containers on shelf value proposition

When you go to the store to buy toothpaste, what makes you buy that brand? Is it packaging, ad campaigns, the name, a childhood association, convenience, quality, cost, or company values that sway you? It’s easier than ever for consumers to find comparison information, to shop prices and brands, to investigate a company’s track record, or learn about a potentially better option. You have competition on those shelves. This is a major key to success, understanding why your organization or service is valuable to your customer (called a value proposition) and why they make the choices that they do.

Why You?

differentiation value proposition man with apples

I get annoyed when I hear a commercial shout out of my speakers, “Follow us on Facebook/Insta/etc.!!!” to which I often call back, “Why?” They haven’t told me for what reason I’d even be interested. You’ve got to give me some motivation to care.

A value proposition is a business or marketing statement that an organization uses to summarize why a person should buy a product or use a service. Whether it’s high quality, low cost, free shipping, points earning, great customer service, locally owned, or all the colors in the rainbow – you have to know WHY your customer buys (or should buy) what you’re making. See some examples of how to write one.

A Little Negativity Helps

I had a real estate agent once ask me what I was looking for in a home. I didn’t know what to say. His solution was, “I’ll show you a house and you tell me what you don’t like.” It was the first time a salesperson told me to point out flaws in a product. I didn’t like the fact that it was two story and didn’t want to share a wall. He smiled at me and said, “Perfect! We’ll find you a wonderful single level, detached home.” And we did.

I think about that experience a lot when I don’t know what something is exactly. It’s pretty easy to be critical (just look at the internet) so give it a try. This process is called differentiation. How are you different than the rest? Research your competitors and similar brands. Look at their features, services, and products to identify how you are not like them. Take those negative notes and turn them around into positive differentiating statements. Be ready for when you’re asked, “Why should I buy your shoes and not Nikes?” “Why should I donate to your charity and not another?”

The side effect of knowing what makes you different also makes you proud. Solid in knowing what you offer, how you help, and whom you serve. It makes communicating this information to the public much easier.

black and white clocks value propositionYou Can’t Replace Time

When marketing to get the attention and support of your customers, community, and colleagues, you’ll need to let them know the value of your social media channels as well. Why should they follow you? Why should they care? What value will you bring to them?

The biggest mistake I see in social media campaigns is the narcissistic belief that “if you build it, they will come.” How much extra time do you have? That’s what I thought. Your audience won’t just show up, you will have to give them multiple reasons to be interested. It has to be useful, valuable, entertaining, or problem-solving for them.

Do not waste your audience’s time. They’re giving you their attention, it isn’t infinite or guaranteed, and you’ll have to earn it with every keystroke. Time is the only thing we can’t replace, we can’t buy, and no one wants to feel as if they are wasting theirs. Show them your value and they will gladly spend their time with you.

Part of my Strategy series. Read more.

clarity simplicity woman telescope

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

plans simplicityThe first thing to do is clarify your purpose. Read more

How to Schedule Facebook Posts

Just like you, I love to know the tricks of the trade. I want to know how often the mechanic changes her oil; how to get the best service in a restaurant; and what toothbrush is really the best. We can’t resist digging for “pro tips” when we meet an expert. I want to share with you one of the most important functions of professional social media use – the scheduled post.

The Workhorse

Social media managers aren’t witty and creative every day (though I’m sure they’d disagree) and they don’t actually post every day. These communicators have all day meetings, travel days, vacations, and bad days too. So how to they have great content on Facebook every day? They schedule Facebook posts. It’s a part of a typical management routine to schedule some or a lot of content published for brands. Read more

How to be GDPR compliant

Have you noticed all the updates to privacy policies and terms and conditions on the websites you visit? You may have thought it had something to do with the Cambridge Analytica debacle on Facebook but though the topics are similar, it’s simply a coincidence in timing. These changes are caused by the General Data Protection Regulation which I’m pretty sure you don’t know much about so I wanted to make sure you understood more about how it impacts you and how to be GDPR compliant.

What is it?

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is a regulation in the European Union on data protection and privacy for all individuals within its borders. The GDPR aims to give control to citizens and residents over their personal data and to simplify the regulatory environment for international business by unifying the regulations in the EU. Read more

Kerry Rego and Mari Smith SMMW16 Branding Rockstar

Want to know how to be successful?

Look to those that have come before you. Study their assets, their journey, and their tactics. Watch them as they work and you will learn more than you ever expected. These observations plus your strategic planning and hard work, you too can be a Branding Rockstar.

I call this “Follow the Rockstar.” It’s a concept I’ve shared again and again over the years. Read more

social media theme content writing

A few years ago I created a tool for my own use that I’d like to share with you. I found that when I sat down to write content for my various social media channels that I’d forget to talk about certain topics. I gravitated towards the obvious, the easy, and rarely addressed some important issues that simply weren’t my favorite. I needed a way to make sure that I covered all of my content, but how? I created a Social Media Theme Schedule and it solved a lot of problems. (I’ve included a download at the end of the blog for your use.)

I love spreadsheets! They are an amazing way to track lots of information so I opened a blank sheet and asked myself the following questions:

  • What are the important subjects I need to cover?
  • What do my clients need (and want) to hear from me?
  • What are my profit centers (ways I make money)?

Read more

Hey Kerry,

We’ve gotten some momentum on our Facebook page recently and are wondering about how you usually “follow up” with those who interact with your posts. Do you just let them come to you or do you reach out to them? Thanks!

follow up social mediaDear Friend,

When you follow up on social media with those that interact with your posts can be viewed as a bit creepy unless they specifically ask to be communicated with. When someone likes a post, no response is expected. When someone comments, you can reply and attempt to strike up a conversation within the comment stream. This is an opportunity to ask questions about their needs or offer further assistance. I wouldn’t do a hard pursue as it will turn people off. Read more

desert wasteland channel abadonment

I’m here to warn you about a very real and damaging action you aren’t taking and it’s inflicting a tremendous amount of damage to your brand. It’s channel abandonment. That Tumblr account you opened one weekend and put a ton of effort into and have barely posted on since. That Pinterest account you never even finished opening (no profile picture or description). The Twitter profile on which your last tweet said “I haven’t tweeted much lately but I’m back to it!” dated 3 years ago. Those channels are speaking volumes about who you are as a person or business. This is channel abandonment and feels like a desert wasteland. Your potential customers see this and leave, your current customers think you aren’t on the ball, and the vendors that want to work with you doubt your commitment.

How it happened

I get lots of questions at cocktail parties and events. “Kerry, should I be on Twitter?” Read more

Kerry Rego Windsor High Social Media Instructor

Over a year ago, I was walking out of a board meeting for a non-profit organization and talking with a fellow board member. It so happens he’s the father of a woman I went to college with so we’ve known each other a long time. He asked what I’d been up to and where I was headed. I told him I was going to Sonoma State University for my Professional Social Media Certification class.

He asked, “Oh? What class are you taking?”

I said, “No, I’m teaching the class.”

Maybe he still thinks of me as a college kid though almost 20 years has passed since then but the look on his face was priceless. I felt like I’d “made it.” Read more

Everyone has at one point or another found a website where something working or the page has been removed. This is known as a “404 Error” and no one likes to get them. In fact, it can anger online customers.

Did you know that you can design your own error page? I’ve seen some really great ones (I’ve done my own) but this one makes me chuckle.

Take the opportunity to make me smile when something goes wrong. They won’t blame you, they’ll move on just a little happier.

>>If you’re up for it, check out this amazing Hollywood-style error video. I love it! http://youtu.be/hXUwWljkNAI