Social networks are not sales platforms. At least not in the traditional sense. Rather, social networks can help you build relationships with current and potential clients, but only if you’re sending the correct message. Nobody likes sales pitches. Even less appealing is a blatant sales pitch in a tweet or a Facebook message.
Most people use Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other networks to communicate, engage and share with like-minded individuals, friends and family and to find relevant information. They could care less about your “red hot sale” on vacuum cleaners or your expensive seminar in which you’ll explain the secret to success.
Now there is an exception to this rule and it is directly related to the actual purpose of social networking platforms. If you first build a relationship with your online audience, they will be much more likely to respond positively to a sales message down the road, but you must have the relationship firmly established. Building this type of business relationship using social media is not easy and because of that, many companies are taking the easy way out by jumping right into their sales pitch far too soon.
So then, take it easy on the marketing lingo from the start. Use social media for its intended purpose. Engage with as many of your fans and followers as possible. But how do you do that?
- Start conversations
- Ask questions
- Respond to customer service issues in public
- Share meaningful information that you produced
- Show your personality
- Use some humor
- Create dynamic content using audio and video
- Talk about an unrelated subject from time to time
Try this for a week and see how it changes your online reputation. You’ll be amazed at the amount of great publicity you can get from even a small group of motivated supporters who embrace your whole brand and share it with their friends. Instead of making a one-time sale, you’ll be gaining an brand advocate for life.
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