Business owners today still struggle with leveraging themselves and their brands on social media. Connecting with other businesses or colleagues, posting messages, and interacting may not be the problem. Understanding their role in the membership of social media may be.
In the past few years, people on all social media networks have been inundated with as many sales messages as they get in their email boxes. More and more, people are tuning these messages out, simply finding a way to ignore them. Why? They don’t want to be sold to on these platforms.
Social media is, in fact, social. People finding ways to connect with other like-minded individuals and sharing an abundance of information: from gardening to makeup tips, marketing to moving, recipes to races. You can opt-in to websites for the latest coupons or news updates. But, are we opting in to being sold to?
The reason today’s business owners aren’t successful on social media is they are trying to sell to everyone. Inclusion to the various social media platforms isn’t hard, but it is permission-based. This means you are asking permission to post to your news streams when you sign up, and through acceptance permission is granted. Members do not ask for others to post sales pitches in their streams or private messages, and will not tolerate those that do.
When you join a social media network or build your own community, you are asking for membership to a club. When you join groups or chats within the network, you are asking for membership to a more exclusive section of that club. People interact with people with whom they have found common ground. People don’t ask for memberships to get constant sales pitches. Memberships are special and their privilege should not be abused.
There are a few memberships in which you expect to be sold: Publisher’s Clearinghouse, book or music clubs, and multi-level marketing companies such as Amway, for starters. On social media networks, however, members want information about your product or service — not an immediate sales pitch. Members want to know you are trustworthy and knowledgeable before they allow a sales message.
Here are 3 tips for making the most of your social media network membership:
- Post less about you. Post links to content you really believe in, even if it isn’t yours. Show you can be a great resource to others.
- Comment on other’s posts wisely. Write something to contribute to the conversation, not add to the noise. If you enjoyed a post, list one or two points that really made an impact.
- Engage! Get to know the other members. Why are they here? Do they work for a company or own their own business? What are their skills? Also, let them know more about you – answer the same questions about yourself.
Have a strategic marketing plan that includes social media before deciding which networks your company should participate on. Here are some tips on including social media with your marketing plan.
Be strategic. Be visible. Be found.