Step Outside Your Street Corner

by | Mar 24, 2017 | Social Media Marketing

The best pizzas are made in small mom-and-pop hole in the wall restaurants. The best coffee? Is served not in Starbucks but small coffee shops on the corner. The best service is always in a small family owned business. Yet somehow, we always find ourselves standing in line at the prestigious restaurants, waiting on extremely long lines and paying through the nose for an overpriced and over processed product.

So What Gives?

Why are we willing to spend the time and the money on subpar products, prepared in generic batches, served by nonplussed staff? Prestige of the label? Yes, that plays a part but not so much so that we would accept less for more.

The best pizza ever is from small time shops, we like to think the same about @UpAutomation to!! #marketingtips

Afraid of the Unknown…

Today I probably had the best coffee in years from a slightly cracked china cup in a small café in a random neighborhood. I found myself relaxing to a pleasant conversation and delicious food in another small neighborhood restaurant that no one would find unless they knew where it is.

The difference is simple – MARKETING. Or to be precise, Digital Marketing. A scary word rarely used in small private business’. Covered in pre-assumptions and stereotypes, it is hard for down to earth, grassroots businesses to grasp. Or so it seems.

Let’s take a page out of Hollywood’s book…

In a 2013 Owen Wilson movie The Interns, two middle-aged guys vie, with 20-something online marketing geniuses, for a coveted spot on the Google marketing team. In the end, you’ve guessed it, the underdogs win. But that was not what was impressive about the movie, it was the way they’ve approached the small mom-and-pops pizza shop about bringing their business into the digital age.

Social media is a term we are all familiar with and we use it in private lives daily. Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, Snapchat, Tumblr, Google+, Youtube, Periscope, LinkedIn, Meerkat, Blab, Reddit, StumbleUpon and more. You may even have a Facebook page for your business and post regular pictures of your venue, food and events on Pinterest. But without some basic digital marketing, you are no different from a 20 year old documenting every meal of their day and the coveted shot with a Starbucks cup.

Step outside your comfort zones: inside and outside of your business. @UpAutomation #marketingtips

Back to my Story

While I sat in the aforementioned coffee shop enjoying the quiet bustle of suburban street, the sidewalks still damp with afternoon rain and a delicious coffee quickly disappearing from my cup, I realized that people from a few blocks away probably don’t even know about the existence of this little gem, never mind people from other neighborhoods.

If this is you, a small business, putting all your heart and soul into your venture but the customers, while loyal and greatly satisfied, are merely trickling in, you NEED digital marketing in your life. And no, you do not have to be a tech savvy, social media butterfly. All you need to do is embrace the world of digital marketing with curiosity and ready mind.

What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is any effort to spread the word about your company that uses the internet to reach people. Simple enough really isn’t it? But let’s break it down further.

The Foreigner that Could…

I have a friend in China who runs a western restaurant in a historic part of town. The town itself is not a bustling metropolitan filled with business and tourists but it does have a fair number of foreigners who are craving for a juicy burger, creamy carbonara or at the very least, a good ‘ole bacon and eggs in the morning. But the place was almost always empty.

Luckily for me and for the restaurant manager, Tony, I lived just above the place and was a loyal customer who decided to take the matters into my own hands.

First thing we started to do was create an advertisement campaign on social media. Tony, just like many small businesses, was already posting pictures of the menu of the day or new specials. But it was poorly worded, badly represented and thrown out into the big void of internet, quickly getting lost in the abyss of constantly updating timelines.

We have identified our market, targeted our audience and connected with them via direct call out to the customers.

Wording, or as the cool kids call it, the Copy, is incredibly important. While it is the images that grab your attention, it is the wording that keeps it. So if you yourself are no marketing Shakespeare, look around you and recruit the help of someone who is.

I will give you an example. Thanksgiving is a holiday dear to the hearts of millions of Americans, but the rest of the world just doesn’t get it. So when Thanksgiving season came about, I have talked Tony into promoting a Thanksgiving dinner to the foreign community. He thought it was a great idea and he did. He found some generic photos of Thanksgiving fare and posted them up with the title:

“Roasted turkey, seafood, red quinoa & pumpkin pie! What’s the story, mate!”
Now I see what he did there, a modern spin on traditional meal and a cool little slang to target specifically foreigners….British foreigners for some reason, but nonetheless. However this does absolutely nothing to catch my attention and build my excitement for this once a year celebration. So we quickly re-wrote the post:

“Tired of Ji Chao Fan? This Thanksgiving holiday we got you covered! Come and enjoy the new spin on the traditional meal in a warm family setting! Finish off the night with a bite of delicious home-made pumpkin pie, just like nana used to make. Bring your friends, make new ones and feel at home. Home is where the heart is and yours is with us!”
What did we do there? We have hit upon several sensitive issues, Pain Points. Abundance of Chinese food but lack of good western food readily available. People missing their home, their family and their traditions, especially on such a family oriented holiday. Some people are new in town and have not made any friends yet, this is their opportunity. And those that do have friends, get to feel like they are family.

Being alone and away from home on a holiday is tough. And with just 6 short sentences we have given them a respite from homesickness and made this holiday about what it really is, being connected, happy and loved.

We have identified our market, targeted our audience and connected with them via direct call out to the customers.

Next, we had to tackle the graphics, also known as the Visual. Anyone can Google a picture of a turkey or green bean casserole. But who has the time or the desire to flip through 4-6 images? We are all busy people and if the visual content doesn’t grab us from the get-go, we are moving on. When so much rides on one image, you need to make sure that it connects well to your copy.

Consider, what are the key words in your text? In this case we focused on family, food and sense of belonging. We have found an image to match that and ran it together in an ad on various social medias, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and, China native, WeChat. We reached out to the existing customers and asked them to share the post for an additional discount, we have promoted group pricing and made sure to build up hype around the posts so they would show up more frequently on the timelines of our followers.

When Thanksgiving day came, it was standing room only and everyone was happy to be a part of something so much like home, even if Thanksgiving wasn’t their national holiday.

So to Sum it Up…

This is just a small example of social media done well working for you. Making videos for YouTube, small video snaps for Facebook, Snapchat and Whatsapp, well thought through and compiled posts on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram are all the things you can do yourself without the help of any professionals and it will help you build up your business, increase the traffic flow to your shop and get your name out further than your street corner. But don’t stop there! Keep exploring your options and possibilities. Having a promoted pin on Pinterest, having an ad run on Facebook that connects back to your website, landing page, creating e-mail blasts for your customers, all that and more you can easily do yourself if you dedicate a little time to it. If time is of the essence, Up Automation offers a Free Yourself from Tech Hell Consultation! By the end of our call together you will…

  • Create a crystal clear vision for attaining a positive ROI in 90 days or less
  • Uncover hidden challenges that could be sabataging your success with getting new leads and sales into your business
  • Leave the session, re-energized and inspired to take action and move forward faster and easier than ever before

So ditch the tech hell frustration and schedule your call now! We’ll help you get started and clear up the uncertainties of digital marketing. At the end of the day, remember, first step is the hardest but once you step off your street corner curb, there is no stopping you!

It’s Time to Ditch Frustration.

Schedule your free 30 minute consultation with
Shannon Kuykendall, DMCP, ICP
today to discover your path to freedom…

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