Selling on Social Media
Using The Power of 10 to drive engagement
According to Broadband Search, a deepdive into the research of social media simply underscores the importance of having an active, online presence — especially in today’s market. In 2008, only 10% of Americans had a personal social media account, while today in 2020, 79% of Americans are active on social media. Add to that, of the 7 billion people in the world over 3.8 billion of them use social media — daily! That’s a lot of people engaging with a lot of different content — and a lot of opportunities to sell to them, right?
Well, the answer to that question is two-fold. Yes, you have the opportunity to reach a lot of people, but NO, it’s not the right decision or strategy to sell to them! In fact, I would recommend that you STOP selling on social media altogether. Why? Well answering that question is my main purpose in today's column, so read on and let’s look at a better way to attract, retain, and engage customers with your business.
But before we dive in, I want to challenge you to look at how you participate on your social media accounts. What do you do? How do you engage? What makes you stop and read a post or watch a video? Are your posts making people stop their phone scroll to engage? How do you respond to companies offering you an amazing deal on their world class products? Do you scroll with the volume on or off? These are all great questions — thought-provoking, strategy building questions — and if we were in a room together, 10 more questions would pop up as we talked through these first few questions! Take a minute and think about your behavior — in fact, I’d strongly encourage you to journal or write down your answers.
Why? Because your personal behavior is likely very similar to that of your target customer — assuming you know who your target customer really is (more on that in a future column). For example, 90% of social media users scroll social media with the volume off. So, how do you get them to engage in a post that is a video with audio? You include text on the video — so the user can quickly read what you are talking about and determine if they want to stop, turn the volume up, and engage with you. Again, there’s a much bigger strategy around video that I could write another entire column on, but you need to understand what makes potential customers engage with you on social media — and it can be summed up in one word.
What really drives engagement on social media is VALUE! Yes, providing value and a lot of it. So, what content counts as valuable on social media? Well, I can tell you it’s not posting about your latest and greatest product that’s available in 25 finishes, with a 6-week lead-time and a lifetime warranty — no, that’s not value, that’s just selling.
Value is creating and providing content to your followers and potential customers that’s informative, educational, entertaining, and drives engagement. Value looks like you sharing a case study that highlights a specific problem your team solved, not the products you sold. Value is sharing who you are, who your company is, who your employees are — really relating to your customers, not just pushing your latest and greatest product onto their timeline.
Don’t believe me? Look at your last five posts on social media. What was your engagement rate? How many likes did you get? More importantly, how many comments or direct messages did you get from potential customers asking for more information from that post? If all you’re doing is selling or showing products — it's not likely you got much engagement at all.
And this is exactly my point, constant selling on social media just does not work — and again, if you don’t believe me, look at your own analytics. Though I do get it, the draw to sell on social — you need people to know what you do and the products you sell. So I want to offer you a different approach to social media engagement that doesn’t involve selling — I call it the Power of 10.
The Power of 10 is a foolproof guide to consistently posting on social media that allows you to provide value, engage with your customers, and offer your unique solutions — without appearing to be completely product centric. This strategy will help you drive engagement, increase customer retention, and get the attention of new customers.
Here’s how it works. Over a series of 10 posts, 6 need to be about awareness and value — awareness of your brand, your products (don’t sell), and the problems you help customers solve! This is a great place to share both business-specific information like case studies and success stories, as I referenced earlier, and also indirect resources, like an article from your favorite interior designer about the workplace of the future or a really good podcast about an important topic that impacts your clients. You have a lot of options with this — the goal is simply to add something interesting to your audience’s timeline.
The next 3 posts should include a call to action (commonly referred to as a CTA). This is a post that gets your customers to engage in the post — comment, like, share, ask questions, and other communication avenues. For example, share a research document your team did on Return-to-Work Strategies, but rather than just post the article on social — direct them to your website to download the document. This gets you their email address as they put it in to secure their download, but more importantly — your engaged readers are all NEW leads!!
The last post in the series of 10 is the 1 post that is focused on selling. This is where you get to ask for the opportunity to chat with them or pitch your product. Be sure to keep it light, fun, and exciting — and be sure to give your prospects a reason to want to engage with you and your business!
Remember, being active on social media is a requirement in today’s world, but it’s also a journey that takes focus, effort, and a lot of analytics. When you post consistently relevant, engaging, and thought-provoking information, your audience is much more likely to interact with your posts and trust your brand, as you become a thought leader and the storyteller of your industry.
After each post, you need to evaluate how the post did, make any necessary changes, and keep going. It will take time to increase your following and engagement, but don’t get discouraged as consistency is the key to your success!
Let’s keep this conversation going! Please visit my blog at www.sidmeadows.com and share your thoughts, ideas and successes!