Now, if you DO sell wine or chocolate or ski equipment or whatever, then more power to you.

But what if you’re in what I call an Ugly Duckling Business?

What if you sell transmission repair or roofing or HVAC and such?duck

Well, let’s start with what NOT to do:

Don’t try to pull people into your social media circle of “friends” or followers in order to talk to them about the not-so-exciting world of transmission repair.

So with that out of the way, I’m just going to float two approaches that work for my clients, with the caveat that I am neither a digital marketing expert and that the vast majority of my client growth is fueled through mass media.

#1 Take Maximum Advantage of your Bibbidy-Bobbidy-Boo moment 

What this means is that you’re not cinderella. You don’t get center stage treatment — as in people consciously thinking about you — 99% of the time.

The part of cinderella is played by your customers.

YOU get to play the part of the Fairy Godmother.

  • You swoop in and share the stage with Cinderella for a few moments
  • During which time you work your magic and save the day
  • And then you exit stage left

What this means is that no customer will ever love your business more than at the moment just after you’ve worked your magic to save their day and fix their problem.

That’s your Bibbidy-Bobbidy-Boo moment.

And unfortunately, most ugly duckling businesses utterly WASTE that moment.

They don’t get pictures of the client and the tech (or client and magically fixed whatever)

They don’t do video testimonials.

And they don’t get the client’s permission to post the picture or video to social media and tag them in it.

People may not find your business particularly interesting, but they DO find their friends interesting — it’s why they are connected to them on social media in the first place.

picturesSo when you tag their friends, while those friends are giving you a solid recommendation, they’ll see it — especially if you pay to “boost” that post.

Think of this as a digitally super-empowered version of a restaurant posting pictures of famous people who’ve eaten there on the walls.

Social Proof in action.

And that’s how you take advantage of your Bibbidy-Bobbidy-Boo moment.

#2 Focus on Human Interest Stories 

Your business or industry may not be inherently interesting, but you and your employees are.

Your story about why you do what you do is interesting. 

ritz-carltonInsight into your company culture is interesting.

Not many people are that interested in the day in the life of a hotel chambermaid.

But lots of people love the story about how The Ritz-Carlton’s hotel staff are each empowered to spend up to $2000 to make a guest happy, using nothing other than their own good judgment.

And stories about times that a hotel staff member HAS spent that money and the kind of impact they’ve had on customer loyalty become interesting.

And while this strategy works great for social media, you’ll also find that it bleeds over very well for use in your Mass Media campaigns and internal efforts at strengthening your culture.

Because when you focus on the stories that define your culture — the stories you want to tell your people, you want your people to tell your clients, and your clients telling each other in reviews — that fuels ALL of your marketing, and not just your social media efforts.

And that’s it — my two best Social Media strategies for Ugly Duckling Businesses.

Best of luck to you.