Q&A: What Small Businesses Can Learn from the Social Media of Big Brands

apps-blur-button-267350-250x181  Let’s face it, as a small business owner, there are never enough hours in the day, or enough of a marketing budget to do everything you’d truly like to do.  That doesn’t mean you have to settle for mediocre marketing that delivers little-to-no ROI, however.

Case in point, if your social media marketing efforts are a little lack-luster as of late, here’s a tried and proven strategy that can help you turn things around in no time: emulate the big brands.

Now, before you groan, roll your eyes and hit the back button, hear me out.

Big companies have big marketing budgets, which means they have ample opportunity to try out a variety of different strategies.  Some succeed.  Others fail.  The ones that succeed are the ones you see all over the Internet.  They drive clicks and create conversions.  They generate sales and increase revenue.

So, instead of trying to re-invent the wheel with your limited budget, why not let them invest hundred of thousands of dollars into trial-and-error, and simply emulate their successes once they’ve figured out a great formula that works?

Here are 2 fantastic examples to get you started…

Airbnb is killing the social media marketing game in a big way. The company badly needed to be seen as more than just an alternative to hostels and hotels, and it took advantage of a controversy to up its social media game. After some travelers complained about racism when they arrived at the homes and apartments of hosts, Airbnb started its WeAccept social media campaign, in which it showed montages of diverse faces from all over the world.

The message on inclusion resonated, and it turned Airbnb into a company that sells unity, instead of vacation rental spaces. The takeaway? Use social media campaigns to sell your culture, and what your business is really about beyond the products and services you sell. For example, a painless dentistry business could sell comfort and peace through videos of patients discussing their biggest fears about going to a dentist, without ever mentioning the procedures the business uses to put patients to sleep.

Charmin is another company that’s leveraging social media in a really effective way. The Charmin bears are a humorous family that use ‘bathroom humor’ in a way that’s funny and not offensive. Charmin knows it has to sell a product that is often used for a taboo purpose, so they make their audience feel comfortable by generating laughs. How can you use humor to sell your products and services? If you own a skateboard company, what about a campaign contest asking the audience to send in videos of pets on skateboards? Good, clean humor that doesn’t step over the line into being offensive can work really well on social media.

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