“Social media doesn’t work for my business”
“I don’t see the point in Snapchat…”
“Where does this translate to sales? I thought social media makes me money fast!”
Just some of the things I hear when I sit down and talk to business owners who are either starting out in social media or who are struggling with their social media presence. They are not getting the engagement, they don’t see the point.
The first thing I point out to people facing these dilemmas and problems is that social media does not have to work for you. Social media was not designed for businesses. You need to figure out how to make it work for you.
You don’t need social media either by the way. You are perfectly capable of running a successful business without social media but in 2017 and onwards, not having social media means you are effectively leaving money on the table. Some people will be okay with that, others won’t and many business owners are adopting some form of social to reach out and connect with customers old and new.
What you are struggling with is brand building on social media because you lack the patience to do it. Social media is hard work, there is no blueprint for success to follow so you can sell your product and make lots of money.
How businesses deploy social media online varies and different strategies work for different people but many people I talk to are struggling to identify the difference of selling and building brand on social media.
Shoving your sales in people’s face online won’t work
Think you are going to hop on social media and just sell to anyone you can find? It won’t work, you would be wasting your time and may as well not bother. This can be frustrating for people, it is hard to recognise that you need to take time to build brand, establish yourself as an authority and network with others.
You won’t become an overnight success, you need to take the time to do it right, jumping in and pushing sales will leave you kicked to the curb and ignored pretty quick. Nobody wants to hear your sales pitch. Nobody wants to see you throwing right hooks all the time.
What you need to do is work on building brand, something that is much harder to do because it takes time, it takes consistent work and input as well as quality content.
Provide value, give something that benefits people to help build your brand and establish trust. Interact, engage and reach out to others. This is what makes platforms such as Snapchat and Instagram stories important – they are all about brand building.
Creating a narrative around your business and your brand through stories generates interest. People tune in, they start engaging and the more your interact back and provide value with them then the more they get interested in who you are and what you are about.
When you eventually ask for something tactically, when you eventually throw out that sales pitch and land that right hook then you can get them.
Selling on social
Building brand on social media is how you sell. Occasionally you throw a sales pitch out there on social media and of course you run ad campaigns but that only all comes together with what you are building through your social media channels.
Some businesses that I talk to want to get it all as quick as possible and are obsessed with click through rates, conversions and sales. Of course you should be monitoring these metrics and of course they are important things to keep track of but the real key is building relationships, building presence and building your business online.
Thinking too basic
When people ask me ‘What is the point having my business on Snapchat?’ and ‘Where do I see the ROI?’ or ‘How do I know this is making me money?’ I know what the problem at the core is. You are basic thinking. I like to throw a curve ball back at them and ask ‘What is the point of your business being on TV or Radio?’
Nobody is touching the TV and buying direct from business, you are building brand. You are building awareness. There is no click through measurements on TV or radio ads and they are gone from the consumers attention in seconds. Just like Snapchat or Instagram stories.
‘But Snapchat disappears?!?!’ – Oh you mean like how we actually communicate. Snapchat is actually the closest thing to face to face interaction in a digital world because you can’t play back a face to face conversation after it has happened and the moment has passed. You rely on your memory.
Building brand on social media requires a deeper level of thinking, when you start going all in you need to start by forgetting the money and the ROI. That will come in time, go all in on it, build a strategy, start growing the brand and then look at the money return at a later date.
If you go into the game looking to connect, build, provide value, create content and give back to potential customers then the money will come in time. Be patient.