To Be Socially Relevant, Regional Companies Need to Become Publishers

Mid-Market companies need to stop selling and pushing their products. They need to create actual content to survive in the ever-evolving social community.

If you gain no other insight from this article remember this, please. Consumers, especially younger consumers do not want to be sold to. Instead they want to decide to buy a brand!

With the decline in traditional publishing and the increase in social marketing, regional businesses must take matters into their own hands to tell their company’s story. Social media needs to be more than just a place where mid-market companies highlight their products or talk about themselves. It needs to be a place of engagement, where consumers enjoy connecting with a business and a conversation begins.

The day has passed when a business could reach out to a newspaper, pitch an angle on why they should cover their business and get the media outlet to produce an article for promotion. Today regional businesses must develop their own story, continue to explain and evolve it and communicate with their audience, not preach or sell to them.
The best way your regional company can get started on their story is by first asking yourself these key questions:

1. Who are we talking to? Chances are if your audience is too broad then attempting to reach all of them with one message will fail.

2. What are we trying to do? If someone is in the market for your service or product, what are they really in need of and what do you offer that is different or relevant to fulfill that need?

3. Where and when will they experience your message? Just like TV networks are different, social media outlets are not one size fits all outlets either. Consider the different social channels and make sure you create content that matches the users and what they expect to find and experience there.

4. Why should they care? With so many options for people to choose today, making them care is key to making them a customer. Write content that strikes a cord with them and makes them want to buy from you.

5. How can you encourage them to participate in the creation and curation of your positive brand story? Think about how people will react to the messaging and give them reason to feel compelled to “like it”, comment on it and share it. Let them help fuel the fire of your message.

6. Am I speaking to them or at them? Speaking at someone is considered abrasive, self- serving and will eventually turn your potential advocates off and away. Which will only help your competitor.

Often, companies use social media as just one more way to promote themselves, their brands and their products. However, that isn’t the intent of social media or why people enjoy it so much. They like the personal nature it brings to their everyday lives. They like humor, education and inspiration.

The audience wants to be the one who shares an “awesome post” to show their friends and family that they themselves are “awesome” for finding it. Promoting a product in the traditional sense won’t work on social media but delivering content and stories that stirs emotion will.

In today’s world a company needs to have a cause or connection. Some serious interest that they stand for and then put their money where their mouth is by supporting that interest by dedicating time or money.

Social media is about connecting and communicating with potential customers. Sharing insights, accomplishments, ethics and causes. A consumer is more likely to support a company they appreciate and by doing so your brand wins. The brand becomes the benefactor of the company’s positioning.

Regional companies have an advantage over national companies because they can communicate on a local level with their audience. They can discuss things that matter to the local citizen. It hits home.

However, none of this matters, if social is done wrong!

Author: Frank Gussoni

President & Founder of A3 media. We're Type A. We transform media from an expense into a smart investment.