The following is a guest post written by Mike Kamo. His bio as at the end.
If you’re my friend on Facebook, I will hide you if you do any of the following:
- Consistently rant about news, politics, or religion.
- Write updates that are so long they require me to click the “read more” link.
- Promote ANY kind of direct selling: jewelry, scrapbooking supplies, candles, nutrition products. I don’t care. If you try to sell me, I’m done.
Let’s talk about that third one for a moment, the direct selling one. Why does that always feel like such an intrusion?
I’ll tell you why: in almost every case, our Facebook friends also are our real friends. Our digital relationship is just an outgrowth of our in-person relationship.
Even if we met online, Facebook “friends” are supposed to be just that, your friends. It’s about personal relationships.
Or, it is until someone posts about a half-off candle sale … or that makeup or jewelry party that’s happening in a week that you really don’t want to go to, but feel obligated to attend anyway.
This is quite different than the companies I follow on Facebook. When Nike posts about new running shoes, I don’t feel intruded upon. I liked Nike’s page because I wanted to see stuff like that.
And therein lies the distinction. With Nike, I liked the page because I wanted to see sales kinds of things. I knew for what I was asking.
My friend, Ashley, however, doesn’t give me the choice. I became her Facebook friend because we’ve been friends since before high school, but there’s no way to turn off her posts about half-off candles.
With Nike, I asked for sales messages. With Ashley, I didn’t.
How does one avoid this problem? How do you go about promoting the thing you are selling, without turning into that person who everyone hides from their news feeds?
The answer: know for what each social media platform is made, and use it appropriately.
Rather than blasting all your social networks with the same messages, it’s better if you can tailor your content to the different strengths of each social network.
Here are some tips on the biggest platforms, followed by a word about how most people should get started:
1. Facebook is for Friends: On Facebook, there are two separate content strategies to follow, one for your personal profile and the other for a company page.
For your personal profile, make that about relationships, about interacting with other people and their posts, and about connecting other real-world people together. Don’t use a personal account to sell stuff. Please, I beg you, open a business page. That’s why they are there.
The business page is the place to share highly-relevant, original content, along with the occasional product pitch. It’s ok occasionally to throw some bait out there to drive traffic back to your site. But, for the most part, Facebook is all about interacting and relationship-building and interacting with customers and prospects.
2. The LinkedIn Lookie Lou: Have you ever received that email from LinkedIn that tells you someone has viewed your profile? It’s a little weird right? For a while, that kept me from looking at other people’s LinkedIn sites, because I prefer to do my Internet research anonymously where possible.
That “someone viewed my profile” thing can actually be turned off, but I like to leave it on. What happens is that I’ll go out searching for new and interesting people, and I’ll look over their site. The people will get the emails saying that others have viewed their page, and some percentage of them will come back and look over your profile in return.
When they do, I’ll get an email, and I’ll reach out and say hi. It’s better than a cold-call for sure, and it tells me they’re pretty savvy with the new Internet tools, a good thing for me.
3. Twitter is for Searching: You can share your content on Twitter, but it’s actually better for finding and interacting with people who have the problem your product or service solves. www.twitter.com/search is one of the fastest ways to find people who need your help. You’ll probably have to spend some time refining your searches, because there are a lot of Twitter accounts that basically just crank out job board postings. That’s not what you’re after. You want specific people with a specific problem.
Start with something like “I need help with [your service]” or “anyone know a good [your specialty].” As you browse the results, keep trying new search terms until you get a really good set of results. Then just set up an alert through your social media manager. The next time someone queries Twitter for your services, you’ll be ready to respond.
If you do and say things on social media that rub people the wrong way, you totally undermine the whole point of using social media. It’s a big enough challenge to build a following.
Use the right strategy for each platform, however, and you should be able to use each of your social media outposts as a quality lead-generating outpost. From there, just drop them in your CRM and let your sales process take it from there.
Mike Kamo is the VP of marketing for Strideapp. Cloud-based CRM and mobile that helps small to medium-sized agencies manage and track leads, as well as close more deals. They can be found on Twitter and Facebook.