Social media marketing is a necessary and valuable marketing tool for businesses. More than ever, it is one of the best ways to increase awareness and connect with an audience, and it can help you grow your business and generate leads… if you do it right!
While social media is helpful for building your business and engaging with your audience, it is not the place to loudly pitch your company’s products and services over and over again.
Your social media timeline is NOT a sales platform.
People will quickly leave your page and unfollow you if you ONLY try to sell. That’s what display ads are for. So, if it’s not about selling, what is it about?
It’s about adding value and providing relevant information to your audience.
Social media creates an informal space for you to ‘pull back the curtain’, share your company culture, display your brand’s personality, and offer thought leadership in your industry.
Why should customers want to follow your brand(s)?
The most important emotion for brands to have in the online social space is empathy – the ability to understand and share the feelings of the audience.
Peoples’ lives are hectic, and their time is precious – don’t waste it!
So, as a brand actively engaging with an audience through social media, remember that the competition isn’t other brands… the competition is everyday life, including all the other very entertaining and/or personal content found on social media. Your audience’s time and attention is limited and precious – respect it!
Every time you post, your audience asks: “what is this post doing for me?”
So, before you post, exercise a little empathy and put yourself in their shoes – “what IS this post offering?”
Your answer should fall into one of these FIVE content categories:
- Information – what can you tell the audience that is new, interesting and relevant to their needs?
- Education – what can you teach your audience that will be helpful to them?
- Entertainment – what will really entertain your audience and keep them engaged alongside all the other entertainment online?
- Utility – what can your brand offer that will make you a necessary channel in their lives? e.g. how-to guides, best tips, life hacks etc.
- Inspiration – everyone comes to social media today to be inspired, feel emotional, engage with what’s real to them, what are you offering in this sphere?
Is it a billboard ad or a social post for engagement?
Every post needs to add value to the lives of your audience, through entertaining/inspiring or offering new or interesting information. No viewer just wants to see a bunch of billboard ads on their timeline – they want the brand to add value to their experience on their social channels.
Once you’ve proven that you can consistently add value to your audience through social media… then, and ONLY then, should you ask for something in return.
That’s what we mean by ‘value exchange’!
A display ad – is where you sell. A timeline – is where you engage.
Offer value, and they will follow.
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