You need customers for your business and social media seems like a great way to go.
With over 2.32 billion active monthly users, Facebook remains the most widely used social media platform.
“When I hear people debate the ROI of social media? It makes me remember why so many businesses fail. Most businesses are not playing the marathon. They’re playing the sprint. They’re not worried about lifetime value and retention. They’re worried about short-term goals.”
Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, and author
● Having loads of accounts doesn’t guarantee customers
● Social media traffic is a very different beast, but not impossible to handle
● How to make a solid social strategy
Having loads of social accounts doesn’t guarantee customers
When social first came on the scene, loads of businesses jumped on the bandwagon and started setting up accounts all over the place. There was a wave of “social media is a great way to find customers”. It’ was like you were guaranteed to go viral and see hundreds or thousands of customers appear out of nowhere just because you had a Facebook page.
Obviously, this idea of finding infinite customers didn’t take off. Because frankly it was based on hope and assumptions. There was no strategy behind the transition from “Facebook like” to “sale”. The truth is that social media hasn’t changed WHY people buy, it’s just added to the number of ways for HOW they buy.
Social media does allow us to find more potential customers and have people discover us. It’s a great place to post news and content out and allow people to see what we have to offer.
As we move more and more mobile, faster posting with shorter lifespans is becoming more popular. Kind of like sending a text to a friend rather than having a long conversation with them. But again, this is not about getting CUSTOMERS but getting people to notice us and follow what we have to say.
On top of all that, you’re bombarded with stuff about scheduling times, posting ratios, and curated content. It can make social media seem like a bit of a minefield.
Here’s the undeniable truth. Treat social media as a method of getting your story out there. Use Social Media to find interested people and get traffic to your website. Then, convert them to customers on your site.
“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is.”
Scott Cook, Founder, Intuit
Social media has become inescapable, a person spends on average 3 hours per day on social networks and messaging. (Globalwebindex, 2019)
What usually goes wrong?
Not the right audience.
Think of social media and customers like email lists and customers. If you attract a list of email subscribers that doesn’t mean that they’re ready to be customers.
Some might be customers and some might be interested. Others may never buy at all.
Rather than trying to find customers, find a group of people willing to listen to your voice and what you have to say. Match the right platform to your audience and make sure you’re going after the right people. For example, Linkedin is a great platform for B2B (Business to Business) if you are targeting businesses that Linkedin may just be the platform for you. Also, be wary of becoming too dependant on one platform, platforms will come and go and you don’t want to restrict yourself to just one platform. Leverage the platform that is best for you but don’t restrict yourself to just one platform.
“Social media requires that business leaders start thinking like small-town shop owners. This means taking the long view and avoiding short-term benchmarks to gauge progress. It means allowing the personality, heart, and soul of the people who run all levels of the business to show. And doing their utmost to shape word of mouth by treating each customer as though he or she were the most important customer in the world.”
Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, and author
Not the right content
If you’ve found your audience and your platforms, you need to make sure you’re posting the right content. This just means understanding what your audience wants help with or wants to see and showing them that content.
Every platform is different so you can’t use the same content on every platform. Your content should be created for each platform.
Make sure that you’ve got a content plan that has 3 – 5 topics and ideas that your audience really wants to read about. We know from experience that keeping things simple and repurposing a great blog post is way more effective than just posting anything for the sake of it.
People don’t trust you
“Organic content’s value now is more like brand & PR. You should spend money on it to have a foundation, but that should be 20% of your energy and money, and 80% should be figuring out the ads that drive your business”
Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, and author
So once you’ve started to generate traffic to your website, what happens if no one is buying? The short answer is probably that they don’t trust you.
For example, Apple has done really well at building trust and a loyal following, If they recommend a new product their following will probably buy it based on trust alone. It doesn’t really need to be sold to them.
Trust can’t be bought or sped up. It’s earned through consistency, communication, and time. Understand what people want and over-deliver on their expectations. If you’re finding that you can drive traffic to your site from social, you need to ensure that visitors trust you enough to buy.
Create genuine valuable content and give some of it out for FREE.
So how do we convert social to customers?
Use A Private Group
No one expects this as an answer, but we recommend setting up a private group on Facebook for your customers or leads. Make it somewhere they can ask questions and share content.
Keep it private and work on the community there. Traffic from closed groups that already know you are more likely to take you up on your offers and you’re not having to find new audiences every time you’ve got content.
You could use the group for support, customer services, or accountability. Or all three. Post useful content that your customers want to consume and that’s a great method to check what your audience actually wants and needs.
Mix Up Your Posting
We recommend a 2:2:2 posting ratio. This just means that you don’t just post your own stuff out every day every week. You should find other useful content and older posts of yours too and make sure they all get an equal share.
This is way more powerful for driving traffic and from people that aren’t leads or customers yet. Try the below ratio for your business.
2 curated posts – these are posts and found content from other sources that suit your audience.
2 older posts – older content that’s yours but still useful.
2 current posts – new stuff that’s yours.
When do you post? Well, that’s up to you really. The ratio is a guideline that means if you’re posting 6 posts a day, 2 should be older content, 2 should be curated, and so on. If you’re only posting once a day, then it roughly works out to 2 new posts over 2 days and 2 curated posts the next two days, etc.
You should look at your stats and see at what time of the day for e.g you get the best engagement, you should be constantly testing and tweaking your content just like you do with your paid ads.
While posting free organic content is all well and good you ultimately need a good paid ads strategy, this will allow you to build out a reliable stream of new leads.
Every platform eventually wants to make money and they rely heavily on their paid ads for revenue. If they make your organic free content work for you then you will not pay them for ads, so what tends to happen on all platforms and what will continue to happen on all platforms is they eventually stop showing your free organic content to as many people as they used to show them to. They do this because they want you to pay them to show it to more people.
Paid Social Media ads have really come on in leaps and bounds, the options you now have are endless. One of these options is Retargeting – you can retarget users who have visited a particular page or consumed a specific blog post on your site. This allows you to keep your business top of mind to your audience, I am pretty sure you have experienced retargeting yourself, have you ever visited a website and shortly after you visited, Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, Youtube, etc. and you then saw an ad for the exact same company who’s website you just visited?
Remember Social Media platforms want your paid ads to work, if your ads work then you are more likely on paying for more ads. You should leverage the many tools that they offer to make your ads work as best as it possibly can
In summary, we really feel that it is important to post as often as possible and also to have a great paid ads strategy to compliment your free organic posts.
It is also really important to build an audience of fans and to really build trust. Some businesses might not like the idea of a private group, saying it’s too much work. But if you’re not willing to own the support and customer service side of your business then you don’t deserve more sales.
Everybody has a smartphone, social media is a great way of getting to your ideal audience via their smartphones.
There has never been a better time in the history of mankind to build an audience and build a business this is only possible because of Social Media.
It’s never too late, leverage Social Media now to grow your business!