October 15, 2014

Social media is meant to be social. It's not a megaphone to blast messages about what you're selling. I've lived by this mantra since I started using social media for business. It's what I preach to all my clients.

But at some point, you still need to actually tell people what you do.

And this is where I failed. And I see what I did wrong (well, sort of wrong).

My intent was always right, and I still live by the mantra that social media is not a place to spew endless posts about what you're selling. But, yes, you still need to tell people what you have to offer.

If all you ever do is share relevant content for your audience and help them, that's ok! You're valuable and reliable - and I think we all want that!

But, if you're not generating business or leads, you're missing a BIG benefit of social media.

Let me tell you a little story about my epiphany. I was doing really well on social media and with my blog. I was getting lots of comments, lots of engagement, and I had great relationships with my "fans" (I think of a lot of them as friends). But I wasn't getting a lot of client leads or business from all my social media efforts.

I would occasionally promote my ebook or Instagram training via a social media update or a cover photo on my Facebook page. But I wasn't actively doing much with the actual marketing of my services. I shared all my blog posts and updates of projects I was working on. But I was never really promoting my services directly to my audience or encouraging them to actually purchase what I offer.

After some reflection and evaluation of my business, I realized this. So I tried something different.

I started actively promoting my services. I created graphics to promote my strategy development services, my ebook, and my consultation services. I scheduled these on Facebook for a variety of days over a period of months. I shared these posts on Instagram (a big referral for me) and even on Google+. I haven't yet incorporated this into Twitter or LinkedIn. These promotional type posts are intermixed among my regular post updates and other content on my social media accounts. I didn't change anything about the other content I was posting - I still share the same blog posts, articles, links, photos, and random comments.

Guess what happened... my business started taking off! I was legitimately surprised at the instant results and benefits. To the point of shaking my head and wondering why I didn't do this sooner! I'm booking multiple clients weekly and cranking out strategies on a regular basis 🙂

So what was the big lesson?

You have to still ask for the sale! And you have to do it (subtly) over and over again.

I don't know who said or how they proved it, but "they" say people have to see something 7 times before they remember or trust it. So, if you create one post on your Facebook page that tells your audience your service, it's not going to do much. First of all, of your 1000 fans, about 50 of them will see it if you're lucky. And of those 50, if they've only seen the post once, and it doesn't catch them or resonate with them at that moment, it won't achieve much. You're gaining new fans every day. And they may not be ready to buy your product or service until 3 months for now. So if you post something today, they aren't going to remember it in three months.

This is why you have to promote your business repeatedly. I even recommend using the SAME post and/or image every time. The more often people see that post, the more it will create comfort and trust. And then, when they're ready to actually buy, there you are! And now you have the sale!

So, start promoting your business! Tell people what you do. Include a price or promotion information. Motivate people to take action now.

But, and I want to be clear here, BUT, your promotion should still be a small fraction of your regular content on social media.

The long standing rule of 80-20 still holds true. If 80% of your content is "other" content (links, articles, videos, podcasts, status updates, etc.) then you're still being that reliable resource for your audience. You're still building relationships and trust - which is the key to social media success. The other 20% can be your promotional content so that you can actually generate real revenue from social media.

I'd love to hear from you too. Have you gone through this or something like this with your social media efforts? What was your a-ha moment? Please share your story in the comments below!

Did you find this helpful? Please share:
  1. I have run into this same problem myself. While I consistently get great feedback about what I post (both original articles and ones I share), the “real” business has been lacking. I think I need to put your suggestions into practice! I also like the idea of using the same image over time. Going to start working on a good graphic now! haha

    1. It’s easy to fall prey to, Kim. We’re so busy being “social” that we forget to tell people we actually run a business 😉
      I look forward to seeing your posts promoting your services!

  2. I’ve been so busy developing relationships, I’ve often been ignoring the fact that yes, I do have a business with products and services! I guess I thought people would be mind readers, come to my site, dig to the right page and discover how I could help. Your way makes a lot more sense and still honors the fact that relationships are a top priority! Thanks 🙂

    1. Thanks Alli! I’m so glad this reminded you to focus on reminding those non-mind-readers about what you do 😉 Keep working on those relationships – they are key! But don’t be afraid to tell them what you do too.

  3. I’ve heard this many times–“Ask for the sale” Like you, when I consciously do this, great things happen! It’s the scariest, hardest part for me, so I don’t do it as often as I should. Hopefully someday (soon), I’ll be better at it. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. I hope this helps remind you, Ann. It’s so easy to forget to ask, but so rewarding when we do!

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