There’s one question you need to ask when considering a Facebook or social media strategy, and that is:
“What do I want social media to do to help me achieve success?”
If your answer to this question is “to sell“, then you’re likely going to be severely let down.
Sadly I think the question asked more often than not is, “Why isn’t Facebook working for me?”
I do feel sorry for Facebook!
It gives small business owners access to target customers directly in their homes, workplaces and on the go through the one device they carry with them EVERYWHERE, it provides FREE real estate for businesses to promote their goods and services, and it offers cost effective, immediate, measurable options to advertise – and yet, most small business owners I come across are fed up with Facebook – it doesn’t make sense. They want Facebook to reach everyone, have everyone like and comment and share, drive traffic to their website or store and spend lots of money – all for free. And all in a platform that was once built for friends to stay in touch with each other.
As you might be able to tell, I’m a huge fan of Facebook for small businesses, but it does have its limitations – that is, it can’t fix what’s already broken. If you’re relying on social media to overcome your operational issues, I can assure you your strategy won’t last long. Here’s why…
Social media can’t fix a broken model, poor customer service, bad price point or any other area that detracts from your offering.
If you’re struggling with sales, it’s time to go back to basics and make sure you have the foundations right before using social media as a key marketing tool. This is twofold because social media can’t fix or hide these problems, and worse, they can aggravate the issues by bringing them to the spotlight.
- price point
- reviews and complaints
- delivery or quoting timeframe
- team’s skillsets and capabilities to deliver
- marketing strategy is aligning with your target market
- opening hours and accessibility
If you’ve ticked all the boxes here, then yes, definitely go ahead and integrate social media marketing into your overall strategy, but keep in mind what you want it to achieve.
Sure, you want sales, but HOW will you get those sales?
Do you have an e-commerce website they need to buy from?
Do you want them to call you for a free quote?
Should they visit your bricks and mortar store?
Think about the actual point of the sale – generally, it’s not through Facebook or Instagram, meaning these are simply another platform to help drive traffic from where they are in that moment to where you want them to be.
Because of this, it’s important to understand the role social media plays in your marketing and sales strategy.
Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn don’t sell – they promote.
- build a community of like-minded people
- enable you to have a one-to-one conversation with customers
- promote your expertise and value
- allow you to directly target and measure advertising activity for as little as $5
- offer another channel for audiences to find and research you
- validate your credibility and presence in the market
- and so much more!
I love the opportunities social media marketing has brought small businesses. When I was a teenager, small businesses would put an ad in the Yellow Pages, do flyer drops (which weren’t great for B2B brands), send magnets and calendars in the mail and run expensive TV or radio advertising. While all these opportunities still exist (even Yellow Pages!), they’re no longer the ONLY options. Social media has opened up the marketplace but it’s not the only answer to sales. It’s another option to consider in the marketing process.
I’ve been in PR for over a decade and the very essence of it is understanding WHAT you want to say and WHO you want to say it to, so that we can identify WHERE, WHEN and HOW to say it. I have no doubt that at least one of the social media platforms can play a key role for most small businesses.
Contact me today for an obligation free chat about your social media marketing and how it can help your overall marketing approach.
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