How can I gain followers as well as friends?
How can I make my page popular?
How can I make sure my promotions don’t pass unnoticed?
These questions keep popping up in the minds of every small business owner who thinks about setting up a company page on a social network.
It is quite understandable. You want success. You want attention. You don’t want to waste your time and money.
Today I am going to talk about how it is done.
I am not going to talk about time management. I’m not going to talk about strategy either, nor magic headers, attractive offers and killer triggers. You can read about all this stuff on a million other internet articles, yet not a single one of them will work if you don’t work on the most important thing.
But first thing’s first.
Social networks: how should I use them?
The first thing you should understand about social networks is this: people don’t subscribe to products or brands. People subscribe to things that the company shares (or the person representing it). If a person likes the things that you tell him, then they will be interested in you.
It can be a lifestyle. Or it can be about convictions. Or a certain idea. Or style. Anything.
So the most basic (and literally the best) thing you can do is just be yourself.
A personal page is called “personal” for this very reason. The way I present myself in social networks contains much more “me” than any text on my company website, mail list or business offer.
The only exception to this is, perhaps, a blog, and even then, it’s not always the case.
Even if you run a page for professional purposes only: just be yourself! Talk about things that interest you. Talk in your own unique way. Share ideas. Ask. Declare. Repost strange things. Participate in flash mobs. Post videos.
Do anything you like, as long as it leads you to your goal. Just make sure you are true to yourself and speak from the heart.
You can put on a mask and wear it, sure. However, people can always feel a fraud, even if it’s subconsciously.
Every person has something to say to the world. And everyone says it in their own special way. Every one of us wants to bring something to the world: a particular thought, value, product, action or idea.
And the simplest thing you can do is to tell about it. Open, straight and honest.
When someone speaks and expresses themselves openly, it’s mesmerising. Such a person starts to naturally attract those who like and share their ideas.
Every one of us has something special inside of us. These words seem pretentious, but it’s true!
But very often this doesn’t happen. Very often, the treasure hides itself.
Because it’s scary!
Every small business manager has many fears.
A fear to have a dream:
- This idea cannot be implemented.
- Nobody does things like that; it’s a bizarre way to do things; forget about it.
- Dreams are good, but we need a business that makes money.
- Don’t stand out; be like everyone else.
A fear of publicity, self-expression:
- I cannot say what I really think because I am the official company representative.
- People judge my services by my profile, so I’ll just post things that are relevant to my professional activities.
- Posting photos in a bathing suit is professional suicide.
- If I share this link, my subscribers will leave. People don’t want to hear about non-work related topics.
A fear of failure:
- What if I try and fail? It will be such a disgrace.
- Everyone knows things like this only work in New York.
- Nobody will be interested in this contest; the idea is doomed to failure.
- The plan is not bad, but it needs money and I don’t earn that much.
- This country is not accustomed to that kind of business.
A fear of condemnation:
- I cannot write that my specialists are the city’s finest, as it will lead to quarrels with my competitors.
- I can’t write about our delivery logistics as people will say I’m trying to reinvent the wheel.
- This is a bad presentation photo… I should’ve worn a different tie.
- I will write about how page conversion is 7% and everyone will ask “why not 9%?”.
A fear of success:
- No, my project is not ready yet. It is not perfect enough.
- I didn’t deserve this reward; everyone contributed to the project.
- I cannot advertise for the whole area; I have to open another salon first.
- What if I succeed? It’s a great responsibility; it scares me.
It is even possible that someone wants to express themselves freely, but their fear prevents them.
This happens all the time, but we are not accustomed to talking about it. Our modern culture supports the “get a grip” ideology. It’s not so much “overcome and achieve” as it is “suck it up and deal with it”.
What can be done?
Some people go to see a therapist and work through their past trauma. This is a good ideas, as everything that is on the inside impacts things on the outside: social networks among other things. No one wants to deal with an uncertain, frightened pet or, conversely, a crude aggressor. People unconsciously look for openness and friendliness.
Therefore, working with a psychologist is perhaps a good choice.
But there is another way.
You have to find something that is stronger than fear.
I have some good news for you: everyone has it. In coaching, this is called “a mission”.
Stronger than fear
In my coaching practice I quickly grew to realise one thing. Fear overcomes you when you don’t know where you are going. Moreover, if you don’t know, it is of no surprise that you arrive someplace else or don’t move at all.
SMM is just a tool. It’s not worth clinging to just because it’s trending right now. Don’t follow the tool. Follow your dream.
Stop for a moment. Listen to yourself.
You have a business. Why did you start doing this instead of other things? What is the most precious thing about your business? What did you believe in when you began?
If you just grin and think, “what a silly question, any business is made to make money”, then I have bad news for you: you won’t see any real money from it.
It has been long proven that people don’t go for the product, but for the person they like. Moreover, if you study the history of enterprises that did more than just make huge sales and established their own ideology (like Apple with iPhone), you will see that customers give their money to them not because they like the products. They buy because they believe the same things the founder does.
Steve Jobs believed that there should be a perfect mobile phone in the world. He also believed that there are people that really care about what a mobile phone should be.
What do you believe in?
You own a business. What did you believe when it all started? Who will benefit from your business? How?
Don’t sell things. Don’t sell services. It’s boring, banal and devoid of benefits.
Formulate your idea and do everything needed for it to be realised. Then you will be followed by those who believe in the same things as you do.
In principle, I tell nothing new here. You’ll learn roughly the same during your MBA course. Formulate, they say, your mission and strategy, and everything will function by itself.
That’s what people do. But the problem is that missions without a core idea will be unsubstantial. I call them “plastic missions”. Being a copywriter, I’ve seen them all.
- The main objective of our company is to make high-tech and innovative methods of diagnosing, preventing and treating significant diseases.
- Promoting the development of organisational and managerial culture within UK companies by providing high-quality services to educational institutions, using modern educational technology
- To carry out all types of banking operations. Helping you to navigate the world of finance by effectively managing money and providing convenient banking services.
- The development and manufacture of confectionary products, doughnuts and baked goods to meet our customers’ expectations of quality products and a high level of service.
- We see the mission of our company in establishing and offering to our customers the best selection of transportation and logistics services provided by international and national markets. We strive to ensure maximum reliability and high-quality services for our customers in order to make them more efficient and minimise their costs.
Have you noticed what is in common for such plastic missions? Well, except the fact that they are impossible to read.
They are all about actions and what the company does. There’s not a single word on what they believe in and what they want to accomplish.
A mission is, above all, the purpose and the reason of existence for an organisation. What is the reason of existence for those who offer quality services? The mission doesn’t need to contain an answer to this question.
It’s the same as “we-marketing”, but on a managerial level.
What do real mission statements look like?
To enrich the lives of women around the world. MARY KAY
To prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies. Red Cross
To refresh the world… Coca Cola
To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. Google
Compare. Read them over and see the difference.
Each of these mission statements is about something real. About an idea. It is not always about the company (and definitely not about what it does), but about someone else. FOR someone else.
They are shorter and clearer, too. Because the idea is clear.
How do I know my idea?
It’s easy for Google to write about the world’s information, seeing as it’s the world’s number one search engine. What if all I have is a flower delivery business or a hostel? Do I have to say something on saving people’s lives or making the world green again by using paper towels?
This is a very good question.
A real mission cannot be formulated without feeling the idea. No feelings or plastic mission statements.
I’ll tell you how you can get to your idea.
There are several tools in coaching that help to formulate a mission statement. I will tell you about the one that is the most simple. It is called “a pyramid of logic levels”. When a client tells me that they “don’t know where to go”, I always begin with this tool.
I suggest taking some steps right now. Steps that lead directly towards your own vision.
Let me warn you that it is quite possible that you won’t be able to envision your last step straight away. Perhaps some questions will leave you wondering and the answers will not appear right away. This is perfectly normal: up to this point you haven’t thought about it. Try, think and search for a new take on the things you already know. One day it will come to you naturally. Alternatively, you can contact a coach: then everything will happen much faster.
So, let’s start our walk from the bottom, climbing step by step.
Step 1. Entourage and circumstances
In what surroundings do I do my business? With what team? In what place?
Step 2. Product and action
What exactly do I do?
Step 3. Strategy and aptitude
How do I do this? What skills and abilities help me with this?
Step 4. Value
In the things I do, what is the most important thing for me? What is my core value?
Step 5. Identification and role
Who shall I become to translate this value, to bring it to more customers? What is my role in business?
Step 6. Mission
Why did I start this? Who will benefit from my business? Who will be impacted by it?
In order to make it more comprehensible, I will give you an example. Here are my answers to the steps above.
1. What is the environment I do my business in?
My team consists of people that are interested in personal growth and personal effectiveness. These people wish to expand the scope of their perception, to make a breakthrough from their day-to-day lives. They are the ones who feel that something is wrong, but do not know where to start.
2. What do I do?
I conduct coaching sessions with my clients.
3. How do I do this?
Using the methods of Erickson’s transformational coaching.
4. What is my highest value in this?
Real help for real people.
5. Who shall I become to translate this value?
A coach who turns his clients into winners that are capable of anything. A coaching evangelist. An ideologist. An author of an inspirational blog.
6. Why did I start all this?
I want people to wake up, to make a breakthrough towards themselves.
So, my mission can be formulated as follows: I want people to wake up.
Important note: don’t skip steps!
This pyramid is built in a tricky way. It’s not possible to immediately jump from lower levels to higher ones.
If a person always focused on what they are doing, he or she won’t immediately be able to answer the question of “why did I start all this?”. They will have to figure out how they will be able to do this, why it is important and who they must become in order to make it all come true. With every step their vision will expand, until they can finally see their company clearly.
And then the answers, inspiration and new discoveries will come.
I observe it in my coaching sessions. People seem to open their eyes. Having understood the idea, having felt it on the inside, they start looking, acting, planning and communicating in a completely different way.
They become free, strong and open. They find their own voice.
Now you try it. Take a walk up the pyramid’s steps.
Now let us get back to the matter at hand
Initially, the article began with the idea that for people to be drawn to you, it is vitally important to be as open as possible in social networks.
Yes, being yourself is frightening. But when you realise your true purpose and find your true beliefs then the fear will recede.
And to find your true goal and idea, you have to start at the top by figuring out ”why am I doing this?”
Because if you know the answer to this question, all the other answers find themselves. For example:
- What social network should I use?
- In what style should I lead my group?
- With what materials should I fill it?
- Should I write about personal things?
- What promotion should I launch as an advertisement?
- Should I post photos in a bathing suit?
Let me reiterate: SMM is just a tool, not a goal. When you remember your goal, everything else falls into place.
When you openly state your goals and core values, magic happens. You will naturally attract those who are like you and believe in the same things as you do. These will be the people who share your values, see a similar future, dream about the same things. I dream about the greatest possible number of people waking up.
How about you?
Personal achievement coach