CONTENT or CONVERSATION
When the topic of social media and social marketing come up, one question that is often asked is, “What should I share?” (30 Things to Post on Social Media When You Don’t Know What to Say). Content is one of the first concerns (along with, “Where will I find the time?”). The answer to these questions lies in first realizing social marketing is much more than just throwing content on your pages and profiles. The SOCIAL part involves listening and striking up conversations with the people you are connecting with. To convert fans into customers on social media sites, it takes more than great content. When planning how much time you will need to post your content, keep in mind that more of your time should be spent having conversations that grow relationships, than putting snappy content out (although that still has to be done).
It’s like going on a date and only being concerned with what you are going to wear. While that is VERY important, especially the first date and that first moment you see each other, it is what happens after this initial connection, the conversations you have will determine whether there will be a second and third date. If all you did was talk about yourself, or if you didn’t say anything at all, chances are this first date would be your last.
When developing a social marketing strategy, it is important to identify WHO you are trying to reach. Can you paint a picture of the person? How old is he or she? What are his concerns and challenges? Where do they shop or hang out? What is her average income? The more specific you can be in describing your potential buyers, the more you will know which social sites are appealing to them. If they are not on Pinterest or LinkedIn then creating a strategy to build and nurture relationships there would be a wasted effort.
Next, it’s important to know WHAT kind of messaging you will be sharing on the social media sites. Will you share information to educate, video clips showing your services or interviews with other experts in your industry, tips or resources that help your buyer see you as a valuable resource? All of these make up a wonderful social marketing mix.
But even more important is the WHY. Why are you wanting to establish a presence on social media sites. Is it to just have another spot to tell everyone about your fabulous products and services, like your website? Is it to connect with more people and expand your brand’s awareness? Or is it to build relationships? Your content and the conversations go hand in hand to build lasting relationships.
Social media tools are just that…TOOLS. Like a phone is a tool, it is used to either give out information or to reach out and connect with people and nurture a relationship. Many businesses make the mistake of using these social media tools to just pump out content about their brand and they miss the conversation part…the connection part, and they wonder why they don’t get that second date.
Converting Fans Into Customers
Daily conversations must be part of your social marketing mix in order for it to be effective. The problem with conversations and that whole relationship thing, is that it takes time and consistency. But just how much time? How often must you post? Is 30 minutes a day good enough? Will once a week cut it? Going back to our dating analogy, how many conversations are enough to have with this person? How long should each call or interaction with them be? You just can’t answer those questions with a definitive answer. You use the tools as often as you can and for as long as it takes to answer the questions, nurture a relationship and be a valuable resource, until a marriage proposal or sales proposal is presented!
Make a point this week to spend just a bit more time listening and responding to things that your potential client is talking about. Get dressed up and then get out there, you stud muffin!
SocialKNX is a full-service social marketing company that helps people and organizations that don’t have the time or resources to connect and build those lasting relationships that lead to more sales!