I’ve made some great friends through social media – lasting friendships with people throughout the world. I’ve been back in contact friends who have slipped away, learned more about how people think and live than I ever thought possible. This is what social media does best.
A lot of businesses use social media as a tool to promote themselves. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this, and it can be the ideal media for getting information about your business in front of the people who want to know about it.
Unfortunately, since social media is in its basic form free advertising, everyone jumped on the boat. So now a business starting off in social media is likely to find very crowded waters. And since the providers of social media services such as Facebook, Google+ and Twitter and in the business to make money, those who found a bonanza of customers for free are finding that in order to keep reaching those customers, they have to pony up with the cash. Quite a lot of cash.
What they’re also finding is that people are getting sick of the ads. Let’s be honest … when you click like on Facebook to win a new iPad from a business, you’re not really endorsing that business. But Facebook will be telling your friends that you do, because you clicked the Like button.
The concept is that your friends are a more trustworthy endorsement of a business than an advertisement. But as in the above example shows, your friends “liking” a business doesn’t mean that the recommend that business. Or that they’ve even shopped their.
Sound dishonest? It is. And it’s going to get worse. So if you’re going to make social media work for you, you need to avoid this viscous circle. You’ve got to be honest, personable and give your friends and fans content that they want to see and share.
Sharing is especially important, as increasingly, the main criteria in getting your posts seen by people who have liked your page is getting them to interact with your posts.
You frequently see articles ending with “what do you think?” They don’t really care what you think. What they want you to do is interact with your page. Because unless they interact at least occasionally, Facebook stops delivering your businesses posts to them. Likes, comments, shares all count. So the first rule is to get people interacting.
The frequency of that interacting is also important. So if you post a lot, but get little interaction, you’re digging your own grave. The more of your posts that are ignored, the quicker your posts stop showing up on people’s news feeds. Better to post less to get more interaction, than to post more frequently thinking that people will be seeing your posts more often, keeping your business in the forefront of their minds.
A lot of people believe posts with images, or nothing but an image makes their business more visible. But what I see more and more often happening, are posts which are nothing but text getting more views than posts with images. Which is logical, as something like “Joe’s Brakes posted an image” tells your friends less than “Joe’s Brakes is having a sale.”
What attracts people’s attention on Facebook? Unfortunately stupidity and sarcasm seems to be doing quite well. Things that make people say “me too” attract a lot of attention as well. But these are of little value. You’re on Facebook to grow your business, and it takes time away from things you could be doing that will be more effective in attracting business.
So if you’re going to post something, make it relevant to those who will be seeing it. Sales and time sensitive material are winners. Facebook is a great way to get the word out about a sale, a band playing at your bar or a social event. Get in there quickly, give the facts, make your friends smile and get out.
Otherwise you’re not doing anything but adding clutter to people’s news feeds, and eventually they get sick of you. Even if they don’t stop seeing your posts because they seldom interact, they’re eventually going to get irritated and block your posts themselves.
Remember, social media is supposed to be social – not just a free advertising vehicle for your business. Not all businesses benefit from a strong Facebook presence. To find out if social media marketing can help you business, contact Green Man Design and Advertising by clicking here to setup a free consultation.