A supporter spotlight is an opportunity for you to shine a light on one of your supporters and talk about how great they are. It can be a blog or a Facebook post, a short video on Instagram or whatever else makes sense for your brand. The primary thing is that you are shouting someone important to your brand.
And support spotlights are win-win-win.
In this episode, we'll cover the what, the how and the why. Listen now below, or wherever you stream podcasts.
Full Episode Transcript
Supporter spotlights are win-win-win.
Before we delve into our 3 wins, let’s real quick define the term “supporter.”
A supporter isn’t someone who buys your products — it’s someone who waits in line to be the first one to buy your product. Or regularly tweets or posts about themselves using your product.
It’s not the person who donates to your organization, but the person who calls on all their friends to do the same.
It’s not the person who comes to your event. But the person who shows up early and stays late to help set-up and tear-down.
Put shortly — your supporters are the people without whom your brand couldn’t exist.
A supporter spotlight is quite simply an opportunity for you to shine a light on one of your supporters and talk about how great they are. It can be a blog or a Facebook post, a short video on Instagram or whatever else makes sense for your brand. The primary thing is that you are shouting someone important to your brand.
So that’s the what. Now let’s talk about the why and breakdown the 3 wins involved in a supporter spotlight.
Win 1 — you are showing the world that your company or organization is bigger than just you and your paid staff.
There are people — not motivated by a paycheck — who care about you, your product or your mission.
Introduce these people to your audience. In the process you’ll inspire other members of your audience to want to dig deeper and learn more about what makes you, your product or your service so special. I mean after all, someone got up at 3am to buy that thing you sell. It must be pretty amazing!
Win 2 — This one is the most obvious. A supporter spotlight is literally a digital thank you. If your supporters are awesome, and treat you right, why wouldn’t you want to give them a shoutout for being so great.
Win 3 — This is the one that can really help you move the needle.
When you write up your supporter spotlight — you want to make it not just about how great your supporter is generally. You want to make it about why your supporter loves your brand the way they do.
Let’s say you’re a nonprofit that focuses on planting trees and gardens in urban areas. There are a lot of reasons someone might be excited about your work. Maybe it’s the after school programs you run. Maybe it’s the environmental component of your work. Maybe it’s the fact that you are beautifying the city by turning brown lots into community gardens.
When you write up your post thanking your support for being so great — clarify what it is that he or she loves about your work. And be specific. Because invariably, that person is going to share your supporter shoutout with his or her own audience. And guess what — if that person loves that you have an after school program for kids — that person probably has a lot of friends in their network that also have kids. And those people MAY have heard of you, but now you are providing this supporter an opportunity to introduce you and your brand directly to his or her friends and family… in your own words! You are talking about how great you are, but from the perspective of someone who already loves you and your work!
When I served as the digital director on a governor’s race, we did 45 such supporter spotlights throughout the final 30 days of the campaign. In every one, we introduced the supporter we were spotlighting, talked about where they lived and what their role was in the campaign. Then we talked about what got them excited about the candidate.
If they were a teacher, and liked that the candidate had a great education policy, we talked about that. If they were a nurse, and they were excited about the candidate’s healthcare plan, we talked about that. If they were in a union, and liked the candidate’s union stance, that was the focus of the post.
So when we shared our supporter spotlight, we were showing the world that the campaign was bigger than simply the candidate and his staff (win 1). We were thanking the people who had been working tirelessly to help get us to election day (win 2). And we were talking about why our supporters was so passionate about the candidate in a way that we knew would resonate with their own personal communities (win 3).
We knew that the teacher would have lots of teacher friends, the nurse lots of nurse friends, the union member… you get the idea. So when they invariably shared our spotlight, that allowed us to reach directly out to their friends and networks, talking about how great we were on an issue that we already knew was near and dear to their heart.
Win. Win. Win.
So find the people who help keep your brand going and thank them. It’s the least you can do! And you’ll probably grow your brand in the process!
You start a new Facebook brand page. It's only natural to invite everyone you know to like the page.
The problem is, you're actually hurting your page's future growth when you invite people who like you — but don't care about your brand — to like your Facebook brand page.
In this episode:
• We dive into the Facebook algorithm
• Talk about the difference between "good" and "bad" likes
• Cover helpful tips to grow your page with the right audience
• The importance of using a brand page for your page (as opposed to a personal account)
• And a whole lot more
Last week, I celebrated the birth of my new son. In Jewish tradition, a boy has a bris at day 8. A bris is a short ceremony where he is welcomed into the community and has his name announced to world (amongst other things 😳).
My wife and I live in Madison, WI. Madison is our chosen home — neither of us have families in town. My parents and her mom were able to join us in person. But that still left a lot of loved ones who couldn’t make it in for the occasion.
In the days leading up, my brother asked if I could Skype him in for the event. I said sure. Then one of my cousins made the same request and I realized that Skype was not going to work.
I wanted to stream the celebration for my family, but I didn’t want it to be open to the general public.
So here’s what I did: I created a private Facebook event and invited in those we wanted to join us remotely. This included family and friends in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina, Florida, Washington, California and even Germany. It included two grandmothers in their 80s/90s who were both thrilled about becoming great-grandmothers!
Once RSVPing that they would attend, I instructed the invitees to head over to the event page at the appropriate time. I then used Facebook Live to stream the entire ceremony directly into the private group.
They could all access it, and I didn’t have to worry about anyone else joining in, or someone sharing it to their networks and it becoming a public affair (I set the privacy settings to only stream to those “attending” the event).
The stream was one-way, but not the conversation.
I set up the phone on a tripod near our in-home guests. When everything was over, I went back and looked at the video. There were about 15 cyber-guests, but they had left a combined total of 99 comments! So after everyone had gone home and the kitchen was cleaned, we got to re-live the event through their comments.
One of my cousins even let me know that she wasn’t able to make it to the event in real time, but that she was able to watch it later that day on her own time.
As can I and any of the other invitees!
What’s The Point?
If you read my blog regularly, you probably realize that this isn’t a typical post for me. It’s a bit more personal than I normally delve. That said, the point of this post isn’t really to tell you about my intimate family affair. The real point of this post is the importance of understanding the tools in your digital toolkit.
My brother and cousin wanted me to Skype them in. Which would have worked for one or two people… but not a dozen!
Facebook Live would have been great for those we wanted to join us, but it would have been hard to keep it intimate and private.
A private Facebook event was a perfect solution to bring in the family, without having to broadcast it to the world.
Everyone who attended raved about how “fun” it was and how great it was that they got to be there. Never mind the fact that they were all thousands of miles away. They all had a front row seat, right alongside our parents and our local guests. And not only that, they could chat with each other throughout, without worrying about disturbing the ceremony.
In the words of one of my aunts: “This is all so cool that we can be so connected!”
While this story is about how I brought my family together, ask yourself when such tools might be helpful for bringing together your audience or community. Maybe you have an upcoming meeting you want to share with top volunteers. Or you want to announce a new product line to your VIP customers. Perhaps you want to give access to some of your fans, without opening up your conversation to the world. Our smartphones and social media platforms are full of amazing tools. Understanding them might just be the difference between bringing your community together… or not.
Want to start using Facebook Live, but not sure how to get started. Check out my free Facebook Live Checklist.
Not sure which digital tool might be right for your upcoming event. Be in touch and let’s figure it out together!
When you sit down to write a social media post, it’s easy to think about promoting your amazing, important and worthwhile message to the world — to make pronouncements that will change your audience’s behavior and blow their minds. Whether you are selling a product, promoting an event or even just sharing an interesting article you came across, you know the value you are adding to your community, and you want your audience to recognize it as well.
It doesn’t matter what the content is, every one of your social media posts will be consumed by (numerous) INDIVIDUAL people, reading it on their INDIVIDUAL screens, as they go about their INDIVIDUAL lives. So ensure that you are writing for each of them as an individual, not some amorphous crowd of people. It’s easy to forget this because your content, once published, will be seen by tens, hundreds or even thousands of people. Rather than thinking about how many people will consume your content, think about how they will consume it—alone. Think of it this way: you aren’t playing in a packed arena, you are providing a private living room concert; adjust accordingly.
Here’s a simple trick for ensuring that your content rings true to each individual member of your community: when you sit down to create it, picture an actual person with whom you want to connect and draft as if you are speaking directly to that particular person. Think about a customer, a donor, a constituent or a fan… pick one person and write your post directly to them.
Here are some important questions to ask yourself before hitting publish:
It’s easy to think about a social media post as a megaphone, announcing your latest content to the world. But really, it’s more like a telephone, creating a connection between you and an individual. Treat your content accordingly and get ready for higher engagement rates and better reach on future posts.
And if you are wondering, I wanted to let you know, I wrote this post especially for YOU!
I wrote a guest blog post for Indie on the Move entitled: 5 Ways to Use Facebook Live to Grow Your Brand's Reach. While the post is (obviously) geared towards musicians, I think it can assist any person or brand who works directly with people. Try and think about your own audience: what might a "behind the scenes" peak look like?; what would be the equivalency of your sound check?; what might your customer see as your "tour"?
If you have good answers to any of the above, share them in the comments or on Facebook/Twitter. I'd love to hear about your customer journey.
If you aren't sure how these examples can serve as metaphors for you and your customers, drop me a line. Maybe I can help you figure it out!
Without further ado, here are 5 Ways to Use Facebook Live to Grow Your Brand's Reach.
If you spend time on social media, you’re probably familiar with Facebook Live, a relatively new Facebook tool that allows you to broadcast live—in real time—directly to your audience.
While you probably know what Facebook Live is, you might not realize just how powerful it is.
Facebook, at least for the time being, is extremely committed to this tool and is offering all implementers a powerful free gift for using it: guaranteed exposure and engagement!
When you stream via Facebook Live, Facebook gives a notification to every one of your followers that you are currently live. If your followers aren’t online while you go live, they’ll get a notification that you were live. This simple notification all but guarantees increased reach and engagement over even your most well-produced videos.
So that’s why it’s important. But you might also be wondering WHEN you should use it. Here are 5 ways you can use Facebook Live to greatly expand your band’s reach.
1) Do a weekly Live session right from your living room or practice space.
Give it a simple catchy hashtag to demonstrate it’s part of a series. Exs: #MusicMondays or #TuesdayBluesday. Having the day of the week is helpful, to help brand it as something people should expect every week. One caveat: if you tell people you are going to do it weekly, YOU HAVE TO DO IT WEEKLY. If that is too much responsibility, then go with #LivingRoomSessions, or #FunkyFacebook. You’ll lose a bit in the process, because it will be harder for people to know when to expect it. But better they don’t know, then they expect it and it doesn’t happen!
Sharing music like this gives you a chance to connect directly with your audience in a very personal way. They log onto Facebook to see updates from their friends and family… and there is their favorite band or musician, playing just for them! It’s like a private concert for your fans. And the best part: it cost you nothing.
2) Working on a new album? Take us “behind the scenes” into the studio.
Show us your drummer setting up his drum mics or interview your sound engineer about how he gets that special signature sound. This is an easy way to raise awareness—and build excitement—about your new album.
Conversely, when you release a new album, go live to talk about the process. Tell a funny story from the studio, or the meaning behind one of the songs. Is the local record store selling your album? Go in with your smartphone and show it sitting on the shelves. You get to brag a bit about your accomplishment, your fans know where they can find your music, AND the record store will love you: you just gave them a bunch of free publicity!
3) Whether you’re traveling halfway across the country for your next show, or just ten minutes down the road, hop on Facebook Live and let us know how great tonight’s show is going to be.
Will you have a special guest (you don’t have to say who it will be!)? Will you be playing a new song? Is it your first time at a new venue? What better time to talk to your audience then while you’re on your way to a show. For those in other cities, they’ll be excited to hear from you. And for those in town, your video might just be the reminder they needed to call their friends and head on down to the venue!
4) This one is similar to 3, but different enough to get its own point: livestream part of your soundcheck.
If you don’t do a soundcheck, then walk around the venue and talk to your fans. Or show the line to get inside. Or even just tell us how much you are enjoying your pre-show beer! This is your last chance to make a connection before the show starts, and to get all those fans who haven’t yet committed to coming out, to give it once last consideration. Pro tip: Don’t ask them to come, just talk about how excited you are about the night. If your excitement is genuine, they don’t need to be invited—they’ll be eager to get there all on their own!
5) As your band grows, you have more and more fans who live further and further away.
Just because someone isn’t going to drive 6 hours to see your show doesn’t mean they don’t wish they could be there. Buy a tripod (you can get a good one for $20) and set it up on stage. Livestream a song or two. Hell, livestream the whole show. (You can go Live on Facebook for up to 4 hours at a time!) It might be too late for someone not at your show to come out. But this brings them into the party, makes them wish they were there, and all but ensures they’ll try harder next time to make it out.
This list is not meant to be exhaustive—far from it. There’s no shortage of ways you can use this powerful tool to grow your reach and engagement. Are you using Facebook Live in other, clever ways? Please share them with me on Facebook and/or Twitter. I’d love to hear about them!
If you need any additional help with Facebook Live, or with anything else related to your digital story, drop me a line. I always love talking social media and music!
Recently, I spoke at Social Media Breakfast about Using Social Media to Build a Movement (Even Without a “Real” Budget or Staff).
We covered many topics and concepts, but the one that seemed to garner the most buzz was the concept of the Digital Guide.
So let’s break it down.
What is a Digital Guide - An Overview
A Digital Guide should offer everything that you supporters (more on defining your supporters below) need to help you tell your story. They are typically created for a particular event or campaign.
Let’s say your company (“Sneakz”) makes and sells tennis shoes. You are having a grand opening for a new location. You want buzz online. Your official social channels are of course going to be posting about the event in advance and, once it starts, promoting how great it is going. But official accounts ≠ buzz, no matter how often you post or how great your content is. Buzz is what happens when many parties all come together to post about something.
What Goes Into a Digital Guide
First of all, you need to give the details of the event. Who, What, When, Where, Why.
Is there an RSVP link or a place to buy tickets? Do people need to reserve their new Sneakz in advance or can they just show up and buy them? If there is pertinent information, share it.
Give the reader the context to understand the event from 30,000 feet. The story of the day isn’t that you are opening a new store -- it’s that you are growing! Or that you are entering a new market. Or that people are so excited about your company, one store just wasn’t enough to contain your product.
The better your supporters understand how you see this day, the easier it will be for them to help tell the story you want to be told.
Share who your partners are, what time it starts, the address of the new store. If it’s something people should know, put it in the guide.
But Who Are My Partners?
The company that makes your laces by hand. The mall into which you’ll be moving. The online store selling some exclusive design of your Sneakz.
Who are the companies/organizations/brands, etc., without which you couldn’t thrive? Those are your partners.
Where Are You Online?
If you want people to write about you online, make sure they know how they can find you. Share your handles and relevant social media platforms. If you are working with a younger audience, you probably don’t have to explain how to use your tags (@s). If you are releasing a new line of orthopedic shoes and are hoping to target baby boomers, you might need to offer some instructional sections.
The question you should be asking when constructing your guide is: what do our supporters need to join us in telling our story?
What’s Your Hashtag (#)?
You should have a brand hashtag. Something you are encouraging your customers to use when they want to show off their #Sneakz. Or maybe it’s more personalized: #MySneakz. Or more active: #GetSneakz. Whatever your overarching hashtag is, include it.
If you have crafted a hashtag for this specific event, share that as well. Maybe you created a hashtag for anytime a store opens: #SneakzToYou. Or you could go hyper-specific: #SneakzMadisonEast.
Don’t just share your hashtag(s), but give examples of how they can be used.
Encourage people to create their own content, to add pictures or videos, to get clever–so long as they tag you and include your hashtag(s), a positive post is a great post!
Distributing Your Digital Guide (Who Are My Supporters?)
It’s an internal document. DO NOT publish it on your website or to your social media channels. Rather share it with your employees, interns, rapid response team, top-level fans, volunteers, etc.
Distribute this guide with anyone who will (or should) actively be working with you to tell your story throughout the event or campaign.
A Story Comes in Three Parts
Make sure to remind your supporters that every story has a beginning, a middle AND an end. Remind them (again and again) to tag you and include hashtags in EVERY post. Give sample content for each of the three.
Creating and sharing a Digital Guide is not the end of telling your story… it’s the beginning!
You should be actively monitoring social media for both mentions of your brand and usage of your hashtag. If people are posting, engage with them.
As long as you keep asking yourself what your community needs to tell your story, and including or excluding information/samples/information accordingly, you are doing it right. There isn’t one correct Digital Guide, there’s only the one that works for you.
Create a guide for your next event. Learn from it. Tweak it as needed for future events. Learn from what worked AND from what did not. Ask your supporters what else they need to support you.
You might find it worth holding trainings, especially for staff and interns. If someone doesn’t have a Twitter or a Facebook account, they probably won’t create one just to tweet about you. Unless you help them to do so! Never underestimate the power of working with someone on their journey into social media. Trainings are an investment that will pay for themselves many, many times over.
Need a staff training or help creating a Digital Guide ? Drop me a line. These are services I offer. Or just have some questions about finishing touches or need a fresh set of eyes to help you see what you missed? I can help you there as well.
Continuously ask what your supporters need and then give it to them. They are your best asset for creating buzz and telling your story.
Recently I went into Madison Sourdough (on Willy St. on the Near East side). Great restaurant, amazing bread (obviously!).
For those who haven’t been, it’s a pretty simple ordering process: you walk in, order at the counter, get a table number and then they bring your food to you. Nothing novel or groundbreaking.
But their table number got me thinking about how a business can use (or fail to use) all of their available real estate.
Here was my number:
Many restaurants would simply hand out a sign with the number on it. What a waste of valuable real estate that would have been!
Rather than simply serving as a function of the ordering process, this placard worked to both inform me that Madison Sourdough is online (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest) and to encourage me to post about them using the hashtag #MadisonSourdough.
Many customers are going to automatically post pictures of their meal online anyway. You might as well make it easy for those happy customers to give credit to the restaurant. And for those who might not have thought to snap a picture of their lunch and put it online, you get a chance to offer a little nudge in the social media direction.
So here’s a question: what real estate is your business/organization utilizing? And more importantly, which opportunities are you missing?
People are going to post about you and your brand regardless, you might as well be working with them.
Do you own a business? Work in sales? Have a cause for which you want people to volunteer or give money? Maybe you are in a band or have an upcoming art show? If there is any capacity in your life that involves sharing what you do with others, then you need to develop an elevator pitch.
But what is an elevator pitch?
Let’s say you are asking people to volunteer for your organization. You bump into a friend/colleague/stranger on the street and the subject comes up. You have to make the ask, or they are certainly not going to give up THEIR Sunday afternoon to help you with YOUR cause. If the two of you wind up going to lunch together, or even coffee, then you have all the time in the world to walk through the organization you work with, the benefits of volunteering, how important their contribution will be... But 9 times out of 10 (or even 99 times out of 100), you don’t get to make your ask while waiting for a table. Most of the time, you have to make your ask while you are waiting for the light to change, or as someone is hopping into a cab, or in the time you share together in an elevator.
An elevator pitch is your opportunity to sell yourself, and your cause, to another person in the length of time that you might spend together in an elevator. A good elevator pitch is generally considered to be no more than 30 seconds.
But my ask is so much more complicated than I could possibly sum up in 30 seconds!
That might be true, but at the moment, your cause only matters to you. You don’t get 15 minutes to convert, you get 30 seconds.
Let’s imagine you are trying to explain a difficult concept to someone. You believe this concept to be EXTREMELY important. They have never heard of it and are not necessarily interested in learning about it. Are you going to hand that person a book on the subject? Or a pamphlet? The 1% of people who might be willing to read the book will surely become experts on the subject. But for everyone else, you will be lucky to get them to flip the pamphlet over before tossing it in the trash. You need to make your message simple, concise and extremely easy to digest.
Assuming that you can capture someone's attention in your allotted 30 seconds, then you might get a chance to expand on the subject. The goal of an elevator pitch is not to cram as much information in it as possible, it is to ensure that you get them wanting to learn more.
Whether it’s a client, a potential investor, a friend or even a stranger on the street, your elevator pitch should end with you offering them your business card. If they offer theirs in return, even better. Make sure and follow up!
But I don’t have a business card!
Why not?! Business cards are cheap, easy to get and extremely important. They show the receiver that you take yourself seriously.
So how do I create an elevator pitch?
First of all, elevator pitches are not going to write themselves, flawlessly and in the moment. You should practice yours. Ask a friend or colleague to listen and critique. Recite it in front of the mirror if you have to! Just get used to sharing your pitch on a moment’s notice. If it takes you 15 seconds to collect your thoughts, you just lost half your allotted time!
When crafting it, try making a list of your bullet points.
If someone is properly engaged, you may have time to delve deeper into any one of your main points. The most important thing is that they walk away knowing that your company guarantees satisfaction. Or that you just won ethical salesman of the year. Or that your band was recently nominated for a Grammy.
Is that all?
Having a good elevator pitch does not guarantee success in your ask. But not having one all but ensures disappointment. So get to work.
Need help telling your story? Let's chat.