When portrait photographer Sue Bryce spoke to her audience at our recent Social Media Marketing Summit, she wasn’t speaking to big businesses. Instead, she reached out to what she called “DIY businesses” — small to medium-sized businesses that manage their own social media instead of hiring someone to do it for them.
Sue, who has more than 200,000 followers on Facebook, shared that she grew her own social media following by keeping things simple. “Focus on creating a visually dynamic product you can share, and just working through what’s shareworthy and what’s interesting. Just trying to stop you from scrolling is my biggest goal.” To do that, Sue relies on 5 actions she calls the 5 Es: educate, entertain, engage, entice, and elevate.
After listening to Sue speak so eloquently about them, we wanted to share her 5 Es to help you create social media content that’ll inspire your audience and make them want to buy.
An informed audience is an audience that appreciates what your business has to offer. Sue shared, “The best marketing in the world solves a problem. Ask one big question: What is the problem that I solve in my business?” Then share that with your audience to help them understand how you can help them.
For example, Sue had created a magazine style PDF to send to her clients to educate them about what to expect from their shoot. A year ago, she was inspired by an Instagram post from Vanity Fair that turned their December issue into a video, making it perfect for social media marketing. When she saw Animoto’s new Marketing Video Builder, she realized she could do the same thing — make animated PDFs that not only grabbed her customers’ attention, but also gave them the information they needed.
It’s a simple truth: “The more entertaining your video is, the more people will watch it.” Sue noted there’s more than one way to entertain — you can be funny, smart, or visually compelling. You just have to do it quickly — without a good hook, you lose your audience after the first 5-10 seconds, especially if your hook can’t be played silently. The video Sue created below hooks you fast, and definitely falls in the visually compelling category.
For Sue, “engagement is anything shareworthy. It’s when you connect, comment, or create conversation.” That means, “When I post, I truly care about that post going out in the world.” She also cares able the response, taking time to respond to questions and even engaging in a “hot thread” — a period of 30 minutes or so when she focuses just on answering questions in one thread, engaging her audience in real time. The attention shows her authenticity and the passion she has for her business and wins over fans every time.
It’s possible to show that passion with video as well. Sue shared a marketing video from Red Bank jewelers Goldtinker, which illustrates the work that goes into creating a ring. As she pointed out, “If I see something being made, I always watch.” The process draws in potential customers and keeps them engaged.
Sue shared that many businesses focus on the sale — what the customer gives them. Instead, they should try marketing their product by making it look enticing. When Sue markets her photography, “What I’m trying to do is tell you what you’re getting, because you’re the one paying.” That’s why her video advertising her portrait photography is shot so beautifully — it illustrates just how thrilling and decadent a portrait session with Sue can be.
Above all, Sue expresses the importance of speaking honestly and from the heart, creating content for social media that’s true to you and your brand. “When you speak with your mission, with your purpose, your voice changes. I call it, ‘I speak heart.’ And I know I am both enticing and engaging when I am speaking with my full heart.” She shared her own purpose, which is to let women see themselves as beautiful. And the story of her client, Dawn, shown below, is a great example of how she speaks with her heart to get this purpose across.
Sue closed by saying there are countless opportunities throughout the year to market your business, especially with upcoming holidays that might help you create a story for, or connect with, your audience on social media. But regardless of what you decide to share on social media, make sure it educates, entertains, engages, entices, and elevates, and you won’t have try to sell.