The Big Picture
Today we’re looking at social media marketing, but I want to get something out of the way first, so that you understand were I’m coming from.Sometimes it helps to be blunt. Sometimes it can also be a bit hurtful. I have no interest in the second, as you’re here reading what I have to say, so I’m grateful for that and won’t abuse the time you have given me.
There is a lot of people on social media trying to do exactly what you are doing, so let’s start by removing your ego from the equation. If we look at this project as a means to increase your followers, general interest, conversions, bottom line, then we can ignore our personality. This applies to me, and will be generally true unless your selling a service which is based on you-like a personal trainer for example. In this case, we’ll need a bit of your personality to help you sell, but we want to remove the ego from this project.
Focus on the Customer
The truth is that people need a good reason to engage with you. You need to offer something new/different/unique to rise above the noise. If you can remove yourself from the equation and focus on what it is that your audience needs, wants or desires, then you will have a never-ending supply of content that will make them want more from you.
When your focus is on what the customer is looking for or what they need, we will be able to please them more. This process involves shifting our focus from our bottom line to pleasing them. When we do this, the bottom line will be taken care of as a happy by-product. Look at Apple :they focus on delighting the customer with a product that looks pleasing, works very simply and solves the problem the customer has. When you talk to staff in an Apple store, at no point do they try to convince you about the features, they show you how the device solves your problem. Their focus is on the needs of the customer, which in turn fulfills their bottom line.
Focus on the needs of your customer and on solving the problem they have. In social media, this goes beyond just having a chatbot to respond to queries. It can cost more, but having a real person and giving the personal touch will last in customers minds much more than most other things.
Focus on the Benefits, Not the Features
Start this section by making a list of the product benefits or your business services benefits…not the features. You want to focus here on how using your products or services can benefit the customer specifically.
Ask yourself these questions to focus your mind about how you can create valuable content that the customer will care about:
- How can it change their life?
- How can it solve their existing problems?
- How can it put their mind at ease about the things they worry about?
- What keeps them up at night?
In this stage of planning we want you to think about how you can become a source of value to your target audience before we even consider asking them for money.
People Want to Buy, They Don't Want to be Sold to
This can be a tricky line to follow in life, but even harder in social media. It takes quite a bit of skill to follow it successfully. Sometimes it can be easier to think about the things you shouldn’t do, rather than the things you should. By this I mean: go into a car salesroom, how long is it until you are approached? How often are you approached? How pushy is the salesperson?
It’s easier to think about the negative experiences in order to frame a positive sales experience.
With customers, it’s worthwhile returning to the Apple store (bear in mind I’m not an Apple fanboy, but I am a fan of helping people to learn from whatever positive learning experience they can). The staff don’t sell you the product, they solve your problem. Replicate this idea into your own business!
Follow this by asking yourself how you can serve these people and create valuable content for them to help them solve their problems and struggles.
Share Tips of How They Can Reach Their Goals
This can be an area that people ignore because it cannot be measured in terms of monetary value. However I would disagree. It can be these items that convert a potential customer into a valued customer.
Following the above points systematically, when we add focus on the benefits of our services or products, solve a problem that the customer is experiencing and then share some of our expertise to help the customer in another problem, we become an expert in their eyes, which means when they have another problem, you become their first potential source for an answer.
How this looks can vary on your business. If you sell a product, it could be tips to get an optimal level of use from that product by showing the customer how to maintain it properly. I use this for my road bike. I bought it from a store and now follow them online to see how best to maintain the bike. This can practically look like how to best clean the bike, how to lubricate the chain properly and how to properly maintain the tyres. These small online services mean that when I put the bike in for a service, I don’t get a huge bill because I’ve kept the bike in shape and don’t need to replace any parts.
When we analyse this process, I am a customer (in the past tense) but the bike store are ensuring they stay at the forefront of my mind when it comes to new products by helping me with other questions or queries about the product. So when I want to buy a new tyre, clothing, safety equipment (like lights or helmets) etc. they will be the first place I go to.
We want the same process for you with your customers. And your potential customers. And the customers who haven’t heard of you yet.
Find Blogs or YouTube Videos With Related Content
In a social media context, this point can be understood two ways.
- Share content that belongs to other people that relates to your business
- Create your own content and share it.
I would advise generally, that a company starting in their social media journey to start with point 1, but make a plan to move to point 2 and once this plan gathers momentum, make use of both, but have more 2 than 1. You are an expert in your business and we want to show people that!
The content you share in point 1 could be someone that you have learned from. In this way, you are showing your calibre by referencing the people you respect.
The content you share that you have created in point 2 shows your expertise firsthand. This could be your process for making a cake, how to cook the perfect steak or how to maintain a product you sell.
Luckily, with technology being what it is, we all have the tools necessary to make these videos. We need a good quality video, but we don’t need to worry about winning awards for cinematography. Practically, I would expect to see a good quality video (shot in HD nor near to), a steady hand and good sound quality.
Sharing other peoples’ content is still a good point to explore because it shows your confidence. There will always be someone else who does what you do (and being honest, they might do it a bit better), but you can look at this as part of the process. You want people to share your content, so you must also share other peoples’ content too.
Share, be shared and enjoy the process.
Do Case Studies or Interviews
This involves existing customers. If you’ve previously completed a job for a customer that stands out to you as special, then contact them to see if you can get a quick video interview for them to talk about what you did. These type of customer reviews can be worth their weight in gold if you manage it correctly.
You will see on a lot of business websites a portfolio page that showcases their previous work. You want to aim to do the same and advertise it through your social media channels.
Create a Tutorial
This one can link in with other points I’ve already made.
By creating a tutorial you are showing your skill and helping other people to improve theirs. This could be cooking the perfect steak – I love ordering steak in a restaurant, but I also enjoy cooking it. If I have someone showing me how to cook a certain way, it will make me look good for my wife when I set it in front of her, especially if you show me how to present it to a professional standard!
Doing this showcases your skills and helps to convince me to become a fan. According to Forbes, 64% of consumers will purchase after watching branded social video content. Can your business afford to miss out on this amount of custom? When we think that your sales could increase by you showing a tutorial about something you’re already good at, then hopefully the decision becomes a simple one.
Create a Personal Experience Post
Like we discussed above, if you have a really good success story or personal experience with your products or service, think about sharing this experience on a Facebook Live video post or blog post.
When you do this, you’ll want to focus on what specifically the products have helped you with. Think back to the benefits stage: how did it solve your problem?Make your focus to be solely around the problem and then the results after you found the solution.
Don’t say the name of the product or the company because you’ll want to leave a call to action for people to reach out to you to learn more about what you’re doing or using that’s helped you so much. By creating this bit of mystery you are encouraging curiosity, and if it helps to convert a sale, then you have struck on a winning formula that can be replicated.
There’s a lot in this post that you can takeaway and work on and adapt to the needs of your company, but the main points I think to remember are:
- Your target audience does not care about YOU, your company or your products. They ONLY care about what you can do for THEM and help improve their lives.
- Focus on the benefits not the features of your products, business or service.
- Don’t sell people, instead help them to improve their lives by sharing valuable content and some of your expertise.
- Don’t expect people to know the next step to take with you. Always have a call to action that tells them to either reach out or take a look at your products, service or business. Be explicit, if you want them to phone, email or visit, then give them the information to do this or else they’ll go elsewhere.
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