to do that for you.

Post bios of your team members. People love to learn more about the people working in a business. Make the bios fun, not just a reiteration of their job description.

Share your backstory to create an emotional connection. Has a personal experience or cause prompted you to start your business? Even if you’ve shared it on your “About” page of your website, not everyone is likely to be be aware of it.

Show some personality. Write your posts so they sound conversational rather than stilted and stiff.

Add some humor, but be careful. What’s funny to one follower might be offensive to another.

Post images and videos, not just text. Photos of your team collaborating or doing a good deed will allow people to see what’s going on behind the scenes. And posts with images tend to gain much more attention than those without. According to the Buzzsumo blog, Facebook posts with images get 2.3 times more engagement than posts that don’t have images.

Here’s a video sample produced by Adam Smith, a Kitsap SCORE client…

Celebrate customers’ successes. With permission, of course, craft posts that share how your products or services have helped a customer solve a problem or achieve a goal.

Ask people for their opinions. If you’re thinking about doing something different, describe the changes and ask readers what they think. When someone shares their perspective, thank them and ask for more.

When responding to a follower’s comments on your business social media channels, sign them with your first name. It adds a personal touch, and reminds followers that there are real people interacting with them from behind your logo.

If you want to explore ways you can use social media to connect with customers and build your business, reach out to Kitsap SCORE an speak with a mentor. We can direct you to workshops, recorded webinars, or articles written by social media specialists.

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