Trying to use social media for your small business can be so frustrating! Attracting business through social media can seem like a full-time job! Many people have attempted by falsely using social platforms as sales tools. And while many products are sold via social media, the key to using social media to attract more business is to be more social.
Another frustration is just when you think you have all the rules down and it’s working for you, your most favorite platform changes them! This post will help you get the most out of your time on social media and some tricks-of-the-trade to help you gain followers, potential pipeline partners, referrals and even clients.
1. Remember The One Real Reason For Social Media: It Is SOCIAL!
I can’t share this one truth enough. I’ve discussed with countless clients who are in the ramp-up phases of business. First of all, some new business entrepreneurs make the erroneous assumption that posting a service offer or product on social media is equal to having a sales conversation. That is simply not true. While you have the potential to reach several ideal clients and interested parties, the social cyber-sphere is increasingly a pay-to-play platform. This means that in order for your stuff to be seen, it has to entice engagement and sharing.
Do you ever wonder why poorly-acted, over-expressers gain so many social views, while your perfectly good service offers or product posts go unseen? It’s a simple truth that many people go social when they’re bored or looking for passive tasks as they wait for the next thing to happen. SO, entertainment is an easy pursuit.
Entertaining posts provide a little brain candy, they lift others up, and in order to participate or ‘watch’, they don’t really contain much risk. And, if you’re not a comedian on the side, you may want to stick to other posts that inspire or align with your ideal clients. Find quotes over images that represent the hidden conversations already taking place in their heads.
3. Freely Share Expertise
When someone posts a question in a social group, they are looking for an answer. If you have answers to the questions they have, you align instantly as an expert. To boost your social media clout and attract more business, focus on giving succinct, helpful answers to questions. If you have advice or resources for what they seek, share your insight, guidance, and expertise. This does a couple of things: You gain readers and may resonate with some followers if you share relevant information often. The second thing this does is builds your expertise capital. Meaning, before long, you’ll soon be recognized as an expert.
4. Solve Problems
Another way to use social media to attract business is to solve common problems. For instance, have you ever noticed how engaging problem-solving compilation videos can be? Have you seen videos that demonstrate ‘creative ways to organize’? They are looking for answers. If you have answers to the questions they have, you align instantly as an expert. Giving a succinct, helpful answer to what they seek.
5. Client Success Stories
Although you may want to occasionally mute some people on their social soapbox, one of the best ways to attract business using social media is to boost someone else up. Social media allows you to share (and even brag about) your friends, family members, and clients. Honestly sharing client success stories helps to highlight your business services through positive results that your clients enjoy. Client success stories can take the form of case studies, before and after statements (or pictures), testimonials, and even by sharing the occasional thank you note. Client stories can be used directly with your client’s permission, or you can disguise personal information and dates and share client successes in endless ways.
6. Create Demonstrations and How To Posts
One of the most common ways to use social media to attract more business is to share ‘how to’ messages. These can take the shape of demonstrations or steps to follow. Many popular and attractive social media posts are recipes! If you’re a foodie or a chef, you know how often you’ve tuned in to watch how-to cooking videos. I believe how to videos are the reason that YouTube has become so very popular. Sharing how to do things via text posts is especially helpful if you belong to specialty groups.
7. Positively Respond To Other’s Ideas
No one likes a downer and even fewer people like a hater! Social media has made it possible for negativity to exponentially run rampant. However, to use social media for business, it’s important and just as easy to spread a little sunshine. One of the keys to social success is how other people feel about you. When you create alignment and agreement by authentically and positively responding to others, you will build social clout.
8. Be Encouraging
Many people take to Social Media to express their current emotional state. Sometimes you’ll read posts of desperation, fears, challenges, obstacles, or the occasional selfie posting a new hair color or cut. One of the most-treasured lessons my mother taught me was to build others up when you can. Each person needs a little help once in a while. To effectively use social media to build a business, it’s important to speak authentically and truthfully. It’s nice to say something encouraging. Even if you don’t want a message shared publicly, you can always private message the person to offer words of encouragement.
9, Share, Share, and Share Some More
Social media clout is all about being SOCIAL, and being social is all about sharing. Share your ideas, share other’s ideas, share your opinions (when you’re comfortable), and share your support. Sharing is social… and social sharing is part of a never-ending success formula.
Remember the good old days when you’d share your favorite recipe or menu item with your neighbor or best friend? Well, today social media provides the backyard for casual, social conversations.
Using social media authentically, openly and honestly is a great way to attract more business. Your posts, in your voice, allow others to ‘try you out’ and ‘get a feel’ for who you are. Using social media wisely can attract more ideal clients especially when you offer expertise, and enter conversations that are already taking place. Establishing your voice by using the 9 strategies above will help you attract more ideal clients. Happy clients create a ripple that will pay you back with more connections and new clients.