Don't Look Up To Big Corporations For Social Media Ideas
In fact, just the other day I saw Social Media Examiner talking about how Sony is rocking Pinterest.
I totally respect Social Media Examiner, but it sort of saddened me to see that they would highlight how a big company like Sony is exceeding instead of trying to find a smaller company who is doing the same thing.
Sony is a huge company, which means that they can put out a commercial asking people to go pin their pics, and they'd get an instant 100,000+ pins, no questions asked.
It's not realistic to small businesses about what they should expect from their social media efforts.
Personally, I don't mess with big corporations in general because they really don't need MY particular help. I want to be able to teach people how to use social media from the ground up, instead of simply posting a few FB messages and Tweets about their latest product or post.
That's not fun for me.
And it shouldn't be what YOU, the small business owner, should look up to when thinking about the best strategies for your social media marketing.
Big Corporations Are Not Your Competitor
Believe it or not, but the big corporations are not your competitor. They are in a league all their own. And because of that, you need to treat them as such:
1. Learn, but do not mimic. It's important to look at how big businesses are achieving their success, but you should always ask yourself, "Is that right for me?" Most of the time, big businesses do very little when it comes to actually having to lift a finger to get any kind of engagement, so for the most part, you may be able to adapt what they do, but never mimic.
2. Treat your customers differently. I don't know if you've ever noticed this, but most big corporations rarely ever reply to a tweet or reply personally to someone's FB wall post or message. They care about getting their message out there and responded to, not about responding back. That's where YOU should be different. Respond back to everyone who takes the time to reach out to you. It will set you completely apart from the big businesses.
3. Lower your expectations. Now, I'm not saying that you should lower your expectations and not try anything new or exciting. I AM saying that if you decide to create a similar contest that a big corporation just did, then make sure you have realistic expectations. If the big corporations got a million entries and thousands of comments, you should look at your specific community and try to gauge how many entries and comments YOU will get. That way you won't get frustrated if you get a smaller response. But instead, you'll be rejoicing that you got any response at all!
The TakeawayIf you take anything away from this post, I hope that it's to do the complete opposite of a big business.
I think the small business can be wildly more successful than the big business, especially in a social media world. Small businesses have the opportunity to create their community from scratch and truly connect with that community.