Why Social Media is an Important Part of My Referral System

Welcome to episode 474 of Hit The Mic with me, The Stacey Harris. I want to talk about social media today. I know. It’s shocking. We’re all shocked, but I want to talk about it a little bit differently. I am a big believer in social media being a lead gen tool. However, I’m a bigger believer in social media being a critical part of your referral system. I think way too often we spend a ton of time and energy and quite frankly money, spinning our wheels thinking about this tool as one thing, and that’s lead gen. How many new faces can you bring me a day? How many new people can I connect with in a day?

Instead of thinking about the nurture possibilities and sort of old school, traditional social and digital marketing, we thought about social media as sort of top of the funnel lead gen and then we thought about like our email inboxes as nurturing, and that’s true. Our email marketing component is 100% about nurturing and building out that know, like, trust and training our audience really to take action on content and help them decide if we’re the right solution for their problem. However, social media is also a critical and quite frankly more public-facing version of that. Where it fits in is not just for the people who are new and were nurturing those leads that social has generated for us, but also when you hear about a resource… Let’s take this out of the business landscape.

When people refer any kind of business to me, even like doctors, I’m going and I’m looking at their social.

When you hear about a restaurant, when you hear about a shop, when you hear about a service provider… Like I do this a lot when people recommend to me like hairstylists, and manicurists, and facialists, and things like that, I don’t know why I went super beauty with that, but I did… But when people refer any kind of business to me, even like doctors, I’m going and I’m looking at their social. It is a critical component in how I get to know them. The reality is for me, it’s often a way for me to get to see how they handle their customer service because we’re often given feedback via social, good, bad, and occasionally ugly. I would argue that the feedback or the complaint or whatever is less important than your response to it.

When you readjust how you look at social media and you think about it as more than a lead gen tool, you’re able to really use it as a way to provide proof of what they heard, confirmation of what they heard. You’re able to really establish a direct relationship with that person. They didn’t find you because you use the right hashtag, because you ran a bazillion dollars in ads, or because you just happened to show up on the trending page, right? They found you because someone said, “Hey, I know this great resource.” I’ve also been doing this a ton. I’m currently in a program with Nicole Otchy, who we had on the show last week. I’m in her Style Your Brand Program.

One of the things I’ve been really looking at is my style and my aesthetic, and one of the things I’m doing is as I go look at these clothing brands, as I go look at these new clothing stores, I’m going to their social so I can see how they’re styling things, so I can see the brands that are really putting together the aesthetic I’m going for as part of my own process of playing with my style. That’s a great example again of where I was referred to a brand or a store or whatever and I used social to be nurtured. I’m not on their mailing lists. At some point, I may get on their mailing list, especially if I order from them and then I end up on their mailing list. But in most of these cases, I’m using social to fall in love with these brands and that’s what I want to talk about today.

I want to talk about how you can effectively be building in the nurture part of your social because it is where the lead gen we’re doing and the referral marketing we’re doing really come together so that we can provide an extension for that relationship we’re looking to grow, so that we can provide them a place to be nurtured. We can provide a place for them to get confirmation and for them to find things out. That’s what I want us to look at. I’m going to mention in this episode a few brands I’ve mentioned before that I love that do this really, really well, but more importantly, I want to talk about some ways that you can take action and start doing this that are not revolutionary. This is not about sort of tearing up the strategy you’ve been creating or changing up your tools.

It’s really more about changing your approach. I talk a lot about this with Pinterest. If you stop looking at Pinterest as a social platform and you start looking at it as a search engine, it gets a lot easier to comprehend where it fits into your marketing to get clear on how you’re going to utilize it and where it makes sense in your system, or structure, or strategy, or however you want to look at it. The same is true here. It’s a major mindset shift. I want you to look at your time on Instagram, or Facebook, or LinkedIn, or whatever other social channel you’re using less as I have to get X amount of new people, I have to get X amount of new attention, and instead be looking at and be running your content through, does this nurture the people who are already here? Because that plays a critical role. All right? 

I want to dig into some actionable things.

First and foremost, that filter. Create a question for yourself. Whenever you’re looking at content, reviewing content, I want you to be looking at, “Does this piece of content nurture the audience I already have? Does this piece of content speak to someone who just landed here, but does know who I am? Does this piece of content speak to someone who just landed here and doesn’t yet know who I am?” It’s a hard needle to thread to hit all three with every single piece of content. There will be content that is much more fiercely directed at somebody who’s never heard of like the lead gen kind of post, right? There’s also going to be those pieces that are straight up nurture! 

I hope you’re here for a while because this joke is only going to land if you know me a little, like if you’ve watched the stories of where you get my voice. There’s going to be a third type where it’s, okay, they kind of have an understanding of who I am. Maybe they were referred here. This is going to give them the next step. This is going to confirm their thing. But every once in a while, I try to do this a couple times a month, there will be a piece of content that threads all three. As you’re laying out your content, I want you to be thinking about does this speak to each of those categories? Yes, sometimes it will only check one box, but it needs to be checking at least one of those boxes or it does not belong in your plan.

It does not belong in your content if it does not check one of those boxes. Let’s get some content examples, right? Let me give you some ideas. The Friday introductions posts that we say, “Hey, it’s Friday. We’ve got a ton of new followers around here. Let me introduce myself. I am The Stacey Harris, CEO of Uncommonly More,” blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. We all know these posts. We see them pretty frequently. A, don’t overdo it, but B, when you’re creating that copy, I want you to be creating the copy that checks both of the boxes when it comes to will this introduce me to somebody who had never heard of me before and does this introduce me to somebody who has maybe heard of me before?

I think too often we lean into pretending this person is brand, brand new and we’ve got to tell them everything about us in this intro post.

I think too often we lean into pretending this person is brand, brand new and we’ve got to tell them everything about us in this intro post. Whereas I would challenge you to look at this as not just a first meeting, but a second meeting. Maybe it’s a re acquaintance. Maybe they have heard the name. They have an awareness of who you are, but are not really sure who you are. When you’re formatting this, don’t give it the cold sort of like box information of like who I am, what I do, and who I do it for. Boring, right? Instead, give it your je ne sais quoi, your personality, the thing that makes you magic. For me, that is generally meaning some subtle sarcasm. Let’s be real. But also it’s about speaking to why I look at all of this differently. That’s an incredibly important part of my introduction.

We talk about why Uncommonly More is called Uncommonly More because it’s not just about digital marketing. It’s about offering support and leadership to our clients in them growing past their visibility hangups and their own sort of mental work of leading a movement, leading a revolution, leading something that is very intentionally left of center. That’s the kind of clients we work with, and we’re called Uncommonly More because that’s what we do. We don’t just cold machine-like blast out content and produce podcasts. We support and partner with our clients as they’re doing something that’s fricking hard, man! All right? That’s what I want you to be bringing to that introduction so that again it’s checking both of those boxes. I just met you, but I did know who you were before this.

That’s critical. Another really great example of threading all three of these boxes is when we provide value. This could be offering a tip or a tactic or a tool. No blueprints please. A great example of this is probably for me in stories most frequently. A great example is a couple of weeks ago I did a story over on Uncommonly More talking about the importance of asking certain questions when it comes to your marketing support and really fitting together you and them partnering with a marketing agency so that they’re providing a foundation, they are providing sort of the strategy, the stuff that has to go out, right? We talk about this a lot when we talk about strategy, the stuff that has to go out, the content promotion and the sales messages so that you can layer in personality.

That’s sort of the approach we take with our clients. It’s a spectrum. There’s clients we provide more content for and clients we provide less content, but that story threaded all three boxes. If you’d never heard of me, I did start with saying, “Hey, I’m Stacey Harris, CEO of Uncommonly More. We’re a digital marketing agency that works with female leaders looking to make an impact online,” and then I went into the content. For those second two boxes of you don’t really know what we’re doing here, there’s confirmation. No matter what box you check, you’ve been around a while, you don’t have any idea who I am and this is the first thing you’ve ever seen, or you came here via referrals, so you kind of have an idea of what’s going on.

There was going to be value and there was going to be something that worked for you, something that you could pull out in this message. Now, from a logistical point, I got to make the money side of things, it was paired with a call to action to learn more about our agency. I closed out that story with, “If you want to learn more about how Uncommonly More could partner with your company, reach out via DMs and let me know. Click the link in my bio to learn more specifically about our strategy services.” We’re really checking all the boxes with these kinds of posts and guess what? That’s going to get turned into a grid post for next month. This is about us providing value in lots of different ways. Yes, in this example I created this as a story.

It will now get turned into all the other things and that’s again where I want you to be looking when you’re trying to thread these boxes or thread the needle. I’m totally mixing all my metaphors now. When you’re trying to thread the needle, I want you to be looking at where can you maximize the impacts of that. Because when you do hit those posts that are going to work for all three groups, that lead gen group, that referral group, and that nurturing long-term group, that’s where you want to be making sure that you are banking that call to action. Also, you are repurposing the mother-loving out of it, right? You are turning it into all the things. Specifically when we’re talking about the referral piece, we also want to have that confirmation and that confirmation is really the social proof component.

We also want to have that confirmation and that confirmation is really the social proof component.

These are the kind of posts that we’re sharing where we’re talking about testimonials or behind the scenes or examples of our work or process and results driven content. This will again check multiple boxes. It will provide social proof and things like that for people who didn’t come through referral. For people who were referral, this is that confirmation piece we talked about. This is that like, oh, it wasn’t that my friend is great and wonderful and magical or just was there on a perfect day, like this person actually is providing a solution, cool, which is then amplifying whatever social proof that you’re providing because it’s not just a stranger, but it was also a friend.

Again, when we think about it, when we position things this way, when we come at it with this perspective, that’s how we get that referral component really playing a part because we’re just essentially shortening the time it takes to build that know, like, trust. However, when we don’t have pieces that are in alignment with nurturing and we’re just looking at lead gen, we’re just looking at getting more people, more eyeballs, we have to start over with know, like, trust. We have to sort of build ground up even for referrals. Again, come at it with this approach so that we’re shortening that know, like, trust time. The thing I want to wrap up with is I also want you to make it super easy for people to share stuff. A great way to do this is in providing value and also reminding them to share.

One of the things you hear a lot in this podcast, and in a lot of the podcasts my agency produces, is that call to share with friends and family and colleagues and whatever is relevant for that particular style show and the audience they’re looking for, right? When we make that easy, when we post stuff on Instagram worth sharing or Facebook worth sharing, again, this is that value component. We make it easy when we remind our active clients to be sharing us. This could be through incentivization. This could be through a referral program. This could just be through occasionally making an ask. This is something we’re working on building into a lot of our systems of, hey, is there anybody who you know that might be a fit for us, or hey, we’re welcoming new clients.

Do you know anybody who might be a fit? But also it comes a lot from just making it super simple for people to share. If you’re a podcast host and you have guests, make sure you’re sending them sample social. If you are a podcast host who has clients on your show, make sure you’re sending them social. Make it easy for them to share you because they’re going to be really enthusiastic. If you are asking for referrals or shares for a new program, send them sample copies, send them graphics. Make it stupid easy for them to say yes and then to take action and do it. That’s critical. Where can you make this as clear and as simple as possible because that’s how we build in getting more shares. All right?

The ones who found us through social and we’re still nurturing, the ones who found us through referral and we’re still nurturing, and those people who just found us today thanks to the magic and wonder that is the internet

I want to wrap it up with that because I don’t want this to go on too long because I want you to take action. I want you today to go and put out a post that speaks to all three of those groups, right? The ones who found us through social and we’re still nurturing, the ones who found us through referral and we’re still nurturing, and those people who just found us today thanks to the magic and wonder that is the internet, right? This is most importantly a mindset shift. Really think about does your social nurture and support your referral system or are they living in parallel? Because we don’t want them living in parallel. We want them to live together in one happy channel, right? All right. That’s it for today. If you have any questions, please let me know.

We at the time of this recording are booking into, it’s the beginning of February, booking into March for our single sessions with me. But more importantly, we are now, I’m very excited to share, growing, the team is growing, and we are accepting new clients inside the agency. If for you handing this off, getting a real strategy put together, it’s something that’s speaking to you, if this that we talked about today sounds really good, drop me a line, drop me an email, check us out over at uncommonlymore.com. We can get you on the book so that we can have a conversation and talk more about what the options are, what it looks like for my team to build you a strategy. Then after the strategy is built, what it looks like for us to maintain that for you. All right?

I’m super excited to hear from you on this one. Reach out over on Instagram either at @thestaceyharris or, of course, @uncommonlymore. Either one works. I will talk to you very, very soon.

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