Why selling isn't working for you on Social Media - and what you can try instead

Why selling isn't working for you on Social Media - and what you can try instead

Why isn't social selling working for you on Social Media?
Social media channels are full of businesses trying their hardest to sell their products and services to an audience that isn't listening.  As a result, the business receives low engagement and conversion rates and wastes valuable marketing budgets on channels that do not deliver returns. Why not try something different?
Many marketers believe social media is a waste of time, and in most cases they are right! However, it is only a waste of time when they try to 'sell' to their audience again and again. We have posted in the past about the common mistakes that businesses make when posting on social media, but if what most businesses are doing doesn't work, then what does?
In this blog post, I want to walk you through one way that almost any business can use social media channels like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter in an effective way.
Stop everything you are doing now
It sounds a bit harsh, but if your social media channel is like most, your typical posts are just going to shoot your new efforts in the foot and you will get nowhere. So stop posting product photos, stop patting your own back, and please stop talking at your audience.
Focus your Strategy on engagement
Social media is not a sales platform, so your strategy needs to move away from sales as a focus. Your business needs sales, but you need to consider the journey and accept that social media is not a great 'bottom-of-funnel' option for most businesses.
Social media is a communication channel, so you should be using it to talk and engage with people. Your strategy should focus on your potential audiences and rather than looking at how to get them to buy things, instead look at how you can start and hold meaningful (two-way) conversations with them.
Here are a few objectives that you could focus on for your social media channels:
  • Provide (publicly) a positive customer service experience to your customers & prospective customers.
  • Nurture a community within your customer base to encourage brand & product loyalty.
  • Empower customers with the content and tools to promote your brand/values and become your brand advocates.
  • Talk to existing customers to obtain feedback and suggestions for feature/product/service improvements.
Your overall strategy is likely to incorporate multiple objectives from above, and this is a good thing. When you have your objective, start looking at "how" you will achieve these outcomes. How will you let customers know that they can communicate with you on a particular social channel? What kind of content would your customers want to share with their friends? What topics and common threads do your customers share that could bring them together and create a community?
Plan, plan, and then plan some more
A great social media channel does not just happen. You will want to pre-plan everything you need to keep this channel going and people engaging with it. There is actually a lot that needs to be organised, and you will want to get buy-in from various departments of your organisation if you want it to be a success. Here are just a few things that you will want to plan for:
  • A content development strategy that focuses on your objectives
  • A content calendar which allows time for content creation and a number of 'identities' who create/post content for your business
  • Allocate time to your staff to create content and engage with the people who consume that content. It is not something that your staff can do in your "spare time", they need time to do this right
  • Allocate resources and staff to manage your channels properly. Managing an online community is not an easy job, and you want it managed well
  • Assign a budget for paid advertising and boosting posts, because especially at the beginning, your exposure will be limited.
  • Decide how you will measure and track the effectiveness of your channel.
Execute your plan
Believe it or not, this is where things fall apart most often. You have come up with a really good strategy, and a plan on how it will all happen, but then content didn't come in on-time, and no one responded to a customer's post. Soon enough you find yourself back to the start with poor engagement and no results.
Make sure that your plan is being executed, and that someone has time allocated to manage the execution of your marketing strategy and make minor changes and improvements as you go.
Review and redo
When your plan has been executed effectively, you will have enough data to review your strategy and make a revised plan that will be even more effective in future. This process of planning, executing and reviewing facilitates a continuous improvement of the effectiveness of your social media channels.

If you are frustrated with your social media channels, maybe it is time you tried a different approach, or alternatively, could you spend all that time, money and effort on something that does convert for you? 

What are some techniques you've found to be effective? what works? what doesn't? let us know! 

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