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.
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!)
If you would like a step-by-step workbook on SOCIAL PROSPECTING, download it here:
(All Images Are From Shutterstock)