Social Media: The Family Business
Social Media should be a family affair for every business.
My thoughts last Sunday turned inevitably to my old Dad – aka Sgt Major RT Clark MM, 48 Royal Marine Commando, Husband, Father, Grandfather and Entrepreneur. I do miss his presence. My Father inspired me to run my own media business – he founded Jupiter Press Ltd. in the 1950s and I am proud to say, my brother Graham works at the helm of the advertising, design and printing firm. My own business is named after my two grandmothers: Gertrude Vivienne & Ivy Florence. I always find when meeting new people, they like our name choice, and the story. By sharing a few images (not boring you with our entire family tree, and publishing every embarrassing baby photo!) of the grannies, we welcome new contacts to learn about us – our influences, ethos, atmosphere, style choices, driven at its source by our history.
These days, handing down the family assets, reputation and recipe for success in business, no longer seems a prevalent tradition as (say) 50 or 100 years ago. Perhaps the trashy Kardashians, or brash Osborne clan, should carry some blame for bringing the family story into disrepute. Even the best known UK family business has been taken over by American owners, hollowing out both the Cadburys name and the contents of our cream eggs. Business dynasties exist – both small and big – but these brand stories seem so few and far between.
The Family Business United website reports there are 3 million family run firms in the UK today. The FBU (just in case you haven’t heard of them before) is the organisation which supports, celebrates and honours, family operations around the world. 21 September is the official Family Business National Day, organised via social media with the (not so catchy?) hashtag: #NFBD2016, taking place in 2016 for the third consecutive year. The FBU also host annual business awards, which this year saw Bagnalls win Best UK Family Business. Although this national company is clearly proud of the accolade, there are no discernible family voices or faces telling the business story, to lead the Bagnalls tribe via their social media profiles.
Family = Clan = Tribe
This dedication to the business, by one tightly knitted group of people, can be directly translated into winning social media campaigns: the history, daily activities and future plans, told by the members, provides a genuine story, told by real personalities, with true passion and expertise. However, the benefits of family strength in a business, only be enjoyed if it is perceived by the right audience.
Any business can be a family.
A business does not need blood relatives, to be a family – the best organisations make customers and employees feel they belong, that by working together (as harmoniously as possible) results will be enjoyed by all – may that be colleagues, customers, owners, investors, partners, suppliers or shareholders. Every organisation can access the benefits of being part of a family, especially when this approach is applied to brand activity via social media.
Which family run business enjoys your patronage? Let me know or over on Twitter @LadyofSocial.