How to Make Your Small Business Likeable – Dave Kerpen

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Dave KerpenIt’s not about YOU, it’s about your customer…so why do so few small businesses talk too much about themselves?

Do you know how to think like your customer or audience?

If you don’t, you’re not alone. Many small businesses aren’t aware they are not focusing as much on what their audience wants to hear and the results they get from social media aren’t stellar. That’s why we asked Dave Kerpen, author of Likeable Social Media and CEO of Likeable Local, to show us how, in this week’s episode of The Marketing Agents Podcast.

Big Ideas:

  • Why does it pay to be likeable and how can a small biz take advantage?
    • It’s not rocket science. It’s super simple.
    • Listen, be grateful, authentic, and transparent.
    • Be a great storyteller.
    • You can be more personable than a big business by listening and connecting better.
  • What are some tactics or strategies to start small business engagement?
    • The interaction starts in real life with the customer experience from start to finish.
    • Don’t ignore social media offline.
    • Connect early and often with your customers by creating contests, promotions, exclusive discounts and other creative ways to engage them.
    • It’s not about you, it’s about your customer and 90% of your content should reflect that.

    Take off your business cap and think like your customer. “If I were them, would I share this content or like it?” If not, then don’t bother.

  • If you’re in a traditionally non-likeable field, how do you become likeable?
    • Most all businesses can be likeable with the correct approach.
    • Figure out who you want to connect with.
    • Make it person-to-person and not business-to-business.
    • Give them valuable, relevant content.
  • Is there any conflict with being likeable and using social media ads?
    • If they’re done right, they’re not disruptive and they can add value.
    • Have great content and you’ll reach the right people.
    • Focused ads with the correct social context will still be likeable.
  • Any time saving strategies for people without dedicated social media managers?
    • Likeable Local has a new free app coming soon that will make it very easy to publish to and manage all your social networks. (More info coming soon!)
    • You can also use popular publishing tools like Buffer and HootSuite.
  • How can you integrate social media into the entire customer experience?
    • Make sure you’re social at any given point.
    • You can bake in social interaction on your receipts, emails, at the end of calls by asking for feedback, sharing their experience, etc.
    • Promotions and incentives help get social media likes, shares, and ultimately conversions.
    • Get creative with how you communicate with your customers.
  • How do we tell better stories as a small business?
    • It comes across in what you say and what you do.
    • Craft your stories ahead of time by using a template with these topics:
      • What were your humble beginnings?
      • How have you solved customer problems?
      • What did your business do to influence your employees’ lives?
      • What communities or charities do you support?
      • What do you do when you’re not working?
    • Tell your stories with audio, video, shares, tweets, posts, ebooks, etc.
    • What are your stories and how are they best told?
    • Unlike traditional advertising, social media is inexpensive and takes less time to build momentum.
    • If a story doesn’t resonate, tell a different story tomorrow in a different format.
    • Once you hit your target, then you know what to focus on.

Juicy Links:

Rich Brooks
Always Be Measuring

  • Jen McGahan

    These are wonderful tips! The individuals you meet and connect with face-to-face are a huge clue to the ones you should be talking to online. The trick is to gather yourself and remember what that interaction felt like before writing your blog post or creating that PPC ad. “Personal” is the small biz advantage!

    • Jen,

      Thanks for responding and I couldn’t agree more. Our ability to make connections with people will always help us against our giant competitors.

  • J Sandifer

    Another great interview Rich! Good to hear the backstory on Dave and Likeable, especially since his CTO and tech team work right next to us here at Think Tank!

    • Thanks, J! Dave’s origin story is a great one, that’s for sure!