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.
Here are our three top tips for putting the ‘social’ into your social media efforts.
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.
2. Get active in Facebook groups
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?
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 on.
Search hashtags likely to be used by your ideal clients. Go through the accounts in the list and find the ones you LOVE. Engage with them – like a few of their photos and leave them a genuine comment. If you like what you see, follow them. Do this every day for 15 minutes.
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.
More followers, more engagement, better clients that are aligned with your values and, yes, over time, more BUSINESS.
Stevie Dillon isn’t a social media expert. She finds them annoying. She IS a social media geek though. And she loves teaching businesses how to nail their socials over at Stevie Says Social. Get 100 free tips at www.steviesayssocial.com
Keen to socialise? You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.
Read more: Why having thousands of followers doesn’t make you a good networker