How do you get PAYING customers from social media and social marketing?
Perhaps you have had a presence on social media sites, but you are now trying to figure out how to make it WORK. How do you actually get paying customers from your social marketing efforts? Like any sales tool, social marketing takes time and consistency. You are there to build and nurture relationships with people. You can’t game the system of buy that anywhere. These are the people who will grow to trust that you are an expert or that you have information, products, or a service that they want to either buy or tell others about. So the first step is to get off of that “FIX-IT FAST” train of thinking and reset your expectations. Like every effective sales technique or tool you have ever used, you know that you’d better roll up those sleeves and prepare to do a bit of work.
Here are 4 steps to get business from your social marketing and social media efforts:
1. Don’t spend all of your “PAY TIME” socializing with your buddies.
So many times I see people join the social media sites that all of their friends are on, and then they spend hours having wonderful conversations with their buddies each day. These buddies may not be your target market. Sure they can influence others to buy from you, but make sure you are not fooling yourself and thinking this is business “PAY ACTIVITY.” (Don’t get me wrong, I know that this is also important and fun to do, but don’t confuse the two.) Find out which social media platforms your paying customers are really on. You can do searches on most social sites to look for your customers. You can also find your competitors and see where they are engaging with people. Even if you are not “social” on Pinterest, or LinkedIn, that might be where you need to shift your focus for business. You can also ask your current customers. Send a SUPER SHORT survey using a tool like SurveyMonkey and simply ask, “Which social media sites are you active on?”
2. Don’t just post your content and leave.
Another marketing misconception is that as long as you are posting pithy quotes or content about how fabulous you are each day on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, business is sure to come in. If it were only that easy. Spend time on social media sites getting to know the other people out there. If you are marketing on Pinterest, go and find the top pinners in your target niche. Comment and like their pins and boards. On Facebook it’s a little harder for a business page, but you can find other pages that your target audience is active on. Maybe it is an active community page or a chamber of commerce page in your city. You might discover that there are lots of your target customers on a brand page like Home Depot or a local sports team page. Have real conversations—don’t go there to spam people by reminding them of how brilliant you are again. Like their comments or reply to a question if appropriate and it will leave a notification for them that your business liked something they said. Radio and news stations are also great places to connect with your target market. On LinkedIn, you can do this by getting involved in a couple groups that your target customers are engaged in. Regardless of the social site, spend time being neighborly.
3. Keep your content focused.
Do you know people on social media accounts that you have been connected with for quite a while, and who share a lot of information but you still don’t know what they do? There is a woman that comments and retweets many things that I post and so I wanted to learn more about her. I went to her Twitter profile and read her bio, but couldn’t tell what she did. I read a couple pages worth of posts and still could not figure out what she did for a living, besides share my tweets. Keep your content focused enough so that people know what it is you do and how they could work with you if they wanted to. It’s tricky on Facebook with a personal profile, because we do share more random information, but remember to weave your business hints in with your personal posts so your friends know where to find more about what you do, should they want that information. I have gotten lots of business from people I was connected with on my personal Facebook profile because I occasionally point folks to a great social media tip that is on our business page or a resource there, and then I provide a link over to that page. Sure my mom and aunt are usually the first two to go and like that, but others do as well. You should definitely set up a business page to post only business tips and resources. Don’t turn people off by only posting business content on your personal profile. I don’t know too many people who log into Facebook to see the fabulous things your business is up to….sorry to be the one to break it to you, but your mom asked me to tell you.
4. Measure your results!
Whether or not you are running specific campaigns or tailoring your content around holidays or seasons, you need to have a plan and know if it’s working. If you do not have Google analytics connected to your website, get that done right away. If you don’t know how to do that or don’t have someone you can trust to do it, contact me, I have a few people that I know do a great job on simple things like this. It is important to track where your website traffic is coming from. Do you get more visits to your site from Twitter or are the bulk of your visitors coming from your Pinterest boards? Are people taking action once they get to your website such as downloading tip sheets or ebooks? Are they contacting you through web forms for more information? We use Hubspot for all of our marketing backend as well as their analytic tools and it helps to know what is working and what needs tweaking. If your community is not growing, it is not working. And if that community is not taking action, something needs to be tweaked. Don’t expect the sales to come rolling in the first month of using social media, but it will happen if you are consistently posting helpful and interesting content about your industry and growing your community with the right people. Test and measure.
What else have you found that drives real results for your business? Are there activities you have engaged in that brought you business?
7 Tips You Can Implement Today To Make Your Business More Social
So many people say, “I just never think to share things on social media,” or “We don’t have time to have everyone on our team playing on social media sites.” The secret to freeing your social media from behind that locked marketing department door is to help everyone in your company learn to THINK SOCIAL. Once you start to see the world through social media glasses, you will see opportunities to be more social in small ways and in very little time.
Here are 7 things you can do to be more social in your business starting TODAY:
Talk about social media and how your consumers are using these new tools at your team meetings.
What are people seeing? Has anyone used or heard of a new social tool that your customers are using? Simply letting your employees know that you have social media accounts is a big step for some organizations. Let employees know how you intend to use the pages and profiles. Encourage them to follow the posts and share any that they feel are appropriate. Let them know that they are not required to like your Facebook page, but it is a great way for everyone to know what is going on. This is a great time to discuss policies and procedures for sharing work information. What is appropriate? What are the goals for your company on social media? (You obviously have to know these answers first!)
Divide and learn social media!
You don’t all have to know everything about every tool, but why not assign team gurus. Perhaps you have an Instagram Guru, a Pinterest Guru, a Vine Guru, a PicMonkey Guru, and the list goes on. Have each “Guru” be responsible for teaching the team one new nugget at meetings.
Help customers be social with you.
When you see a customer with their smartphone out trying to take a photo, understand they could be sharing that on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Offering to take the photo FOR them and reminding them to tag your biz in it, shows you are in the know and wanting to be social with them. If they are scanning price tags, be sure your team understands how to handle those situations.
Help customers REVIEW on Social.
If someone pays your team a compliment, teach your team members to respond with something like, “Thank you so much. We appreciate and value your feedback. If you are a Yelp, Trip Advisor, Facebook user, we’d love for you to post that on our page—it always helps.” Have cards printed with your Yelp or TripAdvisor links to make it easier for your customers to review you on social. When you get that compliment, you can hand them a card and thank them for their compliment.
Share helpful information on social media channels outside of your own content.
When you are in a store and see a product your target audience would love. Snap a pic and share it! Perhaps you’re a realtor and you see outdoor lighting on sale at Home Depot, or you a book on the shelf that you know your audience would like, be sure and share it. It takes seconds if you have your smart phone on you and your audience will see a fun, more social side to your business. It doesn’t always have to be about YOUR products or services.
Share local events with your audience.
You are probably already getting these messages or seeing the signs posted around the neighborhood. Better than just forwarding the link to the concert in the park, snap a photo of the poster and add it to that post.
Be social at events.
When there is an event going on, in or around your business, train everyone on your team to think social. Taking photos is everyone’s job today. They won’t all get used, but you will have more to choose from and share with your social audiences. That brunch with Santa, the charity car wash your team participated in, the networking event the sales team attended, these are all situations that can be shared strategically with your online communities, but without a picture, it’s just not as fun to share.
When you start seeing the world with social glasses on, you will find more to share than ever before. It doesn’t have to become a burden to one person when your whole organization thinks social!
How else do you incorporate social sharing in your everyday life? We’d love to hear your ideas here!
You join social media sites to connect with people, build relationships and hopefully find a way to do business together. Don’t undermine your initial efforts by looking like a spammer. You may not even be aware of it, but some of these activities not only smell like spam, but they can make you seem CREEPY!
Sending Auto Direct Messages (DMs) Inviting People to Connect On Other Social Media Sites
Don’t set up automated messages to go out to anyone who connects, asking them to join you on your other social media sites. I see it most often on Twitter, but I have had these spammy messages on LinkedIn as well. I hate the messages on LinkedIn that ask for your email now that you are connected. DUH—you can contact people via LinkedIn…that’s the point of the connection. The only reason I can think that you would want someone’s email address right away is to add them to a list that they didn’t ask to be added to. Look, you have just connected with the person, get to know them and let them get to know you before asking them to connect on 47 other sites to see the same stuff.
Sending Auto Direct Messages Offering A Free Gift of Your eBook or Entry to Your Webinar
A gift is something shiny, covered in diamonds, or chocolate. If that is the kind of gift you are sending, GREAT. But when you send a welcome private message offering a product of yours or a discount to a product of yours, it is wrapped in spam paper. Once again, get to know your audience a bit. Put out great content packed with value. THEN offer anyone the copy of your eBook or webinar, and tell people how it will help them. You’re sure to get more takers at that point. Always give a compelling reason for someone wanting to download or attend.
Packing Your Bio With Hashtags
I have seen a few LinkedIn profiles that look like a keyword-stuffed hidden page of a website. It was not written for human eyes, but for Google eyes only. The same goes for Twitter bios packed with enough hashtags that it could be a Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake skit. #FollowBack #Business #Leadership #LION #Inspiration #Motivation #BYOB #ImAwesome. KNOCK IT OFF! Tell us about YOU. If you can sound interesting in 160 characters, we will want to know more! If you smell like spam at first whiff, you may miss the connection altogether. #EnoughSaid
Sending a Private or Direct Message That Just Says, “Hi”
Unless you have gotten to know the person very well through social media platforms and you wanted to just stop by to let them know you are wishing them a great day, just saying “Hi” gives the feeling of being cornered at a party by a stranger with creepy staring eyes and bad breath. Ok, so it’s happened a couple times and I still avoid chamber networking events because of them.
Ask how their week is going or if they are had a good holiday, but saying “Hi” with nothing following is a scene out of a Steven King book. Quit scaring people.
What other activities smell spammy to YOU? We’d love to hear.
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I’d love to connect! Just make sure you say more than just “Hi.”
Nothing chaps my hide more than hearing people complain, “I tried social media for 3 months and nothing happened.” “I gave it a fair shake and we still are not getting customers from this social media stuff even after 8 weeks!”
Oh PA-LEEEZE! If I allowed the words “shut up” in my house I would yell “SHUT UP!” But I can’t, so I’ll just say, “STOP WHINING!”
If you think your business can go from ZERO to BIG BUCKS in 8 weeks on Social Media, then you must be selling chocolate covered coffee beans (the only biz I would buy from upon seeing the first tweet!). Harry Potter didn’t create Facebook or Twitter. It’s not magical. These sites are tools for you to connect with people. It’s like putting a telephone in your office; It doesn’t start ringing until you make connections with people and provide them with a compelling enough reason to call you.
So if you have been one of these whiny babies crying about your social marketing not working, here are 4 steps to dry your tears and get you WORKING:
Find Your Social Media Audience.
Like any sales activity, you must first identify who you want to target in your marketing and sales efforts. Who are they? Where do they hang out (online)? What hashtags are these people using or following? Find a few people and read through their Twitter or Google Plus feeds. Go on Pinterest to search for the influencers pinning in your industry or topic area. Use the search tool. Look at who all of these people are having conversations with. If you don’t know where to start, choose one of your competitors and see who they are talking to.
Connect With Your Target Market On Social Media Sites.
Connect with as many of your potential customers as possible. Following 25 people is not WORKING IT! Following 200 people won’t even cut it. Get busy every single day and find 40-50- or 100 people to follow. Don’t just follow naked spammers either. Follow strategic people who could buy from you, or influence others to do the same.
Now the Work Begins for Social Media Success.
Look through the profiles of the people you are interested in building relationships with and send messages, maybe 15-25 a day, commenting on something you like on their profile or perhaps you can ReTweet or share something they have posted recently. Add them to a list on Twitter, a circle on Google Plus, etc. to watch them more closely and be sure to like or comment on things they are talking about.
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Notice that I haven’t said anything about writing posts about how fabulous you and your business are to send to these new connections. That is spammy and it is not the way to build a relationship. Nothing smells like a spammer more than someone who connects and then sends a message offering their “FREE GIFT” of an ebook or whitepaper. WOW, what a gift. If you are offering a gift, it better be diamond or chocolate covered! Those are called resources and I might be interested once I know something about you. Another spammy activity is when you get an invitation to come and like all of their other social media sites immediately after connecting on the first one! I want to reply, “Hold on there cowboy, let’s see if I like you here first.”
Now I am assuming you will have already loaded your profile with interesting and helpful content BEFORE you ever started connecting with people. Don’t invite people to an empty house. But, what I am saying is, as you share your regular posts daily, you are working on building and nurturing relationships. Every day.
OKAY, YOU CAN PRESS RESUME
4. Post Great Content on Your Social Media Sites.
Be sure the daily posts that you are sharing are both interesting and helpful. If you are just sharing blog posts from other people or links that people may not want to chase, you will not draw people in. I’ve seen some pages that post only questions. Well, that becomes work after awhile. Some pages post nothing but quotes from others. Well, we might as well follow those other people! Mix in tips and pieces of your expertise. Take a complicated topic and simplify it for your audience. Create short video answers to the most common questions people ask. These are all rapport-building activities and draw your potential customers in closer to you. They are getting to know you.
Keep up this kind of activity and soon these people you have connected with might even like you enough to ask for that eBook or whitepaper you have right before they buy from you!
I’d love to hear from anyone—whiney babies and grown up social marketing experts. What else do you do to build relationships online? (I’m sure you’ll say that calling people whiny babies isn’t a good start!)
SHOW ME A STORY: The Power of Visual Social to Build Your Brand and Your Business
A great photo can take you away into another world. It can evoke an emotion the moment you see it. It can make people feel, connect and want to see or know more, all without reading one single word of web copy. Everyone wants to SEE behind the curtain of their favorite brands and see what really goes into creating the product or services they love. How can you show the story of your brand?
Here are 4 steps to get you showing more than you are telling:
Identify the words you feel describe your business. Are you fun and casual, or sophisticated and high-end luxury? Make a list of these words. Ask others that know and work with you.
Think about these words. What images come to mind? Make a list of possible images that you would like and that you feel have the look that matches your brand and business personality.
Now grab that camera and snap away. You can also purchase photos on sites like Shutterstock, iStockphoto and many more. If you carry a camera with you everywhere you go (and who doesn’t with today’s fabulous smart phones?) stop and capture a fun sign, a dog that has a sign around his neck advertising a tattoo parlor he is sitting in front of (I have that pic) or an interesting building. There are a plethora of apps available to turn your photos into works of art. Some of our favorites are Picmonkey (not really an app, but a website where you create magic), A Beautiful Mess, Over,Overly, Touch-Retouch, and the list goes on.
Let your audience get to know you, like you, fall in love with you! Yes, it can happen through the power of visuals.
This presentation below was created using a wonderful new tool on iPads called, HaikuDeck. It is yet another way you can share your stories through powerful images!