Mastering the Art of the 'Soft Sell' on Social Media Networks
Jason Wersits, June 1, 2012
It's a mistake that both SEO firms and users see time and time again. As more small business owners decide to market their company properties through social media, they end up blundering through the process with little results to show for their efforts. So the best and brightest minds of the faltering business scratch their collective heads. What are we doing wrong? Why aren't people following us? Why aren't they sharing our posts?
The fact is most businesses inevitably find themselves operating almost identically to every other company out there. Although every marketing consultant will try to tell you that Facebook can be a goldmine for conversion rates (and it certainly can), many people are disillusioned by the standard sales pitch. While any social media user can become the potential patron of a business, posting content that focuses exclusively on selling goods or services only serves to turn away would-be followers.
So how does a business actually manage to improve itself on Facebook or Google+ without relying on conventional sales tactics? The answer lies in being able to build up fans for one's listing, as well as finding ways to engage users and motivating them to share your content. Being effective on social media begins by soft selling your brand and getting people to trust you in a variety of ways.
Keeping the Tone Casual and Entertaining
Although a company will want to maintain an air of professionalism when creating content to be shared on a social network, that doesn't mean it needs to be stuffy about how it's properties are being presented. Social media users react quite strongly to feed updates and shared images that are as every bit as interesting as they are informative. It only makes sense that people click on those links that are most relevant to them, and so a company should be doing what it can to take advantage of this.
There are multiple methods which can be employed when trying to find content which appeals to one's potential demographic. Major news magazines and feature-based writing is always a good draw, especially when the sources of these pieces are well-recognized outlets. Video is also an incredibly popular means by which to grab users' attentions. There are also multiple other forms of media that SMB owners can use in as well, such as regular podcasts from the company or Q&As.
Encouraging Users to Keep Coming Back
In the business world, no one wants to feel like they're just a customer. Part of the joy of social media comes from being able to build up connections with people and groups you may never see for yourself. This is something that every company will want to keep in mind when posting. Should a business' update or posted content receive comments from users, then a representative should do what he or she can to reply to posts and keep that momentum going.
If a user begins to feel that his or her presence means something to a business, a certain level of trust is earned that will prove invaluable in converting followers into future clientele. This level of trust also improves the impact of those overt sales pitch-related posts that a business may make from time to time. Simply put, a user who has grown accustomed to dealing with a company will be far more likely to click on posted links for time-sensitive bargains, upcoming promotional events and any other revenue-centric activity.
Of course, it doesn't hurt to enlist the aid of experience social media companies so as to streamline these efforts. Should readers have any additional questions, I can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.