It is well recognised that the key to a successful relationship on social media is generating and encouraging interaction amongst your followers, fans or those in your mutual-interest groups. However, for the interaction to be effective, you have to encourage conversations around topics that are of interest to your audience.
To build audience loyalty, you need to be offering them some kind of benefit by educating them, informing them and ultimately helping them.
When your audience visit your Facebook and Twitter page, they’ll be saying… ‘What’s In It For Me?’.
Am I suggesting you offer people something for free?
Yes I am. You don’t need to offer anything that involves your company making a loss. But you need to give potential customers a taste of your product or service so they can make an informed decision about whether you have both the competence and credibility to serve them and their contacts.
People who visit your social media profile may not know you personally, but by reading your twitter updates for example, they’ll have an idea of what you are like as a person, as a professional and as a business. Not only is this more likely to encourage inward requests for your services but it’s also increasingly likely that you’ll be recommended to others too.
Here are three very different examples of how this type of subtle selling has been used successfully:
1. Brian Barr Solicitors offer through their Twitter account
Brian Barr Solicitors offer free advice to Fibromyalgia and other personal injury sufferers. In addition they direct people to other FREE information which can be found on their website. They go beyond free legal advice by sharing basic medical advice from third party websites on how to ease or treat common injuries as well as warning their audience of how video and other forms of evidence can be used against them.
2. River Pools and Spas through their Blog
The swimming pool installation business were hit hard by the 2008 recession, but were able to turn around the situation by publishing a blog advising pool owners on all aspects of care and maintenance from choosing the right design to avoiding algae. Their blog soon acquired a reputation for being the experts on swimming pool maintenance and that in turn raised the profile of the company behind it. Sales gradually improved because the company was seen as having a high level of credibility. Furthermore, the owner of River Pools, Marcus Sheridan has also established himself as a social media expert and coach in his own right.
3. Tesco’s Facebook page
Tesco have recognised the benefits of helping their customers with the launch of their new recipe ideas initiative. As you can see from their Facebook app, they encourage their audience to interact with them on recipe and cooking ideas as well as offering lots of weekly/daily free ideas and competitions. Both the interaction and the daily updates encourage people to keep rechecking their Facebook page and hence they are also more likely to click on Tesco’s own links to buy the products/ingredients they need from Tesco as it will feel like the safest and most convenient choice.
So next time you publish a post on Facebook or Twitter, remember: your audience will be asking:
- “What’s In It For Me?”
- Why should I visit your social media page?
- What are you offering me that’s going to help me?
By understanding the mindset of your audience, you will soon be getting them to Know you, Like you, Trust you, and ultimately buy from you!