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SMM For The Small Guy: Choosing A Social Strategy That’s Not Obvious

I’ve made a terrible mistake. I haven’t given enough fodder on SMM for the small guy’s social strategy.

On a recent post, The 5 Cs Of Social Media, we received some constructive criticism in the comments that deserves some following up on.

One of our readers told us:

“As I read this blog/article I do what often happens to me- how do I apply these concepts- the 5 c’s to my small B2C business? I don’t do webinars or have ebooks, etc. I wish sm professionals wrote blogs to help small businesses like myself with concrete ideas of how to apply these 5 C concepts. I am working on the Content Marketing Strategy and participate in communities. Tend to get lost on collaboration and conversion. Most of your readers who commented on this post already know this info. You might look to the audience like myself who is learning how to use social media marketing for our small businesses.”

Well, Roslyn, this one’s for YOU! 🙂

smm for the small guy

The obvious “strategies” we see many small businesses get into on social platforms revolve around one or more of the following:

  • Posting sporadically
  • Posting only about themselves
  • Hard selling
  • Posting fluff (aka: memes, quotes, and pictures of kittens)
  • And other various sucky social strategies

This is like jumping off the bridge because your friends are doing it. Don’t be that kid! 

None of those above tactics will bring you customers, because with those obvious “strategies” you aren’t differentiating your brand.

Instead, you’ve got to go into the social media war with guns a blaze’n!

Your Weapons

There are three major weapons you need as a small fry going up against the giants who stomp and snort and take up the feed on Facebook (or elsewhere).

Content Collateral

Your Content Collateral:

What do you have to offer? It can be tangible, like an eBook, or not, like an incredible series of tips that you’re sprinkling throughout your social pages.

You have to have SOMETHING to offer – and you want your potential customer to LOVE it! 

We like to steal the term Walt Disney coined and call our collateral “edutainment” because it both entertains and educates our communities.

Anyone — big or small, solopreneur or Fortune 100 company — can create collateral that adds value. All you have to do is make a plan, schedule the time, and utilize tools or people to help you get it done.

Let’s start with the easy things to create … 100 Level stuff:

  • First and foremost: Make sure each social site you’re using has a bio that’s COMPLETELY filled out, tells your story, and has plenty of links to cycle traffic through your online assets
  • A cheat sheet (we created one in about 1 hour listing the tools we use to run our small business)
  • A series of tips (scour your blog posts or client material for any tips you can find; label them by topic; shorten them into snackable bites, easy for social consumption (here are some ideal lengths for social posts)
  • Photos that tell a story … YOUR story (use Canva – it’s free!)
  • Photos of you or behind-the-scenes happenings
  • Client testimonials (text only)
  • Blog posts (link on sites to drive traffic)
  • Entice conversation – ASK QUESTIONS!
  • A FAQ section on your website answering the “pain points” you hear most

200 Level stuff

  • A case study on a recent success you had (tell a good story and give the HOW and WHY)
  • A short eBook on how to do something specific to your industry (Helpful Hint: Use several blog posts on one topic and meld them together to create your eBook!)
  • An in-depth “How To” blog post for something that many of your customers or cohorts have complained about
  • Create an infographic
  • Create an “edutaining” deck for SlideShare

300 Level stuff

  • Give a webinar on a popular topic in your industry (book a co-host if it’s not your area of expertise)
  • Create a video series of helpful tips
  • Create an email series with helpful tips
  • Create an online course with helpful tips

Catch my drift …?

All of those above things take only your infinite wisdom AND THEN the discipline and time to create them.

Everything I listed can be created for free, too (minus your time, of course).

Emotional Collateral

Your Emotional Collateral

Emotional marketing is becoming very important for brands to connect with consumers online. It’s the whole, “people don’t want to connect to a logo, but want to connect with a human” thing.

Your emotional collateral can come from two places: Your story and the story of your customers. It’s about creating emotions within your communities and making them feel LOVE when they think about your brand.

Find your best stories and tell them!

Psychological Collateral

Your Psychological Collateral

This is where the data comes in. Good data can tell you exactly what’s working in your arsenal, and make life a lot easier moving forward.

I could write 3,475 blog posts on collecting psychographics and data alone, but instead I’ll list some good reading below that will tell you the how/what/why of big data:

  1. What Are Psychographics? [FAQs]
  2. Content Is The New Sales Call 
  3. 7 Ways Small Businesses Can Use Online Marketing to Boost Revenue
  4. How to Collect The Data You Need to Develop a Winning Conversion Optimization Strategy

The WORST Social Media Mistake

Defensiveness. Plain and simple this is — in my opinion — the worst social media mistake a small guy can make. You’re small enough already, don’t make it worse by being a jerk.

Here’s what defensiveness looks like:

  • Not taking constructive criticism well
  • Whining or complaining about not getting something – whether it’s understanding Facebook’s new changes or not making some arbitrary list
  • Deleting (warranted) negative comments
  • Being argumentative
  • Being arrogant
  • Being snarky 24/7 (if it’s part of who you are/your brand, that’s cool, but don’t go overboard!)

Defensiveness comes from insecurity, and the last thing you want to do is show your current or would-be customers that you’re insecure.

It’s one thing to call out people who are evil and doing things to hurt people, it’s quite another to try and “show up” someone just because they made you feel jealous, or slighted, or wronged.

I see a LOT of “professionals” taking on defensive behaviors, and quite frankly, it’s really disheartening to lose respect for someone who you thought had the world at their fingertips (those who really do aren’t defensive!).

I bring this up because Roslyn’s comments on my blog (along with several others in the past!) could have left me feeling defensive. I could have decided not to approve them, or to be snarky in return.

Instead I took it as an opportunity to learn something about me/my writing style/my blog and to hopefully fulfill the pain point I heard (emotional and psychological collateral!) needed to be filled.

What do you think? Are these good enough tips for the small fry? If you’re a small guy does this help with your social strategy?

See you in the social sphere!


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Brooke B. Sellas is the in-the-trenches Founder & CEO of @HelloBSquared, an award-winning social media, advertising, and customer care agency. She's also the Co-host of The Marketing Companion podcast with Mark Schaefer, where they discuss jaw-dropping marketing trends. Brooke's marketing mantra is “Think Conversation, Not Campaign” so be sure to give her a shout!
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Category: Best Practices, Online Marketing, Social Media, Social Strategy
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8 Comments. Leave new

  • Avatar
    Veronica Solorzano Athanasiou
    July 9, 2014 8:27 AM

    Absolutely love this post Brooke. You nailed it with yet another series of doable tips for the Small Business owner.
    I’m sure Roslyn will find it very useful too. I love her honest comments and how she asks for help. Good on you for using it to listen and respond to your audience.
    This certainly helps me too, I’m already working on some of the above, but having them listed is priceless.
    Love the new site too btw. What does a being a ‘green thumb’ mean? You mentioned it (or something similar) on the B2 crew page.
    Thanks for sharing this valuable information with your readers and brand advocates 🙂

    Reply
    • Yay! So glad to hear that, Veronica. I was pretty disappointed in myself after reading Roslyn’s comments. I’m glad she spoke up and gave her honest feedback – that’s what we’re constantly looking for … those REAL conversations.

      So glad you like the new site! Green Thumb must be an American term. It means being able to successfully grow plants, flowers, herbs, etc.. Right now I’d say I’m a “Black Thumb” (I kill most of what I try to grow!), but I am having some success with some succulents I got back in May.

      Thank you SO much for always being so supportive. This week alone I know you have shared many of our posts. We appreciate you, and LOVE having you as a loyal brand advocate! 🙂

      Reply
  • Dear Brooke, Firstly, Thank you for reading my comment in a constructive way. That was my intention and I suspect years of being frustrated by insufficient info for the small guys or B2c small guys, was ready to be expressed. I love your tips and you truly addressed so many aspects. I know I have the level 1 stuff down with ease and as I am starting on my holiday marketing strategy, will be learning (I hope) how to do the level 2 and 3 tips.
    I really am impressed you heard my ‘pain point’. It sets you apart from all the rest. I will be sharing this and give you permission to use ‘me’ as a case study/example. Thank you.

    Reply
  • Hi, Roslyn! Thank YOU for having the courage to tell me I wasn’t answering some of your questions. 🙂
    I think we’ve all been frustrated at one time or another, so I hope this post helps, and I promise to do more to talk about the small guys and B2Cs – not just the big B2B brands we normally work with (we have expanded recently, and we’re now working with B2C and B2B brands! I’m excited about that.).
    Thanks again for reading our posts, commenting, and for your compliments. We truly appreciate fans like you and hope you’ll continue to grow with us!

    Reply
  • Choosing A Social Strategy That’s Not Obvious To You
    January 20, 2015 10:45 AM

    […] post SMM For The Small Guy: Choosing A Social Strategy That’s Not Obvious appeared first on B Squared Media // B² […]

    Reply
  • […] SMM For The Small Guy: Choosing A Social Strategy Thats Not Obvious […]

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