Penetrating Social Media for Small Businesses
Sander Biehn is founder and CEO of Thought Horizon, LLC. After a successful career in sales at AT&T, he founded his company in 2013 helping organizations to build, manage and succeed using social selling.
One of our small business customers came to us with a problem: he felt like he was getting behind on social media. He already knew how important social media was to his success in selling his services to Marketers. However, he felt like he was missing out on this important way to reach customers. His competition embraced using social media and was pumping out message after message on the brand’s Twitter and LinkedIn handles. It irked him, but he felt his competition’s approach was too manufactured, too robotic. He wanted to get involved in social media, but he wanted something that fit his business motto of personally caring for – and about – his customers.
Thought Horizon delivered an affordable way for his team to use the business’s LinkedIn and Twitter handles. Luckily, this customer had been blogging regularly and had written some fantastic thought leadership pieces. We explained that much of that great thinking was going to waste because no one was seeing it—but not for long!
Our approach was twofold:
1. We trained his team on best practices in social media. We looked at the discussion about social from the point of view of the employee, not the employer. What made the most sense for them? How often should they post? How should they grow their personal networks?
2. Next, we gave them access to our ReadyForSocial™ platform. We agreed to intermix their blogs with other thought leadership articles that spoke to the individualistic approach they wished to take with customers.
Our pilot included 10 pieces of fresh content per week along with personalized tweets from which the team could choose. We even gave them the ability to use our Auto Pilot feature. With Auto Pilot they could “set it and forget it.” This meant that social media did not take away any time from normal business duties.
After two months, we measured the results of the program. Everyone on the team felt the brand gained traction on the competition, and that customers were responding. It is a well-known fact that, in general, buyers respond much better to getting social media messages from real people vs. the company. Additionally, the team generated some pretty impressive social reach numbers:
Total social media reach per month: 86,229
Average reach per month per user: 17,245
Percentage increase in company blog readership because of social sharing: 90%
With ever increasing numbers, our customer wants to continue with the program and eventually increase content. His team is very happy with the results. The program also fits the budget of this busy, small company that doesn’t have a full-time marketing person. The prolific founder, who does a great deal of the blogging, finally found his audience.