Why social media is about more than just sales

I hear people say all the time that their social media strategies are not working, so I ask them “what are you trying to achieve?” and “how are you trying to do that?” The answers are nearly always the same; “I’m trying to get sales” and “I’m posting my products/services”. Translation: I’m instantly going in for the hard sell without actually putting in any of the groundwork. Which by the way almost never works.

I believe that there are some main areas that you should focus on before you start trying to push your services or products on people.

Brand development

You should be using your social media channels as a way to get your brand in front of people, by building an audience within your niche and creating a community where people can talk openly about your topic. Social media should be an extension of your website but with a slightly more personal approach that makes people actually want to have a conversation with you.

Thought leadership

Social channels give you the opportunity to set yourself up as an expert in your field, which will in turn make people more likely to want to start a conversation or ask you questions around the topics in your niche. This means that when the time comes when they really do need your product/service they’ll be more likely to pick you over your competitors.

Don’t panic if you’re subject matter is a bit “dry” just find the least “boring” part of your niche and run with it for a while until you’ve got a decent following and interaction, then you can start to introduce more narrow topics which are directly related to your business.

Building trust

The more engaged you and your followers are, the more trust you’ll earn not only from them but also from potential new customers. For example, someone has gone to your website and likes your products but is still unsure, so they go to your social media pages to do a little more research. They find that you’ve got quite a few followers and your posts are getting positive engagements which will make them more likely to pick you over a competitor that posts inconsistently, only has a few followers and gets no engagement.

This is just a broad overview of what your social media could potentially be doing for you and your business, so try not to think of it in terms of; they’re following me so now I must convert them by showing them nothing but my products. Think of it more like; every new like or follow is a mini endorsement for your company which will eventually translate into sales even if it’s not directly.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

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