My husband, a Facebook neophyte, recently shared that he’s disappointed with some of his favorite brands’ (e.g. the TV show “Survivor”) pages because they don’t seem at all interested in participating in conversations with fans. Olivier Blanchard, in his The Brandbuilder Blog, wrote a recent post that highlights how – and why – some of the biggest brands are getting very low levels of fan interaction on their Facebook pages.
Both my husband and Blanchard got me thinking about how solopreneurs and small business owners have got an advantage over the big boys in the social arena. You’ve got a lot going for you! Here are just a few of the traits worth leveraging in your social media:
- YOU are your business – Unlike a big brand behind a logo, you can put a face to your name. You have the capacity to create a genuine bond between you and your fans. When they’re interacting with your company on social networks, they know they’re building a relationship with a real, live person. That can go miles in establishing trust and loyalty. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and show your personality.
- Greater ability to engage – Engagement is about interacting with someone, not some thing. You have a leg up on bigger brands because you can connect with your audience on a more personal level. Engagement goes beyond starting conversations on social media, it also involves participating actively in them. You’re better positioned to do that than larger companies – partly because you care more about building personal relationships and partly because you’re dealing with a smaller audience and are better able to respond to questions and comments. Be an eager participant – it will make your fans and followers more motivated to interact with you on social media.
- Desire to help – I haven’t met a solopreneur yet who doesn’t seem to have an innate calling to help others reach their potential. Using social media as a vehicle to empower others through your business is a fabulous way to generate good will and establish yourself as the go-to expert in your field. Of course that involves listening to the conversations in progress on your social media networks. Be a resource: share helpful tips and articles your readers can learn from in answer to questions, problems and issues that hit home with them. Provide value and you’ll keep your fans interested – and talking!
As solopreneurs and small business owners, we’re fortunate. Not only can we fix what’s broken more quickly than larger organizations, we’re also more likely to build mutually respectful relationships with our social media audience so gaps in understanding don’t happen in the first place. So, seize the social advantages that come with being small – and don’t ever lose sight of what “social” means to your fans and followers.
How else has being small helped you build relationships through social media? Please comment and share!
Consider joining the Dialing 8 Project! A forum for learning, sharing & getting the most out of your social media efforts for your small business.
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