How A Social Media Presence Is Like Dating
How would you like it if someone you didn’t know, walks right up to you and asks you to marry them? What?! That’s a HUGE commitment! In a dating relationship, we get to know a person, spend time with them in many settings, and even consider how they treat others (family, friends, the cashier at the supermarket, etc.) before we consider the big question. The same goes for social media. We’re not proposing marriage to our clients; however, it’s a similar feel when people are on social media and we ask them to buy something. Let me explain…
Social media is everywhere. It is less and less of an “extra” and more and more of a necessity as far as advertising goes. Some business owners think of social media should yield an “immediate return” or something that brings many customers to their door right away. Most likely, that thought process comes from the amount of time and resources required to put out the right messages. Your company works hard, you want to see your money “paying off” right away.
Take a look at it from the customer’s perspective: How would you like it if someone came up to you when you were talking to your friends and family and started telling you about all their deals on igloo huts or lava beds? Chances are you might not be interested because you are in the middle of your “down time” and haven’t ever thought about igloo huts or lava beds. The topic doesn’t interest you and all you are getting from this person is a sales pitch. This is similar to a salesperson ringing your doorbell or getting a sales call from a private number to sell you something during dinner time.
But your product/service is great! How can you get people to be interested? Aren’t hard-nosed sales tactics the only way to get great return? NO. There’s a better way.
Case Study- Social Media Presence
I’ve had very professional clients that refuse to get personal, even refuse to let their followers know that they have a social media page, thinking “If I’m on social media, people will find me there.” A few months later, they wonder why they aren’t getting any engagement or new clients. They’ve done the work. They’ve spent the time and money to be “on social media.” They’ve posted messages on all of their platforms that tell people what their product does and where to find it. Why haven’t the numbers gone up? Why hasn’t anyone signed up to be their next customer? Where’s the return on investment?
The analysis is simple:
The company hasn’t taken the time to get to know people first. To run with our dating/marriage analogy, there has been no introduction, no questions about past relationships, no getting to know them, no first, second or third dates. There will be no one lining up to “date” this company because all they know is that they sell things. Committing to a product or a company requires knowing something about them beyond their sales pitch.
No one knows the company exists, and for the few people that happen to stumble upon their page, the services/product was not something they were interested in and the page held no additional contribution to their life. That would be the end of the experience they would have with that company. The company needs to get a little personal and seek to understand their audience.
Recommended Solution: Focus on a variety of post types. Sales-type posts are needed but it’s a different strategy than it use to be. According Social Media Marketing World (SMMW), your company should:
- 50% of the time-post curated content (from other places, or generic type posts that don’t have to do with your product/service)
- 30% of the time-post original content (about your product/service-still not selling, just educating)
- 20% of the time-post promotional material (selling, finally) of the time.
Why is this the case? Well, as people are finding that your content helps them in their lives, they will continue to turn to you. Calls to Action (CTAs) are fine, but you really are just sharing information about your company, the industry, and useful ways that it can fit into their lives. In reality those are soft sales already and will help build relationships with potential customers.
Take a look at your current social media platforms? Are you like the clients mentioned in the case study? If you’re posting frequently, how do your post types match up to the recommended percentages above? We’ll talk more about building an authentic social media presence soon.
Emily Gerber has a degree in Business Management, Minor in Sociology and is halfway done with her MBA. She is the CEO/Owner of Gerber Business Solutions LLC, a “one-stop shop” for small businesses offering coaching, consulting, and temporary administrative assistance with any marketing, process, and technology issues they may be facing. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or check out Gerber Business Solutions.