As most of us know, social media is considered to be a very important gateway to our businesses. Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter are some of the top contenders.
Many social media articles have pounded the following do's and don'ts into the average business owners heads:
- Don't sell to people, therefore don't feature your products.
- Post funny videos and the people will come running because videos go viral.
- Always come up with a clever message that no one else uses and the people will come running to you.
- And, in a complete tongue in cheek, put your store or products on Facebook so people can buy from you right from that platform
- Spend lots of money on advertisements on all venues.
And, if the business owner pays attention to the above, they follow the trendy rules diligently, and still nothing happens. Why is that I wonder?
Many of my clients agree with me wholeheartedly that the above is NOT the way to go and to achieve results. Those that embrace the above are no longer serviced by our marketing firm because, against our best advice, they followed the above, got no results, and it became our fault that the cash register in their e-commerce shopping cart was not ringing up. That's fine. Each to their own ideals.
The remainder of our clients who follow our advice on this important matter of social media are seeing results. Why? One very simple philosophy.
Social media is about cultivating relationships with potential customers. Very simple.
Social media properly done is NOT about following the latest trend and coming up empty. Do you seriously think a bakery, a jeweler, dog groomer or a construction company is going to post funny pointless videos instead of their latest product or project???? Really????
Absolutely not. The bakery is going to post their latest confectionery wonders, to show people what they can do for your birthday party, your wedding, your dessert table at your special event.
The construction company is going to post pictures of their latest renovations, remodels, and new homes they've built.
The jeweler is going to post pictures of their latest unique design, or a gorgeous new product.
The dog groomer is going to post pictures of clean, fluffy, well groomed stunning dogs waiting for their pet parent to pick them up after a day at the spa.
Are they going to scream "BUY FROM ME" ???
Again, absolutely not.
They are simply showing you what they can potentially do for you. That's it. Just putting it out there. That's the whole idea.
It takes an average of 11 pins, posts or tweets that catch the attention of the same person to eventually bring them to visit your website.
That's a staggering number when you consider that the same person may not catch 11 consecutive pins, posts or tweets. People do not get on social media every day, nor do they glue themselves to your feed. They have lives, families, jobs, and sometimes the information overload on social media causes them to just step back.
What it translates to for the business owner is that you have to work hard to get your customers. You have to post consistently, stay on target, stay on theme. The occasional funny video or personal picture of your garden tells people that you are human too and that you cut loose too.
However, your main objective is to stay on track, stay on target. Build the relationships with your audience in a non selling way. We like to call it showcasing.
Caption this, photo contests, and the occasional giveaway are fine as well, ONLY if they fit your business model. Otherwise, showcase your product, your project, your accomplishments AS A BUSINESS.
This needs to be done on a consistent basis every few days, not every few weeks.
Social media does not bring instant results. Newsflash.
Building good relationships over time takes time and effort. Social media is no different.