People spend a lot of time on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn along with a whole bunch of other sites. They go there for specific reasons… Facebook for fun, Twitter for news, LinkedIn for business advice and ideas. I know at least two things that they don't go there for… to know when you go to the bathroom, or to look at your advertising.
No matter how many times I try to explain it… people just cannot resist the urge to try to sell via Social Media. “But There are almost 1 billion people just waiting to buy what I have to sell… It's too tempting!”. Just going to Facebook and placing a text advertisement of this week's specials is a sure fire way to become irrelevant and sometimes annoying. Some realtors I know, only post listings of homes for sale. How many of those 1 billion people really care (especially those in Abu Dhabi and don't speak English)?
You can really tell the difference between companies that get it, and those that don't… It's called Fans or Likes. The ones I work with (and get it) have over 500 likes (B2b just crossed that line). The ones that don't, have less than 100. There may be multiple reasons for the disparity, but the successful ones understand the difference between SP and PS.
I deal with a lot of businesses that say “I don't want a personal Facebook account… just a business page!”. What they are really saying is “I don't have the time to interact with people… I just want to sell them what I have or do!”. PEOPLE… there is a reason why it is called “SOCIAL MEDIA”.
There is no such thing as “Shameless Self Promotion”. If all you want to do is SELL, SELL, SELL, on Facebook, it will become glossed over between the posts of babies being born, friends dealing with cancer, or a parent who is ecstatic about their kids winning basket! People post things with the hope that their friends will connect with them. If you want Social Media to work for your business, you have to start treating them like people… NOT PROSPECTS!
The companies who do it best ,are the ones that talk more about their customers and less about themselves. There is nothing wrong with talking about your business… but doing it every 10 posts is very different than every other post (or even worse… EVERY POST).
PS = Public Service
The last blog I wrote was about how people are always looking for free advice… but that's what makes Social Media so exciting. You have the opportunity to define your business as a relevant and top of mind reference without selling anything. You do this by posting timely, topical, and sometimes interesting or quirky content… not commercials!
The other thing you have to do is create an identity. Too many people just copy and paste the same things. You have to know YOUR audience and what creates conversations. Getting people to interact and share your content (or better yet… share content with you), IS what makes you stand out from the crowd.
By knowing who you are talking with (emphasis on with – NOT TO) and providing them with quality information, your posts become more noticed when dabbled in the flood of information.
Here are some tips to be a bit more successful and build your business with Social Media…
- Social Media is not advertising… it's an extension of your face to face networking. People are getting more savvy about using Social Media to ask “Does anyone know a good plumber?”. By connecting with friends and business associates, with useful information that they can actually use… you stay top of mind. By constantly selling, you become noise in the barrage of messages in somebody's Facebook news or Twitter feed.
- Quality information is everywhere… Google it! If you want to find timely and relevant information… just search for it. You can also follow some of your favorite sources in Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Just because you may see it all the time, does not mean that your audience follows the same stuff and may find it very helpful!
- Pay attention to your posts. Too many businesses take a “Post It and Forget It” mentality. If people comment on your posts… they'll real appreciate it when you comment back. That will give them a reason to comment again. If their comments become unnoticed… the are more likely than not to think that you JUST DON'T CARE about their thoughts and opinions (positive or negative).
Does all this take time? WELL HECK YEAH! Does it reap rewards? WELL THAT DEPENDS! In this short attention span theatre, you have to have a “READY – FIRE – AIM” mentality. Try some posts… measure the results, and repeat what is working and abandon those that are not generation comments or creating conversations!
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