If you’re interested in giving a boost to your business’s social media presence, then read on! I want to show you how communicating as a business comes down to putting the “corpus” in corporation. And by “corpus,” I’m referring to the Latin word meaning “body” that forms the root of that word.
When your business becomes an official entity recognized by the state, it is given life that is viewed as its own person in the eyes of the law. The first rule of thumb when communicating for your business is to think of your business as a person.
If I were to put up a shingle selling the best squash in the world and gave my business the name of “Josh’s Squashes” – a terrible name, perhaps no worse than the name “Yeah Yeah Agency” – how would I even begin to communicate as Josh’s Squashes?
Here’s where it gets fundamentally simple, yet it can also be excruciatingly difficult because it often requires a change of mindset about how we think of our pride and joy businesses.
Instead of approaching our communications from the vantage point of the business, we need to focus on what gives the business life. Yes, I started Josh’s Squashes and no one knows about Josh’s Squashes better than I do. But I will really miss out in my communications if I forget what gives my business life.
Quick break for a quiz: What gives a business life? What provides the sustenance for a business to grow and prosper? I don’t want to come across as callous or cold here, but the correct answer is one word: money! The business needs money to grow and prosper. And where does the money come from? Yes, funds can come from your own pocket or from a bank or lottery ticket. But a business can’t sustain itself for long going that route. Businesses need customers to get the money to survive. We’re all in agreement, right?
Turning back to communicating as a business, let’s use Josh’s Squashes as a case study. Imagine that my new business sells really well to Millennials. Thinking of them as one big group can be daunting. But thinking of our core customers in one, two, or three “personas” is a great start. Let’s build a pretend persona right now.
Molly is the ideal Josh’s Squashes customer. She is 30, shops at farmers markets, enjoys streaming Netflix crime shows, and is working to beat her record in the next annual 5K.
Suddenly, communicating as a business gets much more specific and much more real. When I’m marketing Josh’s Squashes to Molly, I can much more effectively share the best of my amazing produce in an authentic way.
As I’ve said before, the best way to communicate on social media is to not be boring. That’s a crass way of saying it, but the way I offered to overcome the boring is to simply be yourself. If we’re not sharing something we’re passionate about, your post will most likely not get much interaction.
The next step was personalization and story. Above, I’ve laid out how customers are crucial to our business thriving and surviving. They should therefore be first and foremost in our communications. For a long time, businesses could get away with simply describing their product and its various features and functions. Those days are gone. In an age when competition is steep, we need a better way.
The superior method to communicate as a business is heart to heart. Your business’s living, breathing heart talking to your living, breathing customer. People stop and pay attention when they hear a story. Telling your business’s story in a manner that includes your customer as the hero is the approach taken by Donald Miller, author of the bestselling book, “Building a StoryBrand.”
In a nutshell, Donald’s approach is to make the customer the hero of your company’s story, not your brand. That’s where the simple-yet-difficult mindset mentioned above kicks in. If I talk to Molly by telling her all about Josh’s Squashes, she’s less likely to make a purchase than if I share how cooked squash can be just the right meal before a 5K to boost her immune system and give her the best time ever, and we will cheer her on from the finish line. The product might be marketed to runners, but it is personalized for Molly and the customers and prospects who identify with her story and want Josh’s Squashes to be a part of it.
So remember, your business is living and breathing. Your customer is the hero. And when communicating online, bring your hero into your business’s story.