Let's take a trip back to 2013. Remember the days when short, impressive videos magically appeared in your Facebook feed showcasing a must-have item? After several clicks, you now own a self-cleaning dog cage or a bed that makes itself! Then you realize "Wow! That was an ad! And I just bought something!" In 2018, its a different story. At first, we may be captivated by product videos that pop up, but there are strong urges to investigate ratings, to discover whether or not it qualifies for Prime shipping & to find out who is selling the product. As modern-day consumers, we have become very savvy when it comes to Social Media ads. Why? Because almost everything is an ad even when it doesn't look like one! This is why there is a strong demand for authenticity, as well as buying from people you know in your community. We have reverted back to a small town, shop local mentality & that's why its a great time for small businesses to employ good old fashioned marketing through Facebook & Instagram stories.
Convenience is not only a perk of online shopping, it has become a necessity! No more standing in line or aggressive up-selling. All of the inventory, pricing and service options are available to you as a consumer. There is a demand for transparency that even big corporations are now providing their customers. But, after all of these conveniences, there is a level of authenticity missing. There is a human component & the feeling of being a part of the whole business process that customers are craving now more than ever! This is where stories step in. You may not be able to provide them with an in-person shopping experience, but you can definitely provide them with day-in-the-life images to help fill an authentic ambiance void.
In response to the wildly popular SnapChat platform, Facebook & Instagram now have Stories. Stories are meant to look imperfect, highlighting slice-of-life, behind-the-scenes, sneak-peek looks into business, big and small. Customers want to connect and understand the business they are thinking of buying from. It's a very sincere action on their part, however it can be intimidating for a small business trying to promote a clean, perfect brand. Let's discuss how to create the whole picture for your customers.
Continue to have a solid, professional page that showcases your brand. People still like to be impressed, so don't tone down the professionalism of your brand to meet the authenticity trend. Your business still needs to be boss. Your customers are depending on your expertise, so you want to show them your best! Throw in a few phone pics from time to time on your account page, but make sure they follow the tone of your brand.
Get the story out. So many owners do so many interesting and wonderful things for their business. If you attend a conference, post a fun group pic in your stories. If you bought a new statue for your venue's garden, take a 1 minute video of it being unloaded. If you just received the most beautiful, vivid blue orchids for this weekend's wedding, take a pic & hashtag it #SomethingBlue! If you are visiting your favorite restaurant with other vendors, tag their businesses, as well as the restaurant. As long as your story is up (24 hour life-span), your tags & hashtags will be connected to the associated pages. The key is to connect & let your customers know that behind your beautiful business, there is a real person working hard for them.
Tell a real story through pictures. A great way to walk your customers through their buying journey is to tell a story with your pictures. Here is an example of a fictional restaurant called "Tomato Pete's." And guess what? It's tomato season!
By walking your customer through your business process, you better your chances to close the sale. Stories are great for the transition from "hello, nice to meet you" ads to "this is who we are & why we're awesome" imagery. By incorporating stories into your online strategy, you can cover a wide range of marketing -- special events, seasonal items, new staff members, add-on services, spotlights on products... the list goes on!
I hope that this blog gives you an easy, yet inspiring look at how stories can positively impact your customer's experience! If you really love this blog, mention @socialsirenmedia in your next story! I love to hear that the information I've provided has helped your business! If you have any topics or questions you would like seen in a blog, send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org!