Being active on social media is a must-do in today’s worldwide marketplace. Having a website it not enough. You need to be driving visitor traffic to that website, rather than just waiting for people to happen upon it. The strategy behind social media is networking. You’re connected with 500 friends and each of those friends is connected to 500 others…. You need to be able to reach those “others” you would never have met otherwise. It’s the word-of-mouth concept extreme edition. Even just 20 years ago, marketing was still extremely localized, focused on simply reaching those in the neighbourhoods around you and, perhaps, maybe state/province-wide, or country-wide, depending on your product or service. With the social media boom, we can now reach and communicate with people around the globe. While building local connections is still good, expanding your reach to other potential markets in other areas of the world is a resource that was untapped and unavailable to past entrepreneurs.
Missing the Target
Many people, however, miss the point of marketing through social media, especially Facebook. The goal of using Facebook for marketing purposes should not be to “sell”, it should be to build relationships and connections.
Use Facebook to build relationships, not to sell.
Think about it. Why do you use Facebook? What do you think your target market uses Facebook for? Connecting with other people, friends, family, colleagues. Chatting. Leisure. News catch up. Connecting with people of like personalities and philosophies. Basically creating an online community for themselves. What do they probably NOT want to see when they’re relaxing on Facebook — marketing pitches. They do not like being sold to.
One surefire way of driving potential connections and clients away from using your services or purchasing your product is to actively “sell” to them especially if you’ve only just met. It is actually considered against social media marketing etiquette to friend a person and then two seconds after friending them, send a message asking them to “like” your business or product, or posting a link to your business/product page or blog. That is, in actual fact, the quickest way to lose that new potential connection/client and their client list network.
Before you even think of getting anywhere close to “selling”, you need to build a relationship of trust with that person.
Get to know your new connection by looking at the kinds of things they post, comment on something they post, “like” or “share” something they’ve posted. Let them get to know you the same way.
Every once in a while include a general (to everybody) invitation to visit/like/connect via your business/product page and include a link to those pages, and/or website. This way, your invitation is actually just that, an invitation. And it gives people the freedom to say, no. You’re not targeting anyone specifically, and you’re letting your new contacts know about this other side of you.
Once you’ve been friends for a while, then send a personal invitation to like your business/product page.
Do NOT invite them to like your page two seconds after being accepted as their friend.
Change your Message to Build your Audience
I tend to take a very organic approach to marketing. It takes a little bit more work and a little bit more time, but in the end you stand more of a chance of keeping your Facebook friends and, therefore, the potential for reaching people within their friend lists about your product/business/service. For writers in particular, we’re looking to build readerships and a fan base.
Even from your business/product/service page — if you don’t have one, you really do need one, but that’s a topic for a different article — you need to be selective about what you post and share.
Again, your primary goal is to build relationships, not to sell. Other secondary goals include getting your brand in front of people, building brand recognition with Google and other search engines and algorithms, and promoting your product/service/business. But anything you post about any of those other three secondary goals needs to be written/designed/posted with the primary goal in mind.
I’ll discuss this messaging concept in more detail in my next article.