Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Tip # 174: Stand Out through Social Media

For candy makers and chocolatiers who produce fresh morsels of deliciousness every day, social media makes for a great, visual platform to communicate what makes your brand stand out. Interesting posts not only inform followers of that fresh batch of toffee now ready for purchase, but when used correctly can effectively drive home your point of difference (how your goods or services differ from the competition).

To identify your points of difference, first evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your business, followed by those of your competition. According to AmericanExpress’s Open Forum, small businesses should assess the consumer’s perception of the following points: price, variety, features, benefits, quality, availability, convenience, customer service and your story (how, why or where you do business). This can be an activity practiced on your own, but would be best to include a group of trusted team members – as long as you can keep an open mind in the process.

After identifying the strengths and weaknesses of both your company and the competition, note areas of similarity. After crossing out the strengths you share with competitions, the strengths that stand apart become your points of difference. Your points of difference should be leveraged to create a consistent brand message which inspires brand loyalty by giving consumers a reason to purchase your product. A point of difference doesn’t always have to be spelled out, in fact, it shouldn’t be – that would get old quick. Everyone knows a picture speaks a thousand words, before posting a photo on Instagram or Facebook think about your points of difference and the message you want to communicate to your followers. If one of your points of difference is that you hand-dip chocolates, post photos of your staff in the act (always make sure they are following good manufacturing practices).

You don't need to read their company history to know Birnn Chocolates
of Vermont uses fresh, heavy cream from local dairy cows in their truffles.

As a wholesale supplier, you will not find RCI member, Birnn Chocolates of Vermont on Facebook. However, they do a great job of communicating one of their points of difference to their B2B clients, which is the fact that they use only fresh, heavy cream from Vermont cows for the ganache centers in their famous truffles. They even have a photo of brothers Jeff and Bill Birnn posed with those very Vermont cows on their website. 

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