Social Networks Are Story Pages, Not Billboards
There are thousands of businesses jumping on social networks as part of their marketing strategies. And why not? It is almost essential to competing in any market today and the fact is, they are free to use. With the majority of civilization connected in someway to a social network of some kind, there has never been a more direct way to connect with an audience. Especially on the local level. The goal is to have a positive connection but for many, the spirit that has made online social networks so effective is being replaced my un-engaged drones that post a link or re-tweet a post but obviously know little more than what is printed in the catalog.
Why They Connect With You
People are social because They like to feel engaged. Connected. The reason they chose to connect is for the exchange of interesting information. They want tips, how to’s and tune in to hear about experiences that may relate to them or their activities. Maybe look for an inside view of a brand or technology that isn’t in the mainstream image. The idea is to be a real person. If they wanted a sales pitch, they would have called and asked. But by making an online connection through social networks, they have stated that they found you interesting and want to interact with you. By establishing a presence in social networks, a porthole of communication is opened that provides authentic representation, that needs to be supported in the same every other means of communication is. Good and bad. Here are some great thoughts on handling the good with the bad.
With that being said, how do you build enough trust and engagement to make them take the next step?
The Purchase Is Still The Goal, Right?
Marketing online has the same goals as any other type of marketing. Yes, you still want them to buy in the end. Your fans and followers know that. But in many ways, they are giving you a test drive. What kind of experience are you giving them? Is it an engaging story about how your product makes them feel? Is it a relevant picture of what your product will solve for them? Or is it a list of features and benefits that mimics a quick glance at your stale, boring website? You must paint the picture for them. Show where the ride will take them and how they will feel once they arrive. Spelling out each detail to the point that they can feel it. An 8 1/2 x 11 slick full color brochure can’t do that anymore, only the direct words from someone who has done it themselves can.
Painting The Image Through Social Networks
Most businesses have happy customers. Otherwise they wouldn’t be in business. Those customers are happy because they heard the story and liked it. They liked it so much that they took a chance by handing over their hard-earned money to make that story their own. There was something that clicked in their mind that enabled them to take action. For some, it was immediate, for others, it may have taken several versions of the story, but something caused the commitment. This is where the answer begins. By listening and observing the actions and reactions of happy customers, (and even those of customers that may not be so happy for that matter…) the story writes itself. It can also expand your profit from one sale, with many more as a result. Each satisfied customer gives you a wealth of engaging content that can be served up as irresistible bait for the next customer. I bet you are already using it everyday. Telling potential customers about someone who loved their decision to work with or buy from you in face to face or phone conversations.
Why aren’t you telling that same story on social media? That is what your likes and followers are waiting for.
Give them the experience with social networks, not the pitch and they will ask you to let them buy and tell all of their friends about it too!