Help Your Business Get the Social Media Engagement It Deserves

The more that I talk with business owners about adding social media marketing into their marketing mix, the more I get the “deer in the headlights” look. Social media marketing is still a mystery for many! They hear about it almost every day. They see others talking about their Facebook Business Page and their Twitter account and LinkedIn contacts. Still they have yet to understand what it means for them to incorporate social media for their business.Recently, I met or spoke to several individuals. Their questions were:
Do I need to use Pinterest?
If I have results from my regular advertising, why do I need social media?
Can you show me “results” from social media?
I have a Facebook Business Page, but I only have 63 LIKES, it has been a year! I spend time on it every night! What am I missing?
How do I get people to respond?
Social media takes up so much time! I can’t give it more time. What must I do to get results?
Understand there are many ways to customize social media marketing to fit you. First, note how you relate to people in real life, as you stand before them chatting. Second, pay attention to the topics they get engaged with, and then note how you got that information from them. What can you learn about your meeting with people and the interaction, and can it be brought into your social media platform? Next, can you align your goals with theirs? And then finally, there needs to be a strategy and the ability to relate to those who connect with you on those platforms. BIG SECRET!! RELATING!When I teach social media engagement to others, I spend a large amount of time explaining the part about making relationships. One customer says “I don’t have time for ‘who made what for supper’ and ‘look at what my grandkids and I did this weekend’. You say then, “I want to educate people about my business! Not waste time being chit-chatty”OK then, think about it. You see your neighbor coming out of the house, do you run over to them grab them by the elbow and say “I have a tonic that tastes great! Buy some!”? Or, every time you drop by your family or relatives and they only talk about — their cat. Every time – it is about their cat! And you know that the next time you see them, they will talk about — their cat. How excited will you be to start another conversation with them? Would you be excited to meet them again in the future? I think not. Their conversation has become “old news” and boring. You’d rather not even go visit them.In social media, whether it is Twitter or Facebook or any other platform, the above happens ALL of the time! No wonder, business owners don’t understand how to use social media and are frustrated. I, myself, has a friend who recently connected with me, has posted non-engaging repetitive information to me. Numerous posts with a phrase like, “I did it in one month”… link. And another “RE: your commissions… link”, and “hey..don’t know internet, but did $600… link”. Now anytime I see his posts I know what he will be doing. Trying to SELL to me and not interact. Guess what I will do? Drop the relationship – remove him from my list – pay no more attention to him – or maybe even call him (that dreaded word!) SPAM!There are many other social media pages or posts that basically are only digital “bulletin boards”! They spout a sale, or the cost of an item they are selling. They post where they are or what they are going! Often times, all that they talk about is — ABOUT THEM! Never anything of value to their audience. Here is a good rule to know — in real life or on social media, it always starts with a conversation ABOUT THEM, NOT YOU!A good conversationalist in any social gathering, knows to be friendly, asks a lot of questions of the person they are talking to, affirms their topics, asks more questions, and relates like experiences. No selling – because if the conversation starts with a selling proposition, the listener often will disengage and leave. Especially, if they had no interest or need. Facebook pages are often the bulletin board of regurgitation of “buy this”, “you have to get one of these”, “my product is awesome, you need it”, “on special, don’t wait, get it now”! They never appeal to our wants, needs, or emotions. All of this, shouted out or broadcasted to any and all who lay their eyes on it!By being friendly, and curious enough to ask the questions that invite responses, you will achieve your desired goal or engagement. Often times, I’ve been very surprised how ready people are willing to share rather seemingly private moments or thoughts. They are on social media for a reason – they wish to be social! When you have your customers there ready to listen, all you need to do is to listen to THEIR stories, ask questions about THEIR story, and affirm, approve, lift up, encourage, give helpful suggestions, and show genuine interest in them. Do this specifically and by name, and you have the recipe for a great relationship. I have been invited numerous times to get together with newly acquainted social media locals, by having done this with them online. They wish to know me better.How will this help your business? Now —
You are seen as caring.
You are available to them.
You become a real person, not a “business entity”.
You become their friend.
You will be given the chance to share YOUR story.
You will be given the chance to introduce them your business/product/or service.
They will trust you, not run away.
They will drop their guard/barriers to you.
They will follow your next suggestion – “go to my website”.
They will come back.
They will tell others about you.
They will ask for your help to solve their problem.
They will LIKE you.
Isn’t that enough? Wouldn’t you like that for your business? I think there is a saying that goes – “To know me is to LIKE me” — social media can help you make this happen!