If your business hasn’t tried leveraging social media, or if you have ‘tried to try’ and now have completely inactive pages, this article is for you.
Everyone understands the concept and the maths of having millions of people who are able to share your message with a single click. These people don’t even have to visit your store, or even your website. They just have to see your message in a place where they are spending a great deal of time anyway, on Facebook, Instagram and so on.
What not everyone understands is how to be a part.
Firstly here is how to fail on social media:
You half heartedly put up a social media page or pages, put one update a week on each page with a link to your website and a few sentences. After a couple of months you stop logging on anymore. You have no followers or interactions and you decide that social media doesn’t work ‘for your type of business’.
Imagine if your business itself was created on the same half-assed basis? It wouldn’t have worked, would it? In fact this is probably the reason why most businesses themselves fail, through apathy and lack of inspiration and effort.
Social media marketing can offer rewards far in excess of effort because of the factor of virality. A campaign can really take off and work on its own.
How do you get raving fans on social media?
Most businesses would like a decent following on social media, people that can share the message further. Sometimes we hear about businesses having raving fans. Raving fans aren’t price conscious, and they sell your product or service for you too.
However, most company pages are completely inactive. Starting a bit of interaction, or even a conversation or two has to be the first step.
So, if you want to ask these kinds of questions:
How do we start a conversation on social media?
How do we create a buzz on social media?
How do we get people to listen to us on social media?
The answer is simple.
Delete the words ‘on social media’ and you have your answer.
How do we start a conversation?
How do we create a buzz?
How do we get people to listen to us?
You see, people are still people whether they are online, on the phone or on the toilet. People are people.
You already know how to start a conversation. You need something to talk about and some people to say it to. You probably already know what to talk about, no-one knows your business better than you. To find people to talk to, you can either go to a group of people and join the conversation, or approach people one by one to attempt to create your own group.
The social media equivalent of this is to join a Facebook or Linkedin group and get involved in conversations that are already happening. You can gradually introduce your own topics, without trying to overtly sell anyone anything. If the people there like you, and need your product or service, a sale will take place at some point, but don’t force it.
To create your own group you need to ask people that are already connected to you, to join you on social media as well. When you set up a Linkedin, Facebook or Twitter account you have the opportunity to import your contact list. If you have an email list then you can ask them to join.
Some companies create competitions or giveaways to try to get people to join them. It is also possible to pay for adverts to appear inside your ideal audience’s pages. These show up as sponsored posts in their stream. these things happen in the offline world too! They have been for decades.
Marketing online isn’t so different to marketing offline. People are people, giveaways, helpful information, creating or doing something remarkable… All these things are transferable to the internet.
So, to create a conversation or debate, you either go somewhere where like minds already hang out, or approach people one by one and try to engage them.
Approaching people one by one is much easier online. This could be a simple Twitter follow, and a percentage will follow you back. You can then comment or re-tweet something that they are sharing. Through the law of reciprocity they are likely to share something that you have posted, or at least a percentage will.
In one of my favorite movies, the Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal Lechter told Clarice Starling “Quid Pro Quo Clarice”.
Quid Pro Quo is Latin for ‘a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something’.
What Hannibal was saying is that he was happy to oblige with information, but he wanted Clarice to also reciprocate. This is how a good conversation starts.
I am sure that there are a few completely selfless souls in the world, (I can’t think of any), but most people give when they get. Or they might give a little in the expectation of getting something back in return.
People who take and don’t give back are labeled leeches or users and will often get excluded from social groups. This happens at the church fete preparations by the elderly, as well as among small children, and everyone else between.
So, do you want to sit and wait for people to come and offer you a concession first? (i.e. share your social media posts and comment on your pages?)
Or can you take the bull by the horns and follow other people, like and share their stuff, join their conversations…
Knowing that a percentage of these people will return the favor?