One of the big concerns that people often have when using social media for business is how to get people to buy or join without being a spammer. We all have that friend on social media whose every post is “join my team” or “buy my stuff.” And let’s be honest…we cringe every time we see that person’s posts.
There is a technique to marketing on social media without being a spammer, and what you can do on a personal account is different from what you can do on a business account. Having business accounts is important (I’ll write more about that in another post) but the fact is that you usually reach more people with a personal account. But how can you use a personal account for marketing without violating the trust of your friends and the rules of various social networks?
When getting ready to use social media to market your business, keep these points in mind.
- Be interesting. A personal account is not just about your business. Rather, people have connected with you there because they are interested in you. So your posts should be about you. How does your business fit in? By sharing how your business affects your life. I recently was with a company that sold cookware. In addition to my posts about my kids, my experiences, etc, I also posted photos of cooking with the cookware, along with meals that I had cooked using the cookware. And I shared the recipes I used. Lots of people asked me about the cookware we sold because the posts were interesting. So share photos. Talk about your experiences. But don’t beat people over the head with your product or opportunity. When people ask about what you have to offer, take it to a private message, or even better, offline.
- People want to be on the winning team. Some of the best people I’ve seen who use their personal accounts to gain leads and business keep up a steady stream of enthusiasm in their posts. They share pictures of successful team members and recognize them while cheering them on. They share photos of their own successes. On their way to business meetings, they post videos that express excitement about what’s to come. They share the success that their team and company is experiencing, and express gratitude for being a part of it. That sort of enthusiasm is infectious, and it’s a powerful tool. People want to be on the winning team, and when you consistently demonstrate that people want to be a part of your business, and you are experiencing success, you will attract others.
- Don’t ask for the sale on a personal account. Another important thing to keep in mind is that your personal account is not a place to do business. When I speak about social media, I always show examples of point one (talking about how your business affects your life personally), and show how different this is from “join my team/buy my stuff”-type posts. You can let people know that if they are interested, you have a business account where they can get more details or make a purchase. But by keeping a hard and fast rule that you don’t ask people to convert on your personal accounts, it makes people a lot more comfortable with being friends with you on social media.
Often people try to “jump the line” when using social media, and go right to making the sale instead of using social media to gradually build interest and relationships which leads to greater rewards. Yet those people who are willing to invest the time and effort in the techniques discussed above are more likely to experience success using these tools. Sure it takes time and effort. But so does everything that’s worthwhile.
How do you use social media to build your business? What tips would you share? I would love to read your thoughts in the comments.