There’s so much that social media can do for your business, no matter your size or target market. With so many options for which network you’re on and how you reach your customers, it can be easy to fall into a narrow focus. Too often we only see social media as a tool for getting more followers, without taking a moment to think about how being on Facebook and Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, makes us part of a vast, interconnected online community.
The next time you’re thinking about your social media strategy, take a moment to consider who you could be connecting with, in your city and in your field. Yes, you can connect with your customers, but that’s just the tip of the social iceberg. Who else should you be following and interacting with?
- Charities. Social media makes it easy to find and contact local charities that your business may want to donate to or volunteer with.
- Media. Sending out a press release is great, but what if you were also connected with local newscasters, newspaper editors and bloggers on Twitter? Not only would they be seeing your content, but you'd also be plugged in to what's happening in your community.
- Celebrities. Look, we're not going to tell you that you can get Lady Gaga to retweet that cute meme. But you may be able to connect with local celebrities who already love your brand.
- Influencers. Who do people in your community listen to? Is there a favorite blogger, morning show DJ or sports reporter who sets trends in your city? You should be paying attention to these people.
- Your competition. Speaking of people you should be paying attention to... Social media allows you to see what your competitors are up to. What promotions are they running? What's working for them? Where are they ignoring a niche that you could fill instead?
- Others in your industry. Maybe you run a coffee shop in Tampa Bay, FL. Why not network with other independent coffee shops across the country? You all face similar challenges and have a similar customer base. Inspire and support each other. Plus they may be sharing great content that you can pass along to your customers as well.
- Local government. What is your mayor saying? Your city council? Similar to media, being plugged in to your local government can help you take the pulse of your community. You can also easily share your support for initiatives that will help your business, or point out how initiatives could harm local business. Of course, avoid getting too political on your company's social media!
- Civil servants and community leaders. Who serves your community? Are you connected with your local police department, fire fighters, teachers, youth coaches? Thank them for what they do!
Every connection is an opportunity. Some connections will lead directly to sales. Others to brand awareness. Others to a more enriched experience of the community you're part of. Every connection cements you as not just a business, but also a member of society. Take the time to build those connections, and see where they lead.