Is it reasonable enough to say that social media is no longer in its infant stages? Yes? Okay, then!
Now let’s divide business people up into two different camps:
- Those that believe social media is important
- Those that think it’s a huge waste of time and don’t see the point
If you fall under group #1, then we could probably split you up into two more groups: those that can prove ROI and those that believe there’s an ROI but can’t put their finger on it just yet. Either way, good for you. You’re seeing the bigger picture, or at least part of it.
If you fall under group #2, then sit tight. Although I believe that I’m about to address something that both groups can benefit from, I really think that you can pull the greatest value out of this post. Please approach this with an open mind.
You Need to Understand What Makes Social Media (People) Tick
When you first set out to conquer social media for your brand, it probably seemed like just another way to reach your target audience with a bunch of ads. Yes, it is a place that you can sell. If it wasn’t, I would be building a different business and using a different medium to reach my potential customers and so would thousands of other marketers and business owners.
However, most small business owners forget why they or their friends joined social media in first place, or why people even like it so much for that matter. How can you blame them? Their vision is foggy from all of the potential sales!
Remember, people use social media to connect with people. They’re pulling value through relationships, entertainment, education, and edification. If you polled Facebook’s user base, they probably wouldn’t rank “being sold to” as the number one reason why they enjoy using the network.
The thing that makes people tick – the thing that we long for – is relationship building. We love to connect on a human to human level. Your biggest mistake as a business is when you lose sight of who your audience is and how they use the medium you want to use to reach them.
Success Requires Effort
I would bet that around 90% of small businesses don’t understand or implement the idea that they need to add value first in their social media marketing (read this article on Adding Value in Social Media if you’re not sure what I’m talking about). Of that 10% that “gets it”, I would say that the majority of them forget to put in the next important ingredient: effort.
What I mean by effort is the follow through. Just like a jump shot in basketball, the follow through is the difference between making a shot and clunking it on the front of the rim.
When you’re putting forth effort, you’re not just adding value and stopping there. You’re distributing it (value in the form of content) and you’re engaging with people (like, all of them).
Effort is unique because most people believe that they can just build content and people will magically 1) find it and 2) buy the product. The true story is that most consumers require many interactions with a brand before they move forward with a purchase decision, and most consumers are used to getting crap from brands (in quality of product and service).
If you can put the effort into helping customers find valuable content (sharing, SEOing, promoting) and then you put in the extra effort that so many businesses are falling short on with human to human interaction, then you’re on your way to EARNING influence.
The influence that comes from effort is what tees you up for the final, and extremely important part of this equation; asking for the business.
Here’s the final equation for you to implement:
Many businesses reverse this and think that adding value only comes after the sale, which is why so many end up under delivering and never gain any influence.
Thank you so much for reading! It would mean the world to me if you would share or recommend this post to your friends or colleagues.