But these are the wrong questions.
How about, “What can we do FOR our customers, fans, and followers through social media to gain their business?”
I get it – you want to make money. However, this frame of mind is turning social media into a dirty marketing scene. Remember when we enjoyed Facebook? Or LinkedIn? Yea, that’s what I’m talking about.
Yet in real life, we all need to make money.
But to gain a real investment through social media requires us to put ourselves in the in the shoes of the consumer, first.
Social media isn’t a bunch of platforms to sound our business bell from. They are communities where people gather, share, engage and get to know one another. After all, social media is about being social. Sales are the outcome of successfully being social.
Ask yourself, “What would it take for a small business Facebook page to get my sale?”
What would they need to do to make you feel comfortable about swiping that card full of hard earned money or to begin thinking about it?
Probably a lot. They would have to earn your trust, establish credibility and make you believe in who they are and what they sell.
So how can you do that? Let me show you.
Here’s an example of what a business on FB did to nab me.
PostPlanner is a “powerhouse post scheduler” for Facebook. It offered great features, but as a social media marketer, it was just another tool to use for my business.
And quite frankly, tools are a dime a dozen these days.
For me to whip out my credit card, they’d need to have a few wow factors.
1. It would need to be easy to learn (I don’t have lots of time), save me time, give me control over how my posts look, and stand out from ALL the other scheduling apps available on the market.
2. They would need to persuade me that we have a similar approach to social media, demonstrate they know what’s going on in social media, and prove it’s a company I want to do business with.
3. As a social media professional, it’s imperative any company I work with provide excellent customer service, handle any issue ASAP, and treat me as a cherished individual.
This is how they won me over.
1. Fellow social media marketing friends began sharing PP’s blogs on Facebook.
2. Then I saw someone talking about it negatively. A PP representative curiously asked questions in a non-defensive way, and seemed to appreciate the feedback. (Excellent social media practice!)
3. Then I began reading their articles and realized a friend of mine writes for them (sup, Aaron!).
4. Then I became to be so addicted to the content that I “Liked” their FB page and signed up for the newsletter. (Something I don’t do easily.)
5. Then I read other articles talking about PP’s scheduling acumen and time-saving abilities. (Who doesn’t want that?)
6. And eventually it led to talking with my friend about the product with an interest to buy.
All of this took several months.
Social media success doesn’t happen overnight. And sales/ROI don’t either. It’s close to impossible to calculate the amount of time, work and consistent value that PostPlanner had to give me to gain my adoration.
But that’s the way social media marketing works.
PostPlanner was smart enough to have a social media presence to start with. Then they used social media marketing, blogging and email marketing to develop a relationship, demonstrate they know their schizz, develop my trust and entice me into wanting the product.
The brilliant minds behind PostPlanner put themselves in MY shoes.
Actionable steps for you!
1. Utilize the 80/20 rule. Share 80% of content that has nothing to do with your brand, BUT caters to your audience i.e. tips, news, insider articles, how-to’s. Create weekly “Fan of the Week” updates to thank fans, share humorous posts, and ask questions to get them talking. Then share 20% of content relating to your brand.
2. In the 20%, think about how your audience would like to see the content packaged. Are they busy? Short videos might be best. Would they prefer pictures? Don’t just throw up a link, add something interesting to grab their attention. Have fun and be creative.
3. Be consistent. There’s nothing worse that showing up randomly on social media and your fans don’t care. Post consistently.
4. Get 5-10 of your friends or customers (even better) to take a look at your social media communities and give you their honest opinion. Ask their advice about what you could do differently or what they would like to see. Then turn on listening mode. It could be some of the best advice you’ll receive.
5. Change it up! Don’t be afraid of change, don’t be afraid to try different things. Post at different times, play around with different kinds of content and see what happens. The only thing worse than inconsistency is being same-ole, same ole. Variety is fun, innovative and shows you’re paying attention.
6. Utilize the 3 Core Marketing Strategies (social media marketing, blogging and email marketing) to maximize your online presence.