How To STOP Selling On Social Media
SELL, SELL, SELL
A trend that I see often on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn by both small business owners and social media managers is the tendency to SELL and PROMOTE products and services with every post. While it’s important to promote whatever it is that you do, selling all the time will not convert impressions into revenue. In fact, you’re more likely to push your target audience away. This may sound counter productive, but you have to STOP selling if you want to achieve your business goals.
It has been predicted that that the average person is subjected to FIVE THOUSAND marketing messages a day – that is an absurd number of sales messages.
Due to the increased number of marketing messages we all see every day, we are quickly desensitising to advertising and are more likely to ignore the message and simply swipe or scroll past. How long do you spend looking at sales messages every day?
If you want to gain the attention your small business needs, you need to stop selling and start giving value.
Why you must stop selling
If you have adopted the sales methods where every other post is promoting a product or service, you are setting yourself up for failure. The problem with social media, is we instantly look at the number of followers and likes a person or so-called influencer has and attribute success to these vanity metrics. More often than not, these influencers are in the business of selling expensive courses or training programs.
They deliver multiple highly targeted promoted posts to people at multiple stages of their marketing funnel several times a day which ad spends in the THOUSANDS. They spend thousands and make hundreds of thousands in return. If you are an up and coming social media manager or small business, there is no way you can compete with this type of marketing. Trying to copy what they do doesn’t work for you because your messages are only going to an organic audience who don’t want to buy what you have to offer. Once again, you need to stop selling.
To establish yourself in a market that is quickly becoming oversaturated with noise and poor-quality content, you have an opportunity to make a difference if you STOP selling and START giving value for FREE on your social media platforms.
Personal Branding is the key
In order to give value, you need to take a step back and think about sharing messages that makes your audience understand:
- Who you are
- What you do
- Why you do what you do
With video predicted to account for over 80% of all online traffic by 2021, now is the time to shake away your fears of the camera and start creating video content for your social media platforms.
Last week, we spoke about ways you can take advantage of organic Facebook to reach engaged individuals within tribe. This week, I explore things you can do to develop your personal brand to build the trust you need to turn followers into paying customers. Let’s get into an example.
If you are a chef and you want to build a personal brand around your ability to cook, instead of just sharing food pics or selling your services, take time sharing where you buy your favourite ingredients, what brands get you excited and explain your recipe making process.
Although people care about your food pics, they will be more interested in the process you go through to create your masterpieces.
Sticking with the chef idea, here are a few more ways you can skyrocket your personal brand:
- Jump on Instagram stories and show people your favourite chopping techniques. Ask a friend to film or just set up a tripod and record using your mobile phone.
- Create a YouTube series about the dishes you enjoy making. Explain where the foods come from, why you mix certain flavours and how your recipe can be adapted depending on the ingredients your followers have available.
- Go live on Facebook and talk about your spice rack.
Showing your audience why you do what you do helps to build authenticity. Would you rather give value and build engagement or sale?
Video your way to success
With the majority of the social media platforms in the UK set up to host video, you would be doing yourself a mis-justice if you are failing to capitalise on the attention they can help you gain. If you are still struggling to work out what types of videos you can create, here are some recommendations to help you focus on giving value rather than selling of all the time.
Share your knowledge and become the go to expert in your field
I’m going to be honest with you here… THIS WILL TAKE TIME! You have to be patient if you want to build a highly engaged audience that trusts you. If you are looking for a quick win for your business, you need to reassess why you do what you do. Get used to consistently sharing value driven videos on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn.
One of the best ways to establish whether your content is working or not, is to ask questions. With the algorithms on both Facebook and Instagram geared towards high quality content and engagement, you need to start delivering videos that give value and also encourage individuals within your target audience to start have discussions with one another within your posts. Mastering this will increase the organic reach of your posts.
** Pro Tip: If you see a post performing well in terms of comments, this is a sign that the you should boost the post to reach more relevant individuals within your target audience 👍
Use a variety of video styles to engage with your audience
Instagram is a great place to build engagement for your business or brand. With the ability to post videos on your feed, IGTV, Stories and Live, test which formats work best fro your brand.
Personally, I like to use stories for daily tips, IGTV for my long form value driven weekly videos and my feed to promote my IGTV videos.
How you decide to use the features available is up to you. Work out what you can do consistently and start giving so much value that people can’t resist following you.
Frequently interact with your target audience
Social media is not all about you!
No matter if you’re using Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn, if you post content and expect people to engage with you, you had better think again.
A great way to build your audience is to create a list of keywords that relate to your business. Try typing these into the search bar of your chosen platform and see what comes up.
For example, if you are using Instagram and you search for #londonchef, you will see 32,000 posts that relate to this hashtag.
There are a number of things you can do here to interact with people who you feel match your target audience.
Firstly, it is always worth interacting with a few of the posts within the TOP feed. However, it’s best not to focus all of your time and attention here as these posts are trending for a reason.
The RECENT feed is where you will have your most success. This feed will contain all posts that have most recently been added to the #londonchef hashtag. You will find posts with low levels of likes and engagement here. Take the time to interact (likes and in particular comments) with content and connect with other users.
If you like something, tell them why you like it. A ‘🙌’ or ‘✌️’ simply isn’t enough. Leave value in your comments. Whatever you do, DO NOT SELL!
If you take the time to actively engage with your audience, you will see a new wave of fans flock to your page and start engaging with your content. This is a great way to organically build your followers and start building the connections you need to become a leader in your space. Remember, you don’t need tens of thousands of followers to run a 6 figure business.
If you are using the search feature in Instagram to interact with users who use specific hashtags, you will see that Instagram offers a number of RELATED HASHTAGS. These recommendations are great as they help you discover hashtags you can use on your posts as well as find new people to engage and connect with.
My recommendation is to do this sort of engagement 15 minutes before and after you post. If you have more time, feel free to spend more time engaging with your target audience.
If you really must sell, implement a marketing funnel!
If you really want to sell but you are struggling to convert followers into paying customers, it is highly likely that you have not tested or implemented a marketing funnel for your business.
A marketing funnel is simply a way you can develop relationships with people who match your ideals but do not know who you are. The ultimate goal of a marketing funnel is to generate leads by converting fans into a paying customer. A funnel might look like this >>
Stage 1 – Awareness
This stage is often missed by small businesses and social media managers as they are eager to sell their amazing services and products. It’s important to remember that, people will not buy from you if they do not know who you are.
Video is a great way to building awareness for both yourself and your brand. Sharing useful tutorials and advice that gives the people you want to reach the tools to achieve their business goals, will help prove that you are the go to person in your field. Even though you are giving away your secrets for free, people will pay you to do the job as they know you could do it better than they ever could!
Stage 1a – Research
This is were having great content comes into play. If you are using Facebook Ads to promote a video that talks about who you are and what you do (brand awareness content), you can guarantee that individuals that are intrigued with your message will go off and do their research. They mission is to ensure you you can actually provide the service you claim you do.
If you have a back log of content that gives genuine value, your new followers are more likely to develop a positive connect with you rather than dismiss you and all of your future content. Remember, selling to a cold audience is like selling water to a whale 🐳
Stage 2 – Consideration
The consideration stage is where individuals begin to trust that you are great at what you do. At this stage, they are not ready to buy anything from you, but they are following your profiles and engaging with your content.
If you are utilising Facebook Ads to deliver brand awareness videos, you can utilise a feature called Custom Audiences to retarget individuals that watch a defined percentage of any given video. This is a great way to ensure your advertising budget is only directed to the most qualified individuals within your target audience.
Stage 3 – Conversion
The conversion stage is where your target audience is fully invested in you and they are at the stage where they are ready to buy one of your products or services. This is the point where you can sale.
The majority of small business owners and social media managers jump to this stage and wonder why nobody is taking up their offers. Be patient getting people to this stage of your funnel. It all starts with giving value and expecting nothing in return.
Stage 3a – Post-sale experience
The post-sale experience is one of the most important stages of your funnel. If you disappear off the face of the earth after you sale one of your products or services, you will quickly build a bad reputation for yourself. With social media being so instant, this can happen quicker than you might think.
Be there for your audience. Thank them if they leave positive feedback, offer your help if they are having issues with something you have sold. Ensure that you are always giving value no matter what.
If you would like to learn how to use Facebook Ads to run successful campaigns for your business, send me message on Facebook and let’s set up a personalised coaching session.
Don’t be fooled… People are ALWAYS watching!
Understand that people will watch your content passively without liking, comment or engaging in anyway with your content.
It’s important to remember that although these individuals don’t interact with any of your posts of Instagram Story polls, they are still taking note of everything that you say and do.
If you focus on delivering value consistently, this segment of your audience are the ones that are most likely to convert into paying customers or refer you to friends, family or colleagues.
Because they trust you and can see that you are passionate about what you do!
Remember that your audience may not need for your products or services when they first discover you. All you can do is keep being yourself and focus on giving value.
So, there we have it for another week!
What are you currently doing on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn? Are you selling or giving unprecedented amounts of value?
If you are selling, Stop Selling 😂
Until next week… Stop Being Busy and go make it happen!