You are a stay-at-home mom in the business of making cupcakes. You make them in your kitchen and place orders whenever friends and family need them. Your business is making cupcakes, and it can only be that big—or so you think.
However, your kids play soccer in town, you’re a member of the PTA, you volunteer once a week with the ambulance corp, and your husband owns a small business in town. Everybody knows you. Your personal brand is known in many different facets of the community and by many different people. You can use all of these groups and outlets to bring transparency to your business, and thus, your business will grow.
As marketers, we want our business to grow to its full potential, and by putting limits on yourself, it stifles your business. Your business can only grow so large on its own. You want your business to be as big as your brand— not the other way around.
Large businesses and corporations have had to master this exact concept to get to where they are today. Take, for example, Forbes; its business is Forbes Magazine. However, its brand is so much bigger than that. The folks at Forbes have created a filter system that brings you in from all aspects of your day-to-day life and directs you to their business. They’ve done it in such a way that you don’t even realize it’s happening. They’ve sucked you in with social media.
Social media is a digital-marketing trend and can be used to bring transparency to your bank. Here are just a few examples of how to use social media as a funnel to drive people to your business— and to make it grow.
Interact in the community. As your connections in the virtual world grow, you will see a correlation in interest to your business in the physical world.
Write articles and blog posts that are of interest to people in your industry, and provide links that send people to your website. This will increase the traffic to your website and the awareness of your business as a whole.
Volunteer in the community or at a particular event, making sure to mention it in your social media pages. Use the tags designated for the event so that people viewing the function see how you were associated. This will expand your exposure to people who might otherwise never visit your business.
Take advantage of conversations online. For example, a customer may Tweet about ordering cupcakes from you, and the icing was ruined when they arrived. You can use this as an opportunity to show your authentic self. Own up to what happened, apologize, and send another batch. Not only will you satisfy your customer, but all of that person’s connections will see it as well.
Show your personality. Social media makes this easy. The mom who sells cupcakes in her kitchen knows tons of people in the community. They feel like they know her already, but she can bring her personality to her online profile, to her business. This creates an unbreakable bond between business and owner.
By creating transparency, you build a relationship with your customers. They begin to feel as though they are a part of the day-to-day operations of your business and, in turn, want to buy from you. The more you use social media, the more people who will get to know your business and your brand as a whole. In doing so, your business can continue to grow and become the success you always dreamed it to be.
Like the stay-at-home mom with the cupcakes, you can take your business to new places. You’re not pigeon-holed or stuck at a certain level. Growth happens. It’s real, and it’s possible. And the right social media funnel and customer engagement will help get you there.