Social Media Is Like A Real Friendship
Friendship is a wonderful thing, and although you can’t see it directly, you can see its effects in laughter, supportive gestures, and hugs. Giving more than you receive and truly caring about the other person will create a desire to continue to be around the other person, which will return you many years in a happy friendship.
Social Media Marketing is like a real-life friendship. It’s intangible, but you can see its effects in likes, comments, and shares. If a business truly cares about their customers and gives more than they receive, this will create a desire for the customer to give their repeat business to the company, resulting in many happy years together. After all, people want to do business with people, friends.
If your social media marketing strategy is using a “sell-first” strategy to try to sell your product or service rather than provide helpful information your customer really wants, you won’t get many followers, or business from social media. On the other hand, if you create an “engagement/building relationships-first” strategy to build trust and determine what your customer *needs*, and then provide a way to meet that need, you will then be truly helping your customer, and they will notice the difference! A good rule of thumb is to create 1-2 sales posts promoting your business to 10 educational, value-driven information posts. This generates goodwill between you & your customers and allows the customer to see your true business personality, letting the customer get to know you…like the beginning of a friendship!
Social Media Marketing is a chance to make a great first impression to potential customers you would not reach normally. If you don’t have a page…or worse, have an inactive page, a customer will think you aren’t relevant–by not staying technologically & socially current, you are, in a way saying that you don’t care, because to the customer, you don’t have a way for them to get to know you first. Personally, if I can’t go to a business social media page to find what I need, I won’t give my business to that company. Give your customer a reason to like you within the first 30 seconds; you only get 1 chance to make a good first impression!
So how do you be a better friend through your social media marketing?
1) Fill out your profiles completely. This means adding your company’s mission statement; describe your passion (even if there isn’t a specific spot for this, be creative and fit it in there anyway!); why your business is different/better than others; phone & email address, hours of operation & location information, add all of your social media links & website to make it easy to connect with you; add any & all pictures.
2) When posting, provide helpful information about your industry & business, your charity endeavors, tips on getting the most out of your product/service, funny pictures that are related to your business industry, celebrate holidays, provide instructional videos — visually tell your story when possible. If your company gets an award, tell your customers about it! It may feel like you’re bragging, but people like to celebrate others successes and feel their support is warranted.
3) Know the value of social media. People are on these platforms to connect to family & friends, but they also enjoy following the brands they support in real life and telling the people in their circles about this great product you have; if they like it and are excited about your product/service, their friends will likely enjoy it too!
Since the people are on these platforms talking about your business anyway, be a part of the conversation — ask questions, create a contest where their input will determine what the outcome of a product or service so the customer can feel valued–vote which item should be kept or taken away (contests don’t always have to be about giving away free stuff, although free is always good when you can afford it!).
4) Be consistent! We recommend posting at least once each day to stay in the forefront of people’s minds. However, find what works for you – maybe it’s only 5 times each week – the most important thing is consistently. Being consistent provides a way for your customer to expect receiving valuable information from you; don’t let them down. If you’re not consistently staying in the forefront of your customer’s minds, your customers will find another business that does. Even if the customer doesn’t need your product/service today, if you’re posting daily, they will remember you when they need you…
And that’s the whole point of Social Media Marketing and friendships, isn’t it? Be there when they need you. Be helpful. Be supportive.
Social media marketing isn’t a sprint…it’s a marathon that you need to run and train for every day. Results will not appear overnight, or even a few months, but they will come…you just need to do your part and trust your friends!
Let us know what has worked for you – what are some ways you provide value to your customers on social media?