Take This in First…
There are 330 million users on Twitter.
LinkedIn has over 500 million users (that’s larger than the population of the United States).
Instagram has 800 million users.
1.37 billion people log into Facebook daily. Every. Single. Day.
One in four people say they use social media sites to inform their purchasing decisions. That’s 500 million people who would evaluate your company solely by what they see on Facebook. So, how’s your business look on Facebook right now? Don’t stop reading this and navigate to your page to check, just answer, out loud so you can hear yourself say it. How’s your business look on Facebook right now? Would you buy from your business based on Facebook alone?
Social media has been consistently talked about as a drug; to a scientific degree. Studies show that while people are on Facebook, their self-esteem increases, they feel more connected to others, and physiological signals of positive reactions rifle through the body. The simple act of being on social media, primes someone to positively react to your business’s message. You couldn’t ask for a better situation in which to interact with a potential customer!
But what happens with the majority of businesses? Someone’s co-worker recommends your company to them this afternoon. They decide to take a look at your business’ Facebook page...it’s empty, you haven’t posted since the fall. You’ve missed an opportunity to build a relationship with a potential customer. Your business is NOT active on social media and you’re missing out on the impact that being active on social media will have on your business.
What Does Being “Active” Mean?
Being active as a business on social media is crucial. But being "active" isn't the point. Just like you wouldn't run a marathon to lower your cholesterol, you have to use social media to move your business forward. Being active in that pursuit is the key.
Many businesses think that constantly pitching to their potential customers is good enough. They treat the platforms that they’re on as an extension of their e-mail marketing campaigns, simply blasting out a message designed to drive revenue, then they complain when social media doesn’t drive any sales. Remember, we are on social media to connect, to share, and to discover. So don’t turn your company page into one on-going commercial.
Frame your message in a way that benefits your customer. Being active on social media for businesses is NOT about driving sales, it’s about building relationships with potential customers BEFORE the sale happens. (for a quick look at what NOT to post, download our free guide: Six Signs of a Bad Social Media Post). Provide value in your space EVERY SINGLE TIME your business posts or you’re simply going to get passed over.
Don’t believe me? There are 5 million monthly advertisers on Facebook alone. That means your business’s posts are competing for eyes against all of the other business posts plus all of the non-business posts, plus 5 million companies paying for their ads to be shown. If your post doesn’t provide value to your customers, you can be completely positive that the Facebook algorithm isn’t going to show your post to your potential customers.
How Your Business Can Be Active on Social Media
for the same from your potential customers. Remember that old saying: “it’s better to give than receive?” Well, that’s essentially the golden rule when it comes to being active on social media for businesses.
So, how do you give on social media? And how do you do it without giving away products or services? Be an expert in your field and give free information to your potential customers. This strategy puts your business in a position of being the credible resource in your field.
Take a typical real estate agent. Now, I come from a real estate family so I say all of this with love: almost every real estate agent I come across on social media constantly posts about their current listings. I get it, they make their money by selling homes. But how do they get the listings? A vast majority of real estate agents would tell you they get their listings from referrals. And they should be proud of that fact. But on social media, their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat accounts essentially function as a rotating billboard of their current listings. They ask, ask, and ask again from their social audiences; don’t let that be you.
So….What Should Businesses Do Instead?
When businesses broadcast a message that’s interesting to only a tiny fraction of their total audience, they are simply using social media in the wrong way. Remember that people are on social media to connect, share, and discover then make it easy for your audience to do just that.
Let’s do something wild here: imagine Samantha Z., a real estate agent, on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram who regularly posts advice for homeowners. She answers questions from first-time buyers and sellers, gives tips to maintain your home’s value, and even shares videos of tips and tricks for getting ready for a move or relocating.
One day, a co-worker asks if you know an realtors in your area. Who comes to mind? That’s right, Samantha Z., real estate agent.You may not have worked with her personally, but instantly she gets another referral because she was seen as a resource and not a billboard on social media.
By walking away from the low effort, quick, SELL!, SELL!, SELL! approach and putting actual time and effort into being a resource for their potential customers, Samantha built a relationship with potential clients before a sale happened. What happens to a realtor who does this?
They’ll sell a TON more homes in the long run. How? Because by positioning themselves as a resource, and not a salesperson, they are leveraging the exact same system that gets them their current listings: the referral system.
It’s Not Easy, and it’s Not Simple But it is Doable
If you want to drive revenue on social media. You have to be in it for the long haul. Your business has got to speak the language of the platform it’s speaking on and it has to speak in terms of providing value to the customer, not to the business.
Half the battle is not coming across like a sales robot disguised as a Facebook business page. The other half is sharing content that provides value, actively participating in conversations where your business is an expert in the subject, and focusing on your customer’s success. It’s a lot of work, but it pays off in spades. The good news is, the sooner you start doing all of this, the sooner it will start to pay off.
If you’re interested in getting your business’s social media strategy optimized, start off on the right foot with our free guide: Six Signs of a Bad Social Media Post.
email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 312.283.5523 if you need help.