{SMALL BUSINESS} Using Social Media To Help Each Other Out

{SMALL BUSINESS} Using Social Media To Help Each Other Out

I’ve been watching a lot of Facebook and social media posts flying around asking people to support those in small business.

Instead of spending your money with the big multinationals, redirect some of your spend to the little guys.

A glorious sentiment.

Helping someone build their dream.

Helping someone grow their business to the point where they are earning a profit and can employ others.

Why do we struggle with that?

We have no problem walking into Woolworths to spend $200 on stuff in boxes but when our friend asks us to buy their skin care or other useful product, we are reluctant to part with our hard-earned cash.

You see it all the time for those in network marketing – they offer similar if not better products than the big well-known chains. Yet their friends run for cover when asked to buy from them.

I am sure there is a scientific reason for this (but when I Googled this phenomena, I could not find anything).

I find the same mindset on Facebook.

For those in small business, the holy grail on Facebook is to get likes and people engaging with our posts. Achieving organic reach is the ultimate but many of us find this hard without spending a few bucks on advertising. Even then, there is no guarantee of post cut through.

You see pages with thousands of people as likers; there is lots of ‘to’ going on but not a lot of ‘for’. No comments being made and hardly any likes.

There’s a few reasons for that:

  • The content sucks – boring and uninspiring
  • The content misses the mark – not understanding the target audience
  • Posting at the wrong time of day
  • Facebook has changed it algorithms AGAIN
  • People do not understand the power of interaction and supporting the business (person)

What happens if you tick the boxes?

Let’s say you tick all the other boxes – your content is fresh and interesting, you understand your target audience, you know when to post, you are keeping up with Facebook’s changes, you have lots of people following you.

Maybe what is needed to educating the followers on how to be a good follower, a good supporter. Because most people are happy to sit back and soak up the info but stay quietly in the background.

No.  That does not work in my book. If you took the time to follow a business or a person, get benefit from their content and enjoy their posts, TELL THEM. What does it really cost you to take a minute to write a post and share?

Social media, especially Facebook is about two-way conversation. No one really wants to feel like they are talking to an empty room. I know we are inundated with information and marketing at the rate of 5,000 messages a day but if you have no intention of engaging, do not join a business page for the sake of it.

When the business page you like (you liked it for a reason) ask a question to prompt discussion, engage, answer the question, ask for more info. Don’t be shy.

Give feedback (keep it nice – my nan said if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all).

Ask questions – instead of going to Google, ask the expert you have at your fingertips. There is no such thing as a silly question. Just like there is no such thing as perfection or the right time – just ask.

Share – if a business you are connected with is promoting a local workshop or event, has written a great post or an awesome offer – SHARE it with your networks. Don’t just click share, tag people into the post (to keep them on the business’s page) and write a personal message (it seems less like spam if you take the time to say why you think the post is great). Share it with your networks.

Remember the Law of Reciprocity – chances are you have a business and would like more people to share your awesomeness.  Here’s how it works – if someone does something nice for you, you will have an urge to do something nice in return. You may even reciprocate with a gesture far more generous than the original good deed. I call that a win win.

Being in small business can be a lonely place. It can be a hard slog.  There is so much you need to know and do to get ahead. It is no longer as simple as hanging out your shingle. You have to be an expert at everything. Why don’t we commit to making it easy on each other by supporting each other more? Using each other’s services. Helping to spread the word about each other’s business (the power of PR – third party credibility is priceless).

Next time

So next time your friend asks you to buy their {insert product}, say yes. The next time a business you support shares info about {insert event/product} on Facebook, share it.

facebook, linkedin, publicity, sharing, social media

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