Social media is designed to connect people, whether it be from across town or across oceans. But to be successful in the business world of social media, your online presence needs to go beyond that. You need to connect your business to your target audience. And it starts with your business itself and the goals you set.
What is your business? What sets it apart from your competitors? These should be clear, defined items that can then be turned into goals. You’re an Italian restaurant competing with larger, corporate chains? What sets you apart is your family recipes. You’re a real estate broker trying to sell properties? What sets you apart is your personality and the relationships you build with your clients. Whatever it is that sets you apart, that is your story, and that is the story you need to tell on social media. That is what people will connect with, and that is the core of your business.
So how do you do that?
Just as you would tell any other sort of story, you use the same sorts of conventions when storytelling on social media.
- Set the background—what is the history of your business and how has it changed over time? What does your business look like and how does it function?
- Introduce the characters—who is the face of your business? Who can people expect to meet and interact with when choosing your business? What does your business hierarchy look like and who runs the show?
- Make the connection—why should people choose your business over others? What sets you apart from your competitors? How do you interact with those who choose your business?
And while it can seem fairly simple, what many social marketers tend to neglect is the third portion. It’s more than putting your business out there, doing some employee spotlights, and running a contest here and there—it’s delving into the who, what, when, where, why and how. But you don’t have to (and shouldn’t!) hit all of these ideas and angles in every, single one of your posts.
Just as you want success in your business, there’s an audience out there that wants to see you succeed. You just have to find it. Just as you wouldn’t tell someone a story you know they wouldn’t care about, you wouldn’t target a networking event to a group of retirees.
When you think about it, social media is very much in line with other forms of storytelling. Social media, though, offers you a unique audience to communicate your story to and medium through which to tell it. Social media storytelling can help you reach a whole new level in your business. What’s your story?