I meet several small business owners who have either attempted to do their own social media and blogging or (more often) they’ve passed the task off to an entry-level member of the team. I’ve even had small business owners come to me after they’ve tasked their teenage kids to manage their social media accounts. After all, it’s just a matter of posting right?
Not so fast.
Marketing does not stop once the customer is engaged. Your social media content, website, the signage on your store, the cleanliness and layout of your location, and your customer service practices all contribute to a customer’s perception of your brand.
A whopping 78% of global consumers make purchasing decisions based on social media referrals. More importantly, the largest volume of traffic comes during the pre-sale phase. What does that mean? It means your customers are likely getting to know your business on your social media platforms before they ever make an in-person connection.
If your messaging is not consistent from the digital world to your customer service staff and management – the results can be shocking to the consumer, and detrimental to your company.
You need to determine what your core values are and stick to them – all the way through the process. Creating a cohesive messaging policy is a great way to set your business apart from the competition and create fans out of your customers.
Let’s take a closer look:
Have you ever heard someone on the radio? When you listen to someone, you create a mental picture of them. You imagine how they look, their mannerisms, and other basic qualities. What happens when you see a picture of that radio personality that is completely different than the image you’ve held in your mind? It’s shocking, isn’t it?
The same thing happens when your customer gets to know you online, only to be met with a customer service representative that doesn’t match the profile they’ve created in their minds. It’s off-putting, and it may cause them to look elsewhere. After all, they fell in love with the image from social media first.
How can you prevent this disconnect? Perform an objective content audit. Does the tone of your content match the way that your customer service representatives speak and present themselves? Does it match the way you want to be perceived?
Imagery goes hand in hand with tone and voice when it comes to social media content. With the proliferation of graphics and videos all over a variety of platforms – the colors, fonts, and images you use reflect your brand as much as what you say.
Your logo is a reflection of your messaging as well. Your logo should be a pillar of your overall content strategy, furthering your narrative through emotion. What do people feel when they see your logo?
I am a huge advocate for cause marketing. It’s a win-win-win for businesses, charities, and the communities they both serve. However, you want to make sure that the partnership is a good match for your messaging.
Thoroughly research the nonprofits you’re supporting, and make sure that everything is on the up and up. If you don’t, you risk a sponsor boycott if the nonprofit draws the ire of the local community.
So, what do you do if your digital media content does NOT match your face-to-face presence? You have two options.
Sometimes, it’s easy to spot which side needs the adjustment. If you are getting substantial amounts of interest, but then it dies off after you reach out to the customer – the issue will likely be found in your in-person delivery. On the other hand, if people respond exceptionally well to your customer service practices, but nobody engages you on social media – your content needs to adapt.
In other cases, there is a great deal of guesswork. Maybe you haven’t been keeping track of your leads, or your pipeline statistics. Or, maybe – you just don’t know where to start. If you’re stuck in the middle, contact our experienced experts for a free consultation!
Heeren Content & Strategy provides full-spectrum marketing and brand development for small businesses and nonprofit organizations.