You may or may not be sold on the “power of social media marketing”, but I’m here today to clear the air and tell you HOW to benefit from social media as a business entity.
So, it’s possible that you’ve been investing time and resources with Facebook or Twitter or (insert popular social network here) and you’ve gained a few fans and followers, but you haven’t seen significant results from your efforts. I understand, it’s frustrating. And Facebook isn’t helping as it continues to update it’s algorithm to give brands even less exposure than seen in previous months or years.
Forget about it!
For some (most) of you, your focus should be on creating a simple digital platform for people to find you and research you in a familiar environment. You should focus on creating the highest quality social media “landing page” for your prospects. Keep that comment in mind as we continue…
Think about the nature of Facebook or Twitter. Everyone’s profile or page is essentially the same with different images and copy. It’s that simple. Make yours stand out. Spend time perfecting the copy and the images, just like you did with your website.
It’s easy for audiences to navigate the social network, and the details of your business because of this. Your website, although your own private entity, is not the same as everyone else’s website and thus it is harder for visitors to navigate because they are not familiar with it. Your website may be beautiful and wonderful, but it’s useless if your customers don’t spend time navigating it and converting to customers. Period.
Your potential customers have the attention span of a goldfish. Sorry, customers, but you’re everyone, myself included. Blame the digital age.
Think about it like this: your potential customers are like fish swimming in a large lake (Facebook) waiting to find food (your digital content) so they can eat (enjoy it). They are not waiting for you to share how awesome your newest product or service is, but they are looking for something to easily digest and enjoy and possibly share it with their friends via a comment, like, or share. They are looking for your amazing content that tells a story or teaches them something or helps them make a decision about what to buy in the future, but most likely not today at this very moment. Essentially, (billions of) people participating in social media have the power to tell all the other fish how awesome your bait (brand) is and then the fishing gets much better.
Keep in mind, your content must be AMAZING to achieve social media success. It takes time to figure out what your audience is going to react to.
You must try and try again… Try. And. Try. Again.
One way to drive traffic to your website is to begin to build relationships on social networks with prospective customers. To do this, you need to create amazing content that makes your audience want to come back for seconds. Simply posting what you think is cool probably isn’t going to work. It’s up to your audience to decide what is cool. You need to look at your results (ahem, Facebook insights) and prepare future content based on what worked (what your audience engaged with). This is how you should plan your social media content calendar, and how you should look at social media in general. Start creating “templates” for effective content and then you’ll start seeing results. It’s not rocket science, but some serious thought is required to produce results. It. Takes. Time.
The game has changed. Facebook is no longer free to play. You need to start allocating some of your marketing budget to Facebook ads and potentially Twitter ads. They work. If you make them right and for the right reason.
I challenge anyone who hasn’t experienced a drop in Facebook reach to refute my previous comment. I’ll gladly yield…
You don’t need to spend your vacation fund on Facebook ads. Start with a very small budget including multiple ads with limited variables and see what happens. Compare the results to your other advertising initiatives and call me in the morning!
VERY IMPORTANT: Don’t expect purchase behavior to occur as a result of your social media ads. People aren’t on social media to buy stuff. They’re on Facebook or Twitter to be entertained, connect with friends and family, learn something, hang-out, kill time, etc. I repeat, they are NOT there to buy stuff. Your Facebook/Twitter ads should be intended to engage not sell.
So why even advertise on social media if it’s not going to translate into sales? Because you’re fishing where the fish are. You’re introducing your brand to new customers and/or reinforcing how awesome your product or service really is. You’re inviting people into your sales funnel and saving them for later. You’re collecting prospects and email addresses and opportunities. You’re creating the foundation for the future of your company. You’re keeping up with the next generation. You’re spreading the good word and work and culture of your organization. You’re building relationships. You’re telling your story.
Here are a few final tips to help you maximize your social media marketing initiatives:
- Quality over Quantity: if you have 10,000 fans or followers and only 100 of them are prospective customers, you’re absolutely wasting your time. Make sure that you’re focusing on acquiring qualified likes on your page. Getting cheap likes from foreign countries isn’t going to produce any results for your organization unless you are able to market your wares to those people in foreign countries. The ONLY benefit of “cheap likes” is the “power of persuasion.”
- The Power of Persuasion: A business page with less than 1,000 likes isn’t taken too seriously. Think about it… If you want to sell big, you have to act big. Spend some time and resources building your qualified likes so when other prospects come to your page they see that a significant amount of people like your page and then they want to learn more. People trust other people. Having more likes/followers communicates that you’re likable. Just make sure the likes are important.
- Follow the Leaders: Find other pages that have good engagement and a large following and study them. What are they doing that makes their audience hit the like or share button or comment or reply? Try to emulate what they are doing in your own way and see what happens. Call me in the morning…
- Don’t forget about Forums: (Reddit. Is. Amazing.) No matter what your industry, there’s probably a community representing it on on a forum somewhere. Get involved! Be tactful about how your promote your business on the forums, but try to engage the members with casual conversations and you’ll learn a ton about what makes your (potential) customers click. The best part is that this is an absolutely free way to engage your target market and learn more about what makes them tick.
In closing, social media is a platform to help your organization grow. It’s not the absolute solution for profitability, but it can definitely help you find more profitability if you’re in it for the long haul.
I hope you found this article helpful. If you need help with your digital marketing outreach or social media efforts, please contact me by leaving a comment below or send me an email. I’m currently taking on new clients and I’d love to help!
Email: terenceklein (@) yahoo (.) com