So, you’re a small business owner, and you have social media, but you aren’t seeing any results? Could you be going about it the wrong way?
I can’t tell you the number of businesses, big and small who are treating social media like a catalogue - pushing product images out two, three times per day and expecting a sales uplift in return.
This is not how social media works, social media is a community and often a source for many users to pass away time and connect with their friends and their favourite brands. Your customers do not want your products alone in their feed, if they're going to shop, they can browse your website.
Let’s imagine your product isn’t that aesthetically pleasing, let's say you sell dog food. You could post pictures of the tins and bowls of the food, but that's not exactly going to bring in the likes, and the followers. What you could do, is inspire your audience and provide value!
How do you do this? To grow your business you need to give your audience, and potential audience something they want 80 - 90% of the time and 10% - 20% of the time talking about your product such as new flavours, new stockist, original packaging, new promotional deals etc.
Continuing on the dog food theme, the first thing I would recommend for this client is to find their audience. Look for dog accounts on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (yes they do exist, even my pup has his own account) and engage. Follow them, like their posts, comment (without pushing your products). Social media users are likely to engage back by clicking on your profile to find out more about you and what you offer. If you have valuable content, they are more than likely going to follow you back. This may seem like a lot of work, and it is, but it is the only way to grow your accounts organically and get seen by the right audience.
What does valuable content look like? Relevant content is something that your followers would want to see on their feed. It could be something motivational, inspirational or even funny. Perhaps you stumbled across a particularly amusing video of a puppy or a recipe for a homemade frozen treat for your pup to enjoy during a heatwave - share it with your followers. Another source of valuable content is breaking news in your industry, keep on top of it and try to share it with your audience before your competitors do.
You can also encourage User Generated Content (UGC), not only does this cut down on the amount of content you have to create, but it spreads your brand further. Ask your customers (or their dogs in this case) to share content of them enjoying your products. You could ask them to use a particular hashtag to be entered into a competition to win some of your newest or best-selling products thus helping to get your brand into the hands of potential new customers and increase exposure of your social media accounts and therefore your brand.
Following these steps does take time, and when I run my mentoring sessions, my clients are always shocked that you can't just post photos and get sales. Sadly nothing in life comes that easy! You just can't expect that by posting a couple of promotional posts a day that your followers and engagement will increase. If it was that simple, social media consultants wouldn't have jobs.
There is no denying that social media requires time and effort and is not a quick win, but once you’ve got, it nailed it will be your most successful marketing platform. Trust me.
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