I logged into Facebook to send a note to my mother the other day when I spotted a notification from one of my favorite online (Facebook only) clothing companies, Paisley & Taylor. Her message let me know that the velvet shirt dress I wanted last month was back in and she thought I should get the medium because of the way these fit. After ordering that dress and a few other things, I finally got around to sending my mom that message.
While I don’t log into Facebook in hopes of having brands contact me or try to sell me something, those who have taken the time to get to know me, my needs, and my likes, are exempt. When a business does social right, it feels personal. It feels like talking with a friend. It doesn’t feel salesy or spammy. This type of relationship may not always be possible with every brand or with each follower of your brand, but it is more possible today on social media channels than ever before.
When we all first flocked to social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and even LinkedIn, the focus was on acquisition. Companies were buying likes, buying followers and putting LION (LinkedIn Open Networker) in their LinkedIn profile to attract anyone and everyone. The problem with all of this random acquisition is when a brand then wanted to try and convert fans into paying customers or spend money promoting posts or advertising to their fans and followers, they were then having to spend money to reach these crowds of random people who will most likely never make a purchase. Now many are wishing they had a small group of targeted people who were more likely to buy from them. It’s like standing on a corner in New York City trying to sell something with everyone passing by ignoring you, versus a small town. We need to take a more personalized social media approach for greater conversions.
When you are connected to fewer people, you can have real conversations and get to know your fan base, get input from them, reward them with early release promotions and of course sell to them much easier than trying to get people to buy from your promotional blasts that are going out to the masses. Getting to know your fans allows you to send them blog posts or articles you know they would find helpful. It allows you to customize your services to them.
So what do you do if you have already amassed a large following? You can start injecting more social into your media. Spend time replying to things your fans are saying. Send a “Good Morning” message to a few people each day as if you were walking through the streets of Twitter town greeting them. Start conversations, join conversations, ask another question to further a conversation. Find those who are truly your target market and build relationships online through regular communication. And little by little, start to unfollow those that are dead weight.
The part most companies just don’t get is the SOCIAL part. The media part is easy. We’ve been pushing our messages out through different media channels since the beginning of time, but this social stuff… well, it’s just foreign to many. It really is a blend of sales, customer service, and marketing skills, and when done right, it is winning over, not just more customers, but more advocates who will become a sales team for your brand.
Get out and practice being social on your social media channels. Take some time to get to know who you are connected with and what they are talking about. Study your analytics and insights on each of your social channels to see who is connecting with you each week. If they are joining organically, you should be able to learn a lot from them. Use hashtags and keyword searches to see who is talking about your industry, your products or services and then join in the conversations without trying to sell anything. Let the relationships form first. If your profile is filled out, people will come and learn more about you.
Make this the year you get more personal– more intimate with your social community and watch your conversion rates grow!
Not sure what to do each day and each week to build relationships on your social channels? Download our free SOCIAL CHECKLIST today.
Share your thoughts on this –do we need to get more personal with our social marketing? Do you see this trend happening?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.