The don’ts of social media stack up as quickly as the chatter buries a well-crafted post. Don’t be boring. Don’t use too much stock art. Don’t sound like a robot. Don’t let direct messages go unanswered. Are you having an #unfiltered anxiety attack yet? Come out from under the boardroom table. We’ll start from the beginning: Choosing a social media platform. Here to help navigate the great social unknowns are Sarah Wilson, founder of Chip Cookies, and Rachel Hofstetter, chief marketing officer of Chatbooks. It’s not by chance Chip and Chatbooks are both masters of the media.
1. Find your customers’ head space.
“It’s a big picture thing. Picture your consumer when they’d be open to thinking about your product. What time of day is that?” Hofstetter says. Since Chatbooks is commonly used by busy young mothers, its social media focuses on the platform where busy moms go to relax: Instagram. And while Chip usually focuses on Instagram, they took a different shot when they became a vendor at the Utah Jazz games. Because sports fans take to Twitter, Chip started tweeting with all the right hashtags.
2. Understand each platform.
To get inside the head of your customer, you need to get inside the head of each platform. Hofstetter says the moms they target have accounts on most platforms, but they use them with different mindsets. “Instagram is what Facebook used to be,” she says. Snapchat is for your close friends. LinkedIn is for your professional side. Pinterest is a DIY haven. Which of those captures your audience when they’re thinking about you?
3. Don’t put yourself in a corner.
“When you’re starting out, try them all. You might not realize where you’re going to get your customers’ attention. Diversify. Every brand is different,” Wilson says. When she started promoting Chip, Wilson started accounts on several platforms because her audience was anyone craving a cookie at 10 p.m. Turns out posting photos of gooey cookies late at night caught their attention. Even though they focus on Instagram, Chatbooks also maintains a presence on all to stay relevant.
4. Understand your own business.
“At Chip we believe that we are selling more than a cookie — it’s an experience,” Wilson says. Part of the Chip experience is to take a picture and share it with friends. This experience transitions seamlessly to Instagram, where they can post a picture — or better yet, a boomerang video of the lip opening and closing the box. #chipflip
5. Give them what they want.
“Nobody is coming to Instagram to be sold to,” Hofstetter says. “They are coming to Instagram to be entertained, to enjoy, to laugh and to see their friends.” Hofstetter recommends becoming a friend the audience wants to see posts from. Chatbooks’s Instagram account has created a cyberspace where those mom customers can come for comic relief and parenting advice. And occasionally they’ll post something self-promoting, like a giveaway or a sale — which is also greatly appreciated.
Robin Hood Marketing
Wake up and smell the options. As the marketing geniuses they are, both Hoffstetter and Wilson recommend looking outside the little screen when it comes to advertising your business.
“Social media is just one arrow in your quiver of customer acquisition — both paid and unpaid,” Hoffstetter says.
Beyond social media marketing, both Chatbooks and Chip use several other advertising modes: Pandora ads, word of mouth, affiliate, magazines and partnering with influencers. Keep a robust quiver of communication arrows to target your audience.