The mistake of selling, selling, selling

You’re excited because today is the day.  Today is the day you get your business set up on social media and start leveraging the power of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and more.  You’ve either learned how to create a rocking social media presence, or hired someone to do it for you.  You’re now sitting in front of your computer eager to begin and…you have no idea what to write.

Facing the blank screen it’s easy to treat social media exactly like other marketing mechanisms your business uses.  Fliers and paper handouts, mailings, even TV spots come to mind.  All of these usually focus on selling, selling, SELLING, your business services or products.  So why should social media be any different?  Today you’ll post about how awesome your business is.  Tomorrow you’ll post about a special or upcoming promotion.  The day after that it’ll be how customers love you.  And the day after after that it’ll be back to how awesome your business is.  That content cycle, or something very similar, will color your entire social media campaign.

And it’s a recipe for absolute failure in social media marketing.

Sometimes you have to sell less to sell more.

Social media marketing has several key differences with the traditional marketing mechanisms mentioned above.  Social media is not a one and done mailing or single promo.  You’re hoping to establish a relationship with thousands of followers.  When people see your social media page is nothing but selling, they will likely pass on ever following you, even if they love your product.  Those who do follow will quickly tire and either unfollow or hide your posts from view.  You’ve become the online version of that pushy salesperson everyone dreads to run into within 500 feet of their storefront.  That all means little interaction with your social media marketing and forget generating any business from it.

Obviously you’re building a social media presence to build your brand and ultimately increase business.  But if you can’t market and push your services, what can you do?  The critical thing to realize is that you can still sell or market or otherwise talk business, but it must be in proportion to other content.  Selling still has a place, it just can’t be the only show in town for your social media profiles.

I advise clients I work with to mix in news and other information related to their business.  So, if you’re a chiropractor, post some medical or health articles and videos.  If you’re an organic nursery, post tips on gardening and other information for green thumbs.  Serving as a resource of information will lead to more followers.  Those followers realize you’re a business and will occasionally post on products, but they also know that they can read useful, interesting posts, articles, and videos by following you.  Other content makes you interesting and builds a relationship, one that you’re largely ignorant of until business walks in the door and first thanks you for your Facebook articles.