You’re the new business on the block and you want to stand out—for the right reasons. Here are a few ways to ensure that customers take notice:
1. Tell your story
As a new business, you want to be popular and profitable—we get that. To do that, you need to be relatable. Customers are more likely to follow and engage with brands that they can identify with. So, start by shaping your brand’s story through the social media content that you share. Talk about the roots of your business, what you stand for, what you don’t stand for, the quirky mantra you used to drive the business forward—whatever you feel defines and differentiates your brand.
Take Trois-Rivières barber shop Le Barbu Sportif, for example. Since opening their shop (and others in la belle province), @lebarbusportif has been active on Instagram, promoting their services, sharing photos from special events and chronicling their participation in local activities, like weight-lifting challenges (something they are passionate about!). They also show off their staff, some happy customers and the storefront itself so that followers can get a sense of their barber shop’s personality.
2. Be social
Put it out there. Post your brand’s story on social media with photos, videos and content that bring it to life. Show your staff setting up a new window display, celebrating your 100th customer, or share a sneak preview of new merchandise. Remember, you’re trying to inspire and engage potential customers, so make it compelling—no pressure, of course. Take a cue from Prince Edward County’s The Shore Oysters’ page on Facebook. They’ve added casual but informative, fun photos and videos of their staff, food prep and suggested pairings that are on-brand and all shot using a smartphone—proving that it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Once you’ve posted content, listen in and don’t be afraid to join their discussions. Thank customers for their feedback and opinions, and add a personal touch whenever you can.
3. Get the word out
You may not have a large social media following (yet), but we’re willing to bet that your network does. Start by asking your friends, family, employees and other local businesses to spread the word through their social media accounts by following, liking, sharing and commenting on your posts. Then, pay it forward. Reward their support with referral discounts and freebies—and remember to reciprocate with engagement with their posts.
You can look to all kinds of businesses for inspiration on how to solicit referrals: members-only fashion portal Amuze gives customers and their friends $25 off a purchase; accessories and stationery brand Erin Condrin offers a $10 credit to friends and advocates; and e-commerce lingerie company True&Co promotes a give/get offer for referrals.
These examples show you it doesn’t take deep discounts to encourage referrals—it’s the thought that counts.