Social Media Tips for “Private” Business Owners
By Steve Marcinuk, founder of the NP Agency. Reach him at (732) 500 7793.
Many of the small businesses and Jewish Non-Profits we work with were missing opportunities online because the owners, personally, are rather private people.
Most of these business owners avoided social media because they (understandably!) don’t want their personal life shared all over the internet. And, there’s a perception that to do well on social media you need to snap a lot of “selfies” and/or share intimate updates about their families or friends.
Thankfully, that’s just not the case.
Modest business owners can still promote their businesses on social media without sharing their personal lives or ever getting in front of the camera - and we’ve worked with dozens of savvy clients who’ve asked us to do exactly that.
Properly executed, a smart social media strategy can help you:
Have a great-looking online presence, without focusing on the business owner.
Promote your business to VERY specific people, based on age, profession, interests and more.
Build lists of potential clients, get leads, and automatically follow up with potential customers.
So, if you want to reap the benefits of giving your business a vibrant, compelling social media presence without putting too much of “YOU” out there, read below for 7 excellent ideas to get started.
1. Leverage “Stock” Photos + Design to Tell Your Story.
You know being on social media is important, but you don’t be the one who’s in front of the camera? That’s okay! There’s literally millions of photos on the internet that you can use to tell your company’s story without ever putting your personal images online.
The tricky part is - you can’t use just ANY photo you find on the internet; you need to use “Royalty Free” photos, or ones that have an open license for commercial use.
Sites like Pexel and Pixabay have 1 Million+ photos that are pre-approved for businesses like yours, and with a subscription you could use ShutterStock.com or GettyImages.com to access many many more.
If you’re working with an agency or independent contractor, ask them where they’ll be getting the photos, and make sure the images are permitted for commercial use to avoid potentially damaging legal trouble down the line.
2. Celebrate Holidays and Special Events
Did you know that April 9th is “Be Kind to Lawyers Day?”
Or what about “National Get Outdoors Day?’’ - yep, that’s around June 8th every year!
Depending on your industry and target clientele, you may find it’s appropriate to ‘celebrate’ different events that are of interest to your customers.
For instance, some Jewish-run businesses we work with like to share wishes for a #ShabbatShalom, and even secular businesses that serve a particular demographic may want to post about religious holidays, cultural events, and commemorate specific events in history that speak to their clients’ interests.
3. Comment on New Stories / Trends in the Industry
Does your company pride itself on being experts in your field? Social media is the perfect way to show off your knowledge, without necessarily having YOU say it.
By sharing and ‘commenting’ on new stories, regulatory changes, and industry trends, you can demonstrate expertise and communicate confidence to your potential clients.
For instance, an accounting firm might choose to share articles from the Wall Street Journal about new filing deadlines. And an insurance agency might share an article about natural disasters that have insurance implications.
With a small bit of guidance, a great marketing agency can comment on your behalf, and make the article relevant for your company.
Adding comments like - “Is YOUR company prepared for these new changes? Contact our team for a free coverage review!” can take an article in the news and make it about your business.
4. Be Promotional... but Not TOO Promotional
While social media can be a great place to promote your business, most people go on social media for entertainment and information, not to be ‘marketed to.’ And this makes sense - Just imagine a friend who’s always trying to sell you something… you probably don’t want to hear from them very often!
For this reason, it’s OKAY to promote your newest sale, event, or promotion, but you’ve got to mix it up. There’s no hard-and-fast rule for how many ‘posts’ on social media can be promotional, but if you’re seeing that more than 25% of your updates are mostly about a ‘call to action’ (like “Buy Now!” or “Contact Us Today!”), you’re probably crossing the line.
Even better, when you do make promotional posts, keep them interesting, friendly and useful. There’s an art to thinking of 100 ways to say “Call Us!” without being pushy - and a good marketer can think of the right approach for your business.
5. Celebrate Accomplishments of Your Team and Clients
To be sure, photos and updates about real people do ‘perform’ well on social media. But that doesn’t mean you personally need to be the one getting all the attention.
Many companies celebrate their employees and their clients online and achieve the benefit of making the brand more friendly and personable by doing so.
Think birthdays, “employee of the month,” special events (weddings, new children, etc), and little victories you’ve achieved for the folks you work with.
One team we work with in Jewish education likes to share the birthdays of their educators, and a local business that works in childcare has had success in celebrating “little victories” from kids their babysitters have worked with.
Even local repair businesses can see success in sharing before/after photos of the repairs they’ve done (with the clients’ permission, of course!).
All of these are great ways to be ‘personable’ online without getting “personally” overexposed.
6. Promote Your Location or Where You’ll Be.
Not every business makes “public appearances” but if yours does, you can call attention to these occasions to connect with your team in person. Things like webinars, trade shows, conferences, and special events present opportunities to promote online, and you can make the post more about the “event” than about your or your team personally.
Simple posts such as “Visit us at Booth 115” or “Look forward to meeting at this year’s conference” are great ideas. Even though most of your audience won’t physically be there, all of your fans get to see that you’re active in your industry and can enjoy ‘following along’ as you share with them.
Ideas like these help you get personal without necessarily drawing unwanted attention to yourself.
7. Share Quotes, Tips, and Statistics
Some of our clients who like being ‘in front of the camera’ love recording short videos that we can edit and promote on social media.
But not everyone wants their image and voice plastered around the internet forever. Thankfully, there’s another solution.
Your marketing team can take your ideas, quotes, or article concepts and turn them into posts that share the same ideas but without video / photos.
A series of “Quick Tips” for your clients, quotes from industry leaders, or even testimonials can be turned into graphics that look great and tell your story - all without you personally talking to the camera!
8 . Consider Hiring An Agency:
There’s a lot of different responsibilities that go into online marketing, and gone are the days in which a single college student can do everything necessary to run a business’s online marketing. Depending on the project, you’ll need the following ‘abilities’ from the person/team you hire:
Graphic Design Ability to make beautiful ads and images.
Video Editing Ability to create videos, animations, and more.
Writing Skills to write captions, text, blogs, and more.
Strategic and Analytical Skills for crafting good plans then looking at the data to optimize the campaigns.
Technical Know-How to actually post the content, create ad campaigns, and track results o that make sense and get results.
To repeat: Just because someone is ‘younger than you or spends all day on their phone you does NOT make them a digital marketing expert or social media marketing expert.
And hiring an individual without proper abilities will likely take hours of your time to coach them and redirect them to what really matters. Like every other part of your business, online marketing takes some strategy, some skill, and a lot of consistent work to get your results, so the best way to ensure this happens is to work with professionals who are committed to your success.
In Summary: Keeping Private While Promoting Your Business Online
Too many businesses are missing opportunities to win new business on social media just because the business owner doesn’t want to share their personal life online.
But even the most private business owner can benefit from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more by getting clever and using a few tricks to promote the business without exposing the businesses’ leadership to the whole world online.
What Do YOU Need Help With?
Call us at (732) 500 7793 or fill out the form below to get started.
We do both business coaching and worry-free management of online marketing for small business and non-profit teams. Let’s connect - (732 500 7793) or Steve@NetPositiveAgency.com