When it comes to utilizing Facebook as a business tool many users are simply unsure about marketing themselves and/or their business on Facebook and other social media websites.
Many fall into the old trap of going straight for the sale with posts along the lines of:
“Quick last one remaining”
“Sale on now, ends Sunday”
“Who wants a new widget?”
They forget that social media is about relationship first, business second. It’s kind of like the Japanese way of doing business. The Japanese are known for taking the time to get to know their business contacts, and then only if they like the person do they choose to do business together.
In the West, we’re all business. We want the fastest, easiest way to sell something to someone. And while that’s worked to date in traditional mediums such as TV, radio, newspapers and magazines, it’s a completely different ball game with social media.
So rather than falling into old habits and ways of marketing, it’s now time to open your mind to a new marketing paradigm; create a relationship first, build trust, have others spread the word for you, then leverage that to promote your products or services in a way that HELPS people to solve a problem.
Trying to shove products and services down people’s throats is old hat and frankly, people are onto it. They don’t want to be sold. Not by you at least, but they’re happy to be sold by their friends (who buy your products/services).
That’s how people want to buy now.
Think about the last advertising you did, was it an ad in a newspaper, TV, radio or magazine? How’d it go? How many responses did you get? Unless you’re a master copywriter, had a killer guarantee or an amazing value-add offer, I’m guessing you got little to no response.
So now the question becomes, how do I promote myself and/or my business using these new tools? How can I get social media marketing to work for me?
Let’s start with Facebook. Many people often wonder “what do I write as my status updates?” or “how do I get found’?”
And the best way to think about how you should use Facebook is to think of it like a networking group. You’ve probably been to networking functions before; I’m talking about the type of networking group that meets on a weekly basis to trade leads and share business tips and ideas.
So Facebook is like a networking group, on steroids!
Now imagine you go along to your local networking group each week, you sit there with your arms folded, you say little to nothing, you add no value, you give no leads, you are there to simply ‘get leads’, how successful do you think you’d be in that networking group? How long do you think you’d last? Not long, that’s for sure.
What if you turned up to Facebook everyday with the same attitude and the same approach, how successful do you think you’d be?
So the key to marketing yourself and your business on Facebook is to ADD VALUE. Think, “who can I help get more business?”, “who can I connect with (be friends with) that I can help, who can also help me at the same time?”
A quick start way to social media marketing is to form a power-team of three to four businesses that have the same target market as you, but who you don’t compete with on product or service. So if you’re a Naturopath, you’d form a power-team with a Gym, a Yoga teacher, a Pilates teacher, a Personal Trainer and perhaps a Health Food Store. Each of your customers are health and fitness conscious and you can meet regularly either on Facebook or in your local town to share business leads.
When you befriend these types of businesses, when you post something on your Facebook profile they’ll have that post display on their wall, so their friends (customers) will also see your posts. That’s where the relationship begins.
So, what to write on Facebook?
Only ever ADD VALUE with Facebook posts. I suggest keeping your personal profile and business profile separate, that way you’re weekend BBQ photos aren’t being sent around Facebook to your business contacts. Keep it professional.
In your posts you need to position yourself as an expert in your field. To do that, post things like tips, industry info, testimonials, short-cuts, interesting news and ways to help customers solve problems. So if you’re a Naturopath you’d write things such as nutritional tips, new super-foods, herbal remedies, de-stress tips, relaxation tools, ways to connect with nature, lifestyle advice, tips on how organs process vitamins and minerals, medicines to avoid etc etc.
So when someone is reading this information they think to themselves, “This person knows their stuff!”
That’s where you want to be. You’ve positioned yourself as an authority, a problem-solver, someone who can help them improve their life in some way, in this case, their health.
This is the way to approach social media marketing, and any other marketing for that matter. Be seen to be helping people though educating and informing them.
Once you have their trust, they’ll happily talk about you, recommend you and even actively promote you.
This same approach is the one to use across your entire social media marketing strategy. That includes Twitter and YouTube. Have you seen the YouTube videos from Blendtec? Their strategy was to demonstrate how powerful their food blenders were by blending just about anything. That included things as big as iPads. But what this did was EDUCATE their market (with a bit of fun) about how they could benefit by using their product. And it was extremely successful; their $400+ blenders flew off the shelves and became a YouTube phenomenon.
So as you’re planning how to build your business using social media marketing, always focus on what the prospect wants to hear from you, not what you want to tell them. Education, Inform and help your prospects and they’ll do the selling for you!