Social media should be social.
It seems obvious, doesn't it? When it's up there, big and bold, it seems like the clearest, simplest thing in the world. But as content creators, so much of our work is focused on the 'media' of social media. We obsess about the right angles for our Instagram shots. We worry about the sound levels of our videos. We write, and rewrite, and rewrite the headlines of our blog posts.
And all those things are important. Your photos should be high quality; your Facebook Live videos should be HD and horizontal. But there is a reason why social is the first word in social media, because fundamentally, social media platforms are for us to connect with others.
So that's nice and all, what does that mean for your business? When brands share content that's emphasized on building relationships with customers, not just promotional content, they get higher rates of engagement. The more your fans engage with your content, the more likely they are to engage with your content -- and eventually buy your product. Or better yet? They'll share your business' posts on Facebook, serving as ambassadors for your brand.
So now that we know the why for your brand to be more social, friendly, relational, how do you stay social on your business' Facebook, Instagram or Twitter? Here are five easy ways to stay social.
1. Ask Questions To Drive A Conversation
What's your favorite color? I'm sure you immediately thought of a favorite color before moving on in this little paragraph, because even though this content is important to you, mentally, we're all programmed to answer questions when asked. Use this little psychological tick to drive engagement by asking questions that are related to your business. For a thought leader or service industry, it could be a motivational question. For a bakery, it could be asking what is a customer's favorite flavor. For a tire shop or travel agency, it could be asking what is your next destination. Asking questions is a great way to start a conversation.
2. Engage Your Fans In Comments
Once you've got a conversation going, then it's your turn to dive in. Join the conversation by responding to questions in the comments as your business page, making your brand look friendly, approachable, kind. Engage users by responding with their first names and a quick sentence as a response. "Hi Emily! Chocolate chip is our favorite cookie flavor, too." Use emojis or gifs if you're feeling fun, and use some word play. Keep the conversation going by responding to all comments if you don't have much conversation, or build on momentum by responding strategically to just positive or well liked comments.
3. Host a Giveaway On Your Account
Your fans have liked your business on Facebook, but we want them to love your business. Spread the love to your hard-earned social media fans by hosting giveaways or contests on your social media accounts. Encourage users to enter by commenting on a post. Then, follow up with publicly announcing a winner in a separate post, while tagging the user in the initial post. All of these little extra steps give your account a personal touch, where fans aren't just talked to, they're spoiled with love, attention and free items of things they want. Read 3 more rules for hosting better Facebook Giveaways here.
4. Showcase The Faces Behind Your Business
Make your business feel more personal by showcasing the people who make it all happen. Host a Facebook Live event at your business showing all the beautiful holiday decor in your store. Record and post a simple weekly video that provides one tip to make your fans' lives easier. Have your servers share their favorite items on your menu at your restaurant. Don't force any team member to participate, but showing the real people behind your business can be a powerful empathy building tool. People aren't supporting your auto shop, they're getting an oil change from Tom and Steve. People aren't choosing your chiropractic center, they're going to visit Dr. Bryan. We trust people more than brands, so put your best foot and face forward.
5. Know and Follow the 4-1-1 Rule
So those other four tips? They're nice and all, but how does me recording a video with my face or a doing a giveaway drive sales for my business? I hear you, and I hope you'll hear just one thing from me today: follow the 4-1-1 Rule. Considered the golden rule of social media lead generation, the 4-1-1 rule is:
For every one self-serving post, you should share one entertaining piece of content and most importantly, share four pieces of relevant content written by others.
Math is hard, but if you follow the 4-1-1 rule, that means 84% of your content should provide value to your fans and only 16% of your content should be promotional. That means only 16% of your content talks about sales in your store. That means only 16% of your content is about tonight's specials in your restaurant. That means only 16% of your content should include the phrase 'BUY NOW!'
Scroll through your business' Facebook page. If it's 80% promotional and 20% social (or worse), this is why you're not generating sales from social media. Your customers have tuned out your business, just like they ignore the ads they see on TV and the billboards they drive by. People don't buy from brands, they buy from people who build relationships with them. Start building a relationship with your audience.
If you're looking for a transparent digital marketing agency that will build relationships to turn your fans into buying, happy brand ambassadors, we're here to help transform your business or partner with your current agencies as a consultant. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.