Many businesses like to see a return on their investment. If they are going to put time and money into marketing then often they want to see a direct return. This can lead to problems especially when they try and sell on social media. You see the point of social media is not to sell. No that is what your website is for, or your Amazon or EBay pages. Social media is much more subtle and should be treated as a way to build an audience that in time may buy your products. The trick is to grow your brand recognition, increase awareness of your products and services and build a relationship with your audience. Let’s look at a few do’s and don’ts of social media:
Don’t sell on social media
When we say “sell” we mean don’t post pictures of your products with a price, image and a caption that says “buy this now” or “50% off”. This isn’t going to make people buy your product. It is more of an intrusion of their space. Let’s take Facebook as an example. Many of us use Facebook to catch up with our friends and family, to look for entertaining videos, catch up on all the latest events and generally have a nose at what’s going on. What we don’t want is a newsfeed rammed full of posts saying “buy this” or “don’t miss this”. It feels like an intrusion to many and is a sure fire way for you to lose followers. You are far more likely to get interaction from more engaging content.
Try and make your posts engaging. Post something that happened in the office today, post a picture of the team, share a funny video that made you laugh or ask people for their feedback. There are subtle ways to showcase your products without making people feel that they have to buy. The key to successful social media is to create engagement. If people like, share or comment on your posts they are more likely to see your future content. The more engagement you can get the greater the visibility of your posts.
Now we aren’t saying that you should never post pictures of your products. Of course you want people to know what you are all about. Here are some ideas of more subtle ways to showcase your products without giving it the hard sell on social media.
- Post pictures of your products, perhaps side by side, and ask people which they prefer
- Consider a poll asking for people’s feedback on products they would like to see
- Post an image of someone using or wearing your products – better still encourage them to post their images
- Tease future products “coming soon” or “limited edition”
- Very occasionally you can point people towards special offers on your website – this should be done sparingly
- If you get reviews of your products then share these – people love to buy on recommendation
What you need to avoid is constant posts that encourage people to click and buy now. The majority of what you post should be designed to engage, inform, educate and entertain.
Sometimes it can take time to build a relevant following. What you need to do is nurture your audience, give them what they want to see and make them feel a part of a community. In time they may introduce your page to their friends and when they are in the market for your products or services then you will be front of mind. Encourage your clients to use your social media pages to share their experience of your products or services, promote your social media pages on your website, shop window, business stationery etc. Post regularly and consistently, not just when you remember. Most importantly remember that the purpose of your pages is not to sell but to build a relationship with your followers and increase your brand awareness.