I like to get to the point. I can remember countless times that I’ve asked a person what their company does and they go on and on for some time in great detail. When they’re done I have to ask, “But what do you actually DO?” I’m looking for simplicity but they don’t seem to be able to offer me that. It’s not only frustrating but, honestly, I’m testing their communication skills. If a person can’t tell me what their company is about in one sentence, I assume they don’t really know.
It’s important that you can communicate this quickly and, even more importantly, that your customers and fans can do the same. Your customers are your most valuable sales force. They’re everywhere in the world talking about their experiences and sharing opinions of the service you provided. Arm them with the language you want them to use so that it’s easy for them to talk about your benefits.
Clarifying Your Mission
The first thing to do is clarify your purpose. Your company provides a service or product that solves a problem, right? You have to know what the problem is and who you serve. Learn about their experiences and what the struggles are in their lives, this will help you communicate with them in deeper, more personal ways. This is the key in getting them to hear YOU when you’re using social media.
I recommend using the 5Ws – who, what, when, where, why. The concept is regularly used in information gathering, problem solving, and journalism. I frame it as: Why are you valuable/helping? Who are you helping? What is important to them? When do they need you? Where are they on the internet/in the world?
Once you’re clear on your purpose, problem, and people – you can create a mission statement. It’s a brief statement of an organization’s purpose, overall goals, what products or services are provided, primary market served, and/or geographical area of operation. This is your anchor, the primer that helps you make decisions in the future. This is who you are.
Businesses and organizations aren’t human, I understand that. But they are dreamed up, willed into existence, funded, serviced, and run by people. Your customers want to do business with people they like and care about. We really do want to support each other. If your org uses its heart when creating a mission, that soul can be felt by others.
Don’t Let Social Media Overshadow Everything
Each time I develop a strategy for a client, the very first line is their mission. I never want them to forget why they’re there and why they’re using social media. New media marketing plans should reflect the overarching business strategy because digital tools aren’t any different than the other tools available to us. They serve a need but they’re not the point. Media management can so easily grow beyond its borders like an unwieldy plant. Keep your eyes on this.
After all these years of social media use, I still bring it back to the beginning. This can all get messy quickly but the simplicity of knowing what your organization is about will help keep it from drowning out the true spirit of what you are here to do.