For best results, use social media for more than just advertising. Think relationships not transactions.
Social media platforms have become increasingly inundated with sales posts, to the point where browsing never takes place without seeing constant sales pitches. Aggressive sellers are justifiably happy to leverage new opportunities, but it certainly can go too far. And in fact, a sales strategy that neglects the buyer-seller relationship is usually headed toward a dead end.
Customers are human beings. They're emotional, they have preferences, they're impulsive, and they're temperamental. Some big businesses attempt to manipulate these human characteristics. But most smaller businesses are better off learning and respecting how customers think and behave in order to connect authentically, engage, and build trust.
Display your products, run ads, talk about sales. But in between, provide glimpses into human experience that will mean something to your customers. Are you attracting nature lovers to a site where you sell pet supplies? Make sure to alternate your product photos with fabulous outdoor shots such as seasonal landscapes, macro beauties, and, of course, animals. If you make hand-knit baby clothes, pull out those infant pics!
Start a conversation about lifestyle, values, hobbies, everyday concerns, and anything else that matters to your customers. You would like their response to be, "Wow, this person 'gets' me."
Do you sell wall art? There are thousands of sites selling flowery water color paintings. Be the seller that customers remember as someone who—like them—adores color, flowers and the transient quality of nature. They'll think of you first when they're ready to buy.
What sorts of non-sales posts do you enjoy sharing with customers on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter or elsewhere? Feel free to comment below. And check the blog for other tips on social media, copywriting and SEO.
Barbara Clavan provides copywriting, coaching and consulting services to high-growth businesses, high-profile individuals and creative entrepreneurs.
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