Often a controversial topic with so many ‘guros’ and ‘experts’ in the marketing arena. Trying to understand the difference between social media marketing and selling can cause even the best of us to scratch our heads.
Recently sitting with a client we were asked “what do we do in 2017 to develop effective social media?” I think clients often to look to us to provide them with the ‘ta da’ answers! But no matter how the landscape changes over time and new channels evolve it always comes back to the same key areas. What is your business strategy, who, where, when, are your customers and how well you are able to maintain a social presence? For smaller businesses it’s really important to be realistic with the resources you have and your product/services and customers you want to attract. Lots of us have heard of cool tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite to help manage our time better for send out messages. But with a surplus of images, text and daily messages being thrown at us we really do need to take more time to listen.
Having run many training courses on this subject the first thing we find ourselves doing is helping people to step back from their immediate frustrations of “why are my facebook posts not creating sales ?” to understand that different customers have different needs at different times of the day.
Not everybody will be ready to buy your product at 2.30pm on a Monday afternoon.
Although placing people into groups with similar behaviours can sometimes feel very stereotypical it can be a very useful way to maximise your marketing spend. But take care as you can’t peg all individuals into mass impersonal groups based on stereotypes. For example, do not assume that all retirees are interested in gardening, equally not all users/buyers of video games are children. It pays to see your customers as individuals first, with common needs and wants.
It will also be important to distinguish between those buying products for their own use or for use by a third party and then understand how and when they interact on which social media channels and when. It can even be useful to visual what your individual customer may be doing at the time they read your latest post? Are they perhaps sat at home quietly with a nice cup of tea or perhaps on a busy bus on the way home from work?
It can be well worth taking a few minutes to develop some portraits of the type of customers (individuals) that buy your products/services and create a ‘pen portrait’ of them and then have this image in your mind the next time you create your social media content.
Before putting up your next post perhaps answer the following questions
- Who is my audience (buying for own use or as a gift etc) ?
- Where are they likely to be when digesting their social media (at home, on a bus etc)?
- What engagement would you like?
- What difference will the post make to somebody?
Take it one step at a time and always remember, customer first.