Imitation is the highest form of flattery. It’s also a smart way to get ahead in the social media marketing world.
If you’re a local business looking to build your local presence, imitating some of the approaches shared at the May 15 Social Media Breakfast at the DreamBank would be an astute approach.
Social Media Breakfast Madison presented a panel of local social media experts who back up their advice with frontline experience implementing the strategies they discussed. The panel included:
Sarah Artz, One-One Thousand: Sarah Artz is an entrepreneur and sometimes marketing consultant. She is the founder of One-OneThousand, a creative business focused on building economy around handcrafted goods and the people that make them.
Zachary Chapman, Ian’s Pizza: Zach Chapman has been working as the Marketing Director for Ian’s Pizza since 2014. Ian’s Pizza specializes in pizza by the slice. They have two downtown Madison locations and a new east side location coming this summer to the historic Garver Feed Mill!
Chris Parish, EatStreet: Chris Parish is a marketing analyst who is passionate about understanding and using data to guide digital marketing decisions. He currently works at EatStreet, which simplifies online food ordering and delivery across the US from its headquarters here in Madison.
Some takeaways from the panel discussion:
Strive for 1:1 connections: You truly can’t replace the personal interactions that can result from social media. Sarah said that social media allows her to connect with people locally, but also to reach out to other boutiques around the world.
Get beyond just broadcasting posts and strive for connections through Faceboook Messenger, for example.
Build rapport: Chris echoed Sarah’s comments about working hard to build rapport with your community. As a national brand, EatStreet works hard to connect on a local level with their customers.
Find your values and hold true to them: Sara is conscious about ensuring her values come through in her posts. She’s not overt about it, but she wants her feelings to show through and to make people feel delightful and curious.
Don’t be totally reliant on social media: All the panelists noted at times feeling a bit of social fatigue, and Zach especially stressed the need to rely on other methods to engage customers. What if it went away? Is your website working like it should, and can it draw in customers through SEO and paid ads?
Measurement: Don’t focus so much on the likes, shares and follower size. Really look for the one-on-one interactions.
(Author Note: In his book “The Marketing Rebellion”, Mark Schaefer stresses the need for companies to “Be human.” These interactions are proof that you are people, not just a company. One metric could be the 1:1 interactions you have!)
Engage with your local community: Follow what’s happening outside your personal stream, and engage. Zach notes he keeps track of what’s happening on other social sites, including Reddit. He tries to keep up with the local scene.
Schedule weekly, if possible: Scheduling social was a real struggle for the panel. Weekly scheduling seems to be the most realistic approach, as you always want to allow room to be creative and spontaneous.
Stay positive: A lot of negative things can happen on social. You can get a bad review. A competitor can put up and amazing post, and far exceed you in followers and likes. Don’t worry about it. Stay positive and do things on social that make you feel good. Send positive messages to people. Pay good things forward.
Special thanks to the panelists and all in attendance! Join us next month for /event/social-media-for-all-of-us-making-content-accessible-inclusive/, featuring Hannah Wente, Jim Denham and Stacy Harbaugh.