Run Social Media Like an Ice Cream Parlor

There’s something about an ice cream (or frozen yogurt) shop that always brings out the little kid in me. I stare in awe at all the flavors and the toppings, and imagine the concoctions I could make. I sit in the store enjoying my frozen dessert with a smile on my face. Why is this? Well, first of all, it’s ice cream – it’s delicious. But there are other factors to consider from a marketing perspective. There’s the colors, the decor, the flavors, the customization of the dessert, the customer service, and maybe even a reward card. All of these things make us feel like we “need” to enter the store and “need” to order a treat. I started thinking about this effect and found similarities and ways in which we can utilize our social media platforms to create the same type of cultural following.

Make It Appealing

I often have to be dragged past an ice cream parlor. I stop and look in the windows and just can’t wait to get my hands on a tasty treat. Likewise, we need to find esthetic ways to design our platforms that make people want to come in and see more. Choose pictures, colors, fonts, and layouts (where possible) that attract your ideal audience. Each demographic will require a different approach so determining this early in the strategy will make for an easier process of developing the brand and Social Media platforms.

Evoke Emotions

Ice cream makes me happy. It’s just that simple. A good Social Media campaign should instill some sort of emotion in its members. Determining the message and overall emotion of the brand will allow the Social Media strategy to address these factors. Whatever the goal, use posts, articles, pictures, images, videos, and quotes to help generate these emotions in the readers and followers.

Provide Samples

Everyone likes to try the ice cream flavors before they order. It gives us the chance to try something new without a commitment to buying it. Social Media is a great way for us to provide “samples” of our products to our customers. Using photos, videos, or even give-aways is a great way to provide followers with free information, helpful advice, and products just for being loyal fans.

Give the Customer What They Want

If an ice cream parlor has a flavor of ice cream that no one orders, they don’t keep it in their store. That tub is taking up valuable space for another flavor that will actually make money. The same theory applies to Social Media. If engagement is low on a certain topic or type of post or on posts made during certain times of the day, then stop using those. Focus time and space on the posts that get the most engagement from followers. This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try new things, just keep the analytics under review and if the new tactic doesn’t produce over time, move on to something else.

Offer Variety

One of the best things about an ice cream parlor is the seemingly limitless options available. Between the flavors, toppings, cones, sizes, etc. it seems you could enjoy a different treat every time. As I mentioned in the paragraph above, try new things. Offer followers the option to read different types of articles, though still related to your brand. Provide behind-the-scenes pictures of your team members at work. Produce a blooper reel from the marketing videos you’ve produced. Finding fun and new ways to showcase our brands will keep people interested in what we have to offer next.

Make them Want to Come Back

Any good business, including ice cream parlors, are successful because they keep their customers coming back for more. All of the above tactics contribute to this effect for a Social Media strategy. Appealing to our customers, giving them the information they want and providing surprising content or teasers for upcoming posts will ensure a successful Social Media strategy.

Do you have additional tips on how to run a successful Social Media strategy? Please leave your suggestions in the comments below.

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4 thoughts on “Run Social Media Like an Ice Cream Parlor

  1. Jenn,

    I have really enjoyed reading your blog! You have so much great information about social media! I am currently in graduate school at Auburn University, and I am taking a course on social media. We are writing a class blog about social media and other issues. Hopefully, you will have time to check it out at http://wp.auburn.edu/ismnsocmed/. The blog is written by many different people in the class, so it provides a varied group of opinions about social media and its uses! I think some of the content fits well with everything of yours that I have read! Thanks again for your great posts about social media!

    Brittney

    • Hi Brittney! Thanks for your kind words. I’m so glad you enjoyed my blog. Feel free to sign up for email alerts and you’ll get an email whenever I post a new blog entry so you won’t miss any of the information.
      I checked out your class blog and there is some great information on there as well. I really enjoyed the article about copyright concerns with images.
      Keep up the good work and I wish you continued success with your education!

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