I’m sure I’ve probably touched on this subject before, but considering the approaches I get through social media it needs to be said again.
Social media is for connecting. Yes, it is possible to sell also, but not from the outset. If you try you’ll be banished to spamsville.
Through the likes of Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and all the other social platforms out there you can make new connections, find new clients and generally interact with fun people because they are a great way to network – OK, you can do that through face to face events, but social media gives you the power to network 24/7.
There is one problem though – there are a lot of auditionees for Spamalot out there.
You see, social media and social networking isn’t about pushing your business all the time. Yes, they are effective marketing channels, but not if that’s all you do. Some business users will just constantly tweet about their promotions, news, what they’re doing, a few more promotions and then they wonder why people have stopped following them.
The problem is constant self promotion is spam and social media is more about connecting with people than selling to them.
Before you start shouting, yes, social media is a marketing tool:
- You can encourage newsletter sign ups
- Promote eBooks and give-aways
- Promote offers and use a call to action to send them to your website
- Give information that points to particular products
But if that is the only way you use it, it won’t be long before you’ve really hacked off your followers. Lets face it, if you went to a networking event and launched into your sales patter without introducing yourself and asking about your conversation partner you’d become very lonely very quickly.
Think of it primarily as a tool to connect with people:
- Listen to what people are talking about, you might be able to help them
- Find out what they’re saying about you (great for customer research)
- Engage with followers to find out what they are looking for
- Build relationships with people you wouldn’t normally come across
- Give advice and ask for help
You can also use social media to promote other people. If someone’s helped you out tell people. If you come across someone who can help another follower, put them in touch.
Social media is about connecting, reciprocity and marketing
To get the most out of it, use it wisely, be generous with your information, connect and build relationships.