9 Epic Social Media Strategies for Promoting Your Boring Business

Let’s face it, some products and services are harder to promote than others. If you see a Facebook post on life insurance and another one about feeding cute huskies, which one are you going to click?

If you’re being honest, you’re going to choose the huskies.

That’s not to say you don’t like life insurance. The cold, hard truth is life insurance is not as interesting as cute dogs.

Boring industries make the world go round but unlike cute pets, fashionable clothes and the latest iGadget, they don’t do well on social media.

Lots of products and services seem boring, even to the people marketing them. But that’s only because they haven’t taken the time to consider other options, or they saw what some trendy startup is doing and immediately got depressed after realizing such tactics won’t work for their market.

Boring is Not Equal to Unmarketable

Should boring businesses throw in the towel on social media? NO.

Being boring doesn’t mean you can’t use innovative social media campaigns to get targeted leads. And I’ve got examples from ‘boring’ companies to prove it!

Boring NO More: 9 ‘Boring’ Companies and their Attention Grabbing Social Media Strategies

  1. Educate Readers about Topics they’re Interested in

Somewhere between boring pseudo-helpful and truly educational content lies your audience’s burning questions.

No, these aren’t the questions you think they’re asking. These aren’t “What to look for in a real estate agent?” or “Why are solar panels a good investment?” kind of questions.  Those questions are assumptive. And they’re predictable cause your audience already knows you’re just gonna sell them something.

So how do you find out what their burning questions are? You can find them by identifying your target market’s goals and pain points through market research and persona creation.

Anything to do with death and corpses is a taboo topic, right? So why does Doughty’s Ask a Mortician YouTube channel have about 49,000 subscribers? Because her videos answer the burning questions of her readers, like how to talk to your children about death.

She didn’t talk about how morticians work or some other self-promotional topic. She talks about what her audience is really curious about and as a result, she’s now one of Los Angeles’ go-to morticians.

  1. Don’t Take Yourself Too Seriously

How can you stand out when your product has one general use — washing the body — and about a hundred competing brands?

“Kills 99% of germs” Nope. Safeguard’s using that.

“Has ¼ moisturizing cream” Sorry, Dove beat you to it.

How can you make a catchy social media campaign for an everyday product? For that, we turn to Old Spice.

Old Spice was a dying brand. Until some genius marketing team created the Old Spice guy and his hilarious commercials. Although the commercials have nothing to do with their products, it set them apart from competitors.

Even their Twitter account uses the same strategy. Mr. Wolfdog, aka @DirectorWolfDog is Old Spice’s ‘Director of Marketing’, and he engages with their Twitter followers through live Twitter chats and funny Tweets that also promote their product line.

Oldspice Chat

Live twitter chat

Oldspice

Funny but not so subtle promotion

Bottom line, your social media marketing strategy doesn’t always have to center on the products benefits or features.

Bottom line, your social media marketing strategy doesn’t always have to center on the products benefits or features.

  1. Tell the Truth! Tell the Truth!

Sometimes, it’s tempting to hide what you do in flowery words and business jargon, especially if you’re in a less than palatable market.

But dazzling descriptions do little to help people understand what you do. And since it’s the unspoken rule of social media to show only the good side of things, it won’t help you stand out any more than that annoying MLM marketer posing beside a flashy car.

Why not embrace the truth about your business? Then at least you have a shot at being honest and funny at the same time, like these folks:

It’s not on Twitter, but it certainly fits the 140-character limit. Source: Dumpaday

It’s not on Twitter, but it certainly fits the 140-character limit. Source: Dumpaday

The same strategy works even if you’re not in that line of business, take for example the Dollar Shave Club’s viral video.

  1. Play with Different Angles Related to Your Topic

A blender is a blender, and Blendtec’s marketing team knows this too well. To make their products stand out, they created several videos testing the power of their blenders against anything from glow sticks to an Apple Watch. As a result, Blendtec has roughly 819,000 subscribers on Youtube and 31,000 followers on Twitter.

Instead of the usual product demos and review videos, Blendtec exploited a different angle. They showed us the durability of their products and satisfied people’s curiosity at the same time.

  1. Create Compelling Branded Content

Multinational tax company H&R Block has over 385,000 fans on Facebook and 24,000 followers on Twitter. What’s even more impressive is how engaged their audience is. Their Facebook posts rack up shares from as low as 28 to 2,000!

H&R 2k

How do they do this? One way is through branded and theme-specific content, such as their IRS (Internal Romance Services) gift-guidance form for Valentines. They were able to jump in the Valentines bandwagon and connect the boring process of filling forms to something relevant at that time — buying gifts.

H&R
  1. Use Different Types of Visual Aids

Images make a boring story shine.  Twitter studied 2 million tweets over a 1-month period, and found out that posts with pictures get 35% more retweets. You don’t have to be a whiz in creating infographics to get good results. You can use comics and memes, too.

And it’s not just on Twitter. GE’s Hey Girl board has over 16,000 Pinterest followers — and they only have 16 pins. GE couldn’t possibly get this much engagement if they used their products for social media marketing.

GE hey girl
  1. Get User-Generated Content

Neenah Paper produces fancy paper for books, product packaging, and other products. You’d think a paper business is boring but not for them and their 25,000 Twitter followers.

A good chunk of their Tweets are user-generated content that increases their visibility and engagement rate. They have Tweets from customers using their products and brands using their material for packaging.

Neenah Paper

Another example of this strategy is Maersk’s logo spotting campaign on Instagram. A user who sees their logo takes a picture and uploads it to Instagram with the hashtag “#Maersk.”

Maersk

Image from Instagram user @Wagner_santos_fc

  1. Make the Customer the Hero of Your Story

Feel-good stories go viral because people love them. They relate to the heroes of these stories and love the organizations that support them. It’s human nature, so use it to your advantage.

Make the customer the hero of your story, not your boring product or service.

Here’s an example from 3M’s Post-it, a supposedly ‘boring’ stationery product with over 1.5 million Facebook and 19,000 Twitter followers.

Postit

Instead of promoting the many uses of Post-it notes, they made their customer, Rosas Fresh Pizza, the hero of their marketing campaign.

  1. Nourish the Nerds in Your Audience

Every industry has its own share of nerds. Find topics your nerds are interested in then share it on social media. It can be anything from statistics, trivia, or new studies.  GE gives us another example with their post about a new design for a Wind Turbine.

GE Wind Turbine

Apply these Social Media Strategies Now

Think your business is boring? Have a go and apply at least one of these tips now. Then share your findings in the comments. I’d love to hear from you.

Don’t over think. Don’t worry whether it will be a hit or not. You won’t find out until you try.

Think these ideas won’t work for your business? Is it really that boring? Let’s talk about it.

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