Media and traditional advertising has always given businesses the opportunity to distribute a message to an audience. Social media ain’t traditional media, though. And treating it as such by *just* pushing out content, ads and talking about yourself is one of the BIGGEST mistakes a business can make.
Well, it’s called SOCIAL media for a reason.
Its real power lies in the opportunity it gives your business to connect DIRECTLY with your potential clients. Once you know who your ideal client is, social media allows you to find where they’re hanging out online, to connect with them and to have REAL, two way conversations with them.
Over time, that allows you to develop a relationship with them and – if you provide them with value – for them to like, know and trust you enough to want to do business with you.
With that said, in this episode, I am giving you three top tips for putting the ‘social’ into your social media efforts.
So, let’s dive in!
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1. Treat your social media followers like your best friends
You need to make damn sure that the stuff you are posting on your social media channels is stuff that your ideal clients actually WANT to see. There’s no use banging on about yourself or how great your product or service is.
That’s old school advertising, and people are over it.
You need to be communicating on social media in the same way that you would communicate with your best friend. HELP your followers with their problems.
In a nutshell, it’s all about providing value in the most natural way for you business and brand – whether that be by entertaining, educating or informing. Be honest and open. Communicate professionally, but in a conversational manner.
Storytell – which really just means giving people an insight into what you do and why.
The more people get to know you and appreciate the value you provide, the closer you get to a lead or a sale.
Here’s a few examples to illustrate my point.
Firstly, a real estate example. If you’re anything like, well, EVERYONE, you’re completely over real estate agents plastering ‘just listed’ and ‘just sold’ posts all over their Facebook and Instagram accounts.
It’s the perfect example of a business that isn’t thinking about their followers, or providing them with any value at all.
As the former Marketing Manager of Place Estate Agents in Brisbane, we decided to market on social media in a very different way.
Instead of plastering just listed and just sold posts up every day, we put together four video a week showcasing the local community. Interviewing local business owners, writing articles about infrastructure updates, visiting and featuring community groups and local happenings.
It wasn’t at all salesly or real estate-y which was completely different to every other real estate agency in the area who were plastering billboards with their face and filling up letterboxes.
The result? Iit endeared people to the agency, because they were giving back. We began receiving messages from grateful business owners who had their small businesses showcased on our page. Local people would tag their friends in our posts, and share them on their page.
Conversations started happening in the comments of our videos.
By leading with value, we made the local offices a part of the community and their Facebook pages a social hub for local residents.
Lorna Jane is another example of a business who does this well. Rather than simply promoting exercise gear, they instead provide daily inspiration to motivate their followers to live their best life through active living, recipes, exercise tips and other pieces of content that add value.
As a result, they’ve created an active living community around their ‘Move Nourish Believe’ tagline, and consistently treat their followers to things that they are genuinely interested in.
The point here?
Don’t be that annoying person that walks into a dinner party conversation and starts talking about themselves. Lead with value, treat your social media followers like best friends and build community around what you do.
2. Get active in Facebook groups
Facebook Groups are an incredible way to meet and develop relationships with people who may one day do business with you.
Join Facebook groups where your ideal clients are hanging out. Be active, answer questions, provide value. Members will start to see you as someone who knows their stuff and who is willing to help.
Over time, they’ll begin to like, know and trust you, and they will see you as a key source of expertise in your chosen field.
They may not need the product or service you provide right away, but you’ll be on their radar when they do.
At the end of the day, who would you rather do business with? A nameless, faceless contact you find via a Google search, or a business that has been consistently providing value and who they kind of feel they already know?
This is a tactic that can work well for both product and service businesses.
For service businesses, it’s a great way to network and connect with potential clients. By showcasing your expertise, you’ll be seen as someone who know their stuff and an obvious choice for those needing your service.
For product businesses wondering how this strategy applies to them, Kayla Houlihan – the head of skincare brand Tribe Skincare – is a perfect illustration of how this is possible. Whilst all of the marketing for her skincare brand is done via Instagram and on her Facebook business page, she is also active in Facebook groups for female entrepreneurs, providing tips and tricks to other business owners.
Her willingness to help and share her business’ marketing secrets contribute to sales of her product, because many within the group are also her target audience.
3. Use Instagram to socialise with other accounts.
The best thing about Instagram is that it’s one of the EASIEST platforms to get your social on6
Here’s a quick simple strategy for socialising on the platform.
Firstly, find hashtags likely to be used by your ideal clients. For more information on how to research hashtags in 2018, check out the podcast episode.
Then, follow those hashtags. Following hashtags means that posts used by that hashtag show up in your newsfeed.
Then, spend at least 15 minutes every day scrolling through your newsfeed and engaging in a genuine way with the accounts that show up that seem to be your target audience.
Like a few of their photos; leave them a genuine comment.
If you like what you see, follow them.
You’ll notice the difference in not only the quantity, but also the quality of the followers when you start to do this regularly.
Well, because when you reach out to the accounts you love, there’s a good chance that you’ll also like the vibe of the person behind the account as well. And when you start to treat your socials as a platform for two way conversation with them, it gives you the opportunity to develop rapport with like-minded people who may one day need a product or service just like yours.
At the end of the day, social media is all about being social.
If you treat it as such, you’ll ultimately benefit from more followers, more engagement, better clients that are aligned with your values and, yes, over time, more BUSINESS.