Category Archives: Networking & Visibility

Start Selling Through Social with 3 Awesome Post Examples

Start Selling Through Social

According to recent research by BlueVenn, 17% of shoppers do not plan on shopping in stores this year (up from 8% in 2019) and it makes sense that 61% of marketers fear losing their business to online sources.

If you’re one of those marketers or businesses who worries your customers are leaving you for online shopping, you need to take action.

We know not everyone feels confident enough to implement e-commerce and certainly not mid-way through December or later. But we do have an easy way to get online and start selling there this afternoon.

E-commerce Is the Way to Go

In the long-term, you should be implementing an e-commerce system on your website if you have goods or services to sell. For one, people will likely be shopping online a lot and that probably won’t change. Plus, the suggestion we have below is a short-term one. With social media, you’re investing time in a property you don’t own and that can be problematic.

But for now, to meet the needs of holiday shoppers, you want to get up and running “yesterday.” If you don’t have a time machine, here’s how you can do it quickly with no techie know-how.

Leverage the Sales Potential Behind Social Media

If you sell items or services, it’s time to leverage the visual platforms of social like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Facebook 

Post images to your page with stories and/or vivid descriptions. You needn’t take payment on Marketplace or through Facebook’s store, but you can if you want to make buying easier on your audience. You can simply post to your page and invite them to call you. Many business owners offer contactless delivery.

Benefit of Facebook: People are already there. You don’t have to convince them to come by.

Con: People under 30 tend to be on other platforms more often.

Instagram

This Facebook-owned site is big with people under 30. Post pics and pay close attention to hashtags. These will be vital in helping people find you.

Benefit: You can do some interesting things with reels and stories for added attention.

Con: Instagram doesn’t allow links in your posts.

Pinterest 

Pinterest has some of the best sales conversion rates on social media. People who pin things often buy them. If you sell products that photograph well, this site is simple to use. If you sell services write content and pin articles about how you help as well as testimonials and expectation posts like “5 things to expect from a travel agent.”

Pro: High conversion rate plus posts remain visible for as long as they’re pinned to someone’s board so there’s the possibility of future sales as well.

Con: You have to create content that is pin-worthy. That’s easier for some products than others.

Social Media Examples and Why They Work

Two of these examples are sponsored posts. You’ll want to start with non-sponsored posts as you get a feel for what your audience likes you can add sponsored posts for greater reach.  Use the ideas here to shape yours.

Tell a Story

Tell a story

Romance the reader with your brand and then add a customer testimonial so you’re not the only one saying it like this ad from Bryan Anthonys.

Notice this post appeals to our desire of wanting to find the perfect gift, the one that fits the recipient and our relationship with that person.

Publish a Flash Sale

Push Flash Sale

Appeal to the impulse buyer by announcing a great deal for a very limited time like Fresh Market did here. They added this pic as their cover photo to ensure it got lots of coverage.

Not only does it have a prominent position on their page, cover changes seem to do better in feeds as Facebook appears to share them widely.

Lift Them Up

Lift them up

People could certainly use a feel-good message these days. This ad by Awareness Jeweler assuages a very common insecurity that people have, particularly around the holidays. They wonder if they are enough. If they’ll find the right mate, the right job, the right line of work, etc. 

There’s also a nice call to action at the end.

This is certainly a challenging time with more and more buyers saying they will shop entirely online for the near future. You need to be on there. It doesn’t have to be complicated and you can leverage resources you already have set up.

When creating your posts, keep in mind, people are on these sites to be entertained and inspired, not sold to. If you don’t have a sizeable following, you may want to run some sponsored ads to call attention to your offerings. Make them look like personal posts, not ads, for the greatest level of success. If you let your personality shine through, people will buy from you whether you’re online on social media or sitting at your business greeting visitors.


Christina R. Metcalf (formerly Green) is a marketer who enjoys using the power of story and refuses to believe meaningful copy can be written by bots. She helps chamber and small business professionals find the right words when they don’t have the time or interest to do so. 

Christina hates exclamation points and loves road trips. Say hi on Twitter or reach out on Facebook.

Make an Impact – Apply for Leadership Tigard

PRESS RELEASE

Aug 12th, 2020

For Immediate Release:  Tigard, Oregon

Leadership Tigard: Your Backstage Pass to Community and Opportunity

Now accepting 2020 2021 Applications
Left to Right – Mayor Jason Snider, Tigard Chamber CEO, Debi Mollahan, 2020 Graduates – Kelly Marks, Justina Williamson, Carol Krager, Leah Voit, Dolly Specht, Ryan Mohr, John Goodhouse, Pam Leavitt., Katherine Wiley, Kyle Arnhart, Richard Crokin, Patty Lofgren – Not pictured, Amber Bell, Kimberly Cederholm, Wes Charley, Annie Sprague

The Tigard Chamber of Commerce is seeking curious, collaborative, constructive, compassionate, and connected adults who are: business owners, government, non-profit, or academic professionals and volunteers.

Are you interested in gaining more knowledge about the community you live, work and play in? How about a deeper understanding of how it all fits together between business, government, non-profits, and community?  Would you like to impact the community of Tigard and help make it even better?  Then consider Leadership Tigard! Not into reading, go to our video page here

Leadership Tigard is a 1 day/month, 9 month program of the Tigard Chamber of Commerce.  The goal of the program is to educate and inspire adult leaders to participate in the life of our community at a variety of levels.  The purpose of Leadership Tigard is to create knowledgeable, connected, skilled, involved and passionate business and community members/leaders.

Participants in Leadership Tigard become part of local solutions as more informed and engaged citizens.  What some previous participants say about Leadership Tigard

  • Karen Emerson, current Tigard School Board member stated: “Leadership Tigard helped me find the confidence to represent my neighbors on the school board.”
  • Halsted Bernard, Director of Tigard Public Library stated: “Leadership Tigard has given me the tools to engage more deeply with the Tigard Community and the resources to collaborate with other leaders.”
  • Michelle Cheney, health care professional: ”I’ve lived in Tigard for 15 years and worked here for 7 and almost everything we learned was new.  I was delighted with how much Tigard has to offer, and I learned about important ways I can contribute to my community.”

Leadership Tigard graduates have impacted the local community through service projects over the last four years of the program in the following ways:

  • 2020 – Site preparation, assembly and installation of play structure for Family Promise of Tualatin Valley, a non profit that serves homeless children and their families.
  • 2019 – Raised over $6,000 for the Chelsea Hicks Foundation who provides play and laughter to children fighting cancer.
  • 2018 – Assembled 300 “Fresh Start” kits with essential health, hygiene and other necessities for the city’s most needy residents distributed through local agencies.
  • 2017 – Raised $5,000 for Project Homeless Connect Tigard – One Day Event, serving some of our most vulnerable community members.

Applications are now being accepted for the Leadership Tigard class of 2020/21. The program runs October 12th 2020 through June15th, 2021. Applications are due by September 24th, 2020. To learn more and/or apply visit: Leadership.TigardChamber.org or email debi@tigardchamber.org.

Leadership Tigard is a program of the Tigard Chamber of Commerce. Connect with us on Facebook.com/LeadershipTigard, Instagram.com/Leadership_Tigard and Twitter @LeadersTigard

For more information contact Debi Mollahan: Debi@TigardChamber.org or (503) 639-1683

 

4 Ways to Pull Great Stories Out of Your Customers

4 Ways to Pull Great Stories Out of Your Customers

Storytelling makes for amazing marketing because people don’t realize they’re being marketed to. They’re pulled into the story. They develop an emotional attachment to your business and they stick around for the resolution.

Good storytelling casts your customers as the heroes of their stories. You want their successes and triumphs to be told because you want potential customers to hear the stories and think that they can do those things too.

When you cast your business as the wise sage who helps the hero achieve their goals, you become important to the solution. That way people who are considering buying from you understand the valuable role that you play even while you are highlighting the accomplishments of others.

But finding the stories isn’t always easy. Sometimes you’re fortunate enough to have a loyal customer who bathes you in compliments. More often than not, these stories are silent successes that aren’t shared with you. You need to find a way to dig these up so that you can breathe life into them and share them with potential customers.

But how do you do that?

First, a call for stories is not enough. I’ve seen countless businesses inviting people to share their stories with them. And…

Crickets.

The problem with this approach is that people are busy, especially successful ones. If you want their story, you need to find a more creative approach than merely asking. Even people with good intentions and great stories who read your call for stories will often put your request on the back burner behind the more important ones affecting their daily business. You need to go out and get those stories. Here’s how:

Ask Your Customer Support Team/Person

Asking your customer support team for stories of successful customers or fantastic comeback stories is a great first step for two reasons. First, this team (or person) is on the front lines talking to customers every day. If anybody knows what your customers are thinking it’s this group.

The second reason going to them is a good idea is because you’re giving the support person the opportunity to feel important and valued. Very effective stories star disgruntled customers because the story is always in the friction. If you can show a person who is struggling and then overcame that struggle, it’s a lot more effective than someone who just bought your product or service and used it. Ask your team for times when they were really able to help someone. This will assist them in getting to the best stories and allow them to feel special for their efforts at the same time.

Follow Your Customers on Social Media

Follow as many of your customers on social media as possible. This will help you keep close tabs on their wins and successes. When they brag about something out of the ordinary, reach out to them and congratulate them. If appropriate ask them the story behind their success. If it’s a good story ask them if you might use it for your newsletter, web copy,  blog or social media post.

Explain What’s In It for Them

Many marketers approach requests for case studies and customer stories as a favor from the customer. The customer is busy when you come to them begging for their customer story, it quickly becomes an inconvenience for them; especially when you point it out as one like when you ask them to do you a “big favor.”

However, if you explain what’s in it for them they’ll be more likely to participate. For example, instead of asking for a favor tell them they’ve been selected to be highlighted in a newsletter. It goes out to a thousand people and the details of their business and their offerings will be shared widely and in a positive light.  They will quickly see the value of participation for their own business.

Host an Appreciation Event

If you are looking for great customer stories, a solid way to uncover them is by hosting an appreciation event. When making small talk with your customers and expressing your appreciation for them, make it a point to ask them what accomplishments they are most proud of this year. That gives them a chance to boast and they likely will enjoy the opportunity to do so. As you’re listening to their success stories, try to figure out if your business had any part of that. Even if you didn’t play a role in it, it still provides a wonderful opportunity to congratulate them on something they’re proud of.

If you want to incorporate storytelling in marketing for your business, you need to feature your clients or customers. The best stories focus on their successes. But asking them to share their success in your posts on social media is usually not enough to get a response. Instead, use some of these tactics to get them to open up about what they’ve achieved and how you helped.

 

Christina R. Green teaches small businesses and chambers how to connect through content. Her articles have appeared in the Midwest Society of Association Executives’ Magazine, NTEN.org, AssociationTech, and WritersWeekly. She is a regular blogger at Frankjkenny.com.  

 

Christina is an introverted writer on a quest to eradicate boring copy and bring great storytelling to organizations everywhere.