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On Social Media, You Have More to Say Than You Think

When you've got a traditional business, it may seem hard to figure out what to post on social media networks, but the truth is, you have more to say than you think.


We recently exhibited at an event where thousands of business owners descended on the Jacob K. Javitz Center in New York City to learn about new ways to grow their business. Our core message is that we enable small businesses to effectively utilize email marketing and social media marketing to grow. So one of the key messages for people to take away from VerticalResponse is that you can easily send email marketing campaigns, post to your social networks, and get analysis all from one single site.

Enter the Sign Guy

During the show, I was approached by a wonderful small business owner who looked at me and said, "I sell signs, what do I have to post? I have a Facebook page, a Twitter account, a Tumblr page, a blog, I redid my website, I did everything I was supposed to do, but I have no idea what to post." 

I have to admit that for a solid second he stumped me. He sells business signs, building signs and things like that. But when I thought about what he "really" did, I realized he helps businesses promote themselves. Now we were onto something and here's what we came up with:

  • Bad Sign Campaign--Take a weekly or monthly picture of a sign that needs some improvement. Then redesign it. Share the before and after in an e-mail, on your website and on social networks. It could result in some new leads and a ton of engagement.  Houzz did this online with an ugly door contest and they've got over 30,000 before and after home design photos that have been submitted to their site!

  • Share Industry Articles--As it turns out the sign man read plenty of trade publications. Why not share articles he finds interesting and thinks his customers will benefit from as well?

  • Overall Business Promotion--If he read a how-to article, or any other kind of business promotion like a great business card idea, an interesting display he saw or a great online technology, he can share it as other ways for his customers to promote their businesses. He then starts to become a promotion expert and not "just the sign guy." Marcus Sheridan is a perfect example of this. He went from being "the pool guy" to an expert in content and marketing.

  • Good Sign of the Week--He can share things he likes about specific signs like color, placement and viewability. He can then translate that into how a business can make improvements to their own signage.

  • Pictures! He can take pictures of new signs he sells and immediately post them as "his work well done."

  • Offers-- From time-to-time he can post offers on new signs or sign spruce up deals.

All of these ideas can help get him in front of followers as the expert at business promotion on a regular basis. And, when a business needs a sign, hopefully they'll think of him. 

So as it turned out, the guy who wondered what he could do with social media walked away with a bunch of great ideas to grow and get new customers.

Are you scratching your head about what to post? Love to hear it!

Did you enjoy this post? If so, sign up for the free VR Buzz and check out the VerticalResponse Marketing Blog.

Last updated: Oct 28, 2013

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JANINE POPICK is the CEO and founder of VerticalResponse (a Deluxe company), a leading provider of self-service email and event marketing, online surveys, social media, and direct mail solutions. The company was ranked No. 2,802 on the 2012 Inc. 5000.

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