Thursday, 14 May 2015

My Products Are Boring – Why Would Anyone Follow Me on Social Media?

I guess I am incredibly lucky to work in an industry where I can get excited about the products and services my organization offers. Life is never dull when you work with cutting edge technology and as a result, creating engaging content to share on social media is never really a problem.
But what if you work in an industry where things are not so exciting?
Well, just because you are not at the cutting edge of science or technology doesn’t mean you cannot get passionate about your business.
Great marketing (like great products) always solve problems for your potential audience.
When I deliver my content and social media marketing boot camps I always tell the story of two successful marketers who are both highly skilled problem solvers and so overcame the issue of having “boring” products. Solving problems is never boring, particularly when those problems impact on your clients’ bottom lines.
Frozen Chicken Nuggets
The first company was a frozen chicken nugget factory who sold their products to the fast food industry and catering departments of large organizations such as schools, hospitals and work canteens.
They discovered the biggest problems their customers suffered from was either maximizing profits on low cost meals or delivering great meals on tiny budgets.
They overcame the problem of having a “dull” product by demonstrating how enterprising caterers can turn a fairly low-cost food product into a quick, delicious, nutritious and highly profitable (or low cost) meal by sharing exciting recipe ideas (which were enhanced by excellent photography). Both user-generated content and commissioned works were exploited to help build community and conversation around the brand and drive social media shares.
Industrial Dust Mats
The second company was a supplier of industrial dust mats (the kind of thing you see at the entrance of an office, hotel, supermarket, factory, etc.). At first glance you couldn’t find a more boring product – but the problems these items solve are many.
A little research showed that industrial dust mats can reduce cleaning costs, protect flooring in high traffic areas and avoid slips and trips (keeping a lid on insurance claims). The bottom line was an industrial dust mat could protect your bottom line and help enhance profits.
Their content focused completely on these benefits and used testimonials from high profile customers to demonstrate their validity. There was no direct sales pitch or focus on individual product specifics. They just hosted conversations with clients who their prospects could identify with and which were useful and interesting to their audience.
Quality Not Quantity
While the numbers of people following and sharing these two companies would never be staggering, they concentrated on reaching the people who mattered – their target audience (the people most likely to buy from them).
Because people buy from people they like and are inspired to buy by people they identify with both organizations took a very human approach and focused on how they could help individuals become more successful in whatever they do. Because birds or a feather flock together, individuals who find this content useful are much more likely to share it, helping bring both organizations reach a much wider (although still targeted) audience.
Photo credit: Steve Koukoulas

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