Why you Don’t Want to Sell on Facebook Part 2

In Part 1, we discussed the importance of using Facebook to build relationships, communities, and not for bombarding people with requests for “likes” for our business/product/service. We discussed that everything we post about our business/product/service should be done with the express purpose of continuing to build relationships, make connections with people.

If every message you post says something like “check out this product” “check out this service” “buy my book” “order my products” … all people hear is “I want your money.” How would you feel if the first face-to-face communication you have with someone you just met was “I have this great product/service. Please buy it”? Would you want to buy whatever they offer? Probably not. So why would you expect the people you connect with online to be happy to hand their money over to you when it appears all you view them as is a source of income.

How to Reach your Target Audience

Don’t make everything you post be about your product/business/service.

Your strategy to reach your target audience, again, should be focused on building the relationship, their sense of trust in you. How do you do that?

  1. By sharing/liking/commenting on posts that demonstrate to people how you feel about certain topics. Avoid sharing/commenting on politics as much as possible, but show in a non-confrontational way that you are interested in or at least aware of current events.
  2. By sharing, liking and posting things that make people feel inspired, uplifted and encouraged.
  3. By sharing, liking and posting things that make people laugh, feel like they could get behind a cause/injustice (not everybody will agree with you … and that’s okay)
  4. By sharing, liking and posting things that address a need your target audience may have.

Notice I haven’t said anything about sharing, liking, and posting about your product, service or business. Remember, we’re not selling on Facebook. We’re building relationships and communities.

Relevance is Key

Let’s take point #4 for a minute. Since I focus a lot on promoting authors, let’s take an author-based example, and hopefully you can apply it to whatever your business, product or service is. If you’ve written a book targeted for teens (whether fiction or non-fiction), then you want to get the message not only in front of teens, but also in front of their parents, friends, coaches, teachers — a much broader audience than you might think. Your social media posting strategy (across all networks) is to address a particular need or concern for those people.

This can include such things as:

  1. Why sleep is important for teens?
  2. How can organized sports be helpful for building self-confidence?
  3. 4-year-old boy with cerebral palsy scores touchdown
  4. Teenage entrepreneur receives achievement award.
  5. Communication strategies for parents and teens.

These kinds of topics will resonate with people in your circles. If you’re sharing research or “learning” kind of content, make sure it’s from a reliable source. Make sure it’s well-researched. The writer doesn’t have to be an expert or medical professional. Sometimes an experienced mother or father or teacher can be just as helpful and informative as an expert with ten letters after his name.

Not only are you looking for content that will help you connect with your target audience, demonstrate that what you do is relevant to them, your content needs to be shareable. Whatever you post, you want these people to say, “Hey, that’s helpful. I know people in my contact list would be interested in this.” Or “That’s cool. I have to share that.” Or “I completely agree.” Or “I completely disagree” and then click “share”. The more the article or post gets shared and viewed that’s more eyes seeing your name, your brand … without you even having to say anything about your product, service or business.

When people trust you, see you as someone who can help them, they will not hesitate to buy from you or recommend you to someone when you post periodically about what you offer.

Why you Don’t want to Sell on Facebook Part 1

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.