The reason for this article is intended to encourage the small businesses to utilize social media as a way to brand, not in any way to discourage or divert you from it. I am also not saying sales do not come from marketing via social media; I am simply pointing out the obvious and helping you to better understand the intent or true purpose of social media.
You should always go into this without any expectations of making a quick million. Building a strong presence and following takes time and patience. It also requires a lot of knowledge and experience. We all want instant gratification but if your plans are simply that, then take a back seat to the other tens of millions of business owners who feel the same. 99% of you will give up on marketing via social media because of that very reason as well as your lack of understanding the importance of it. But I promise you this; if you stick it out for a good six months to a year then you will see results beyond your imagination.
While sales are transitional, marketing on the other hand is not. Marketing in itself can be a lot of fun and there are plenty of options when it comes to marketing. But you have to ask yourself, what can I afford and am I willing to take the gamble that comes with it? Social media is a cost effective way and a great starting point for any business new or old. Try to remember social media was not intended to be a sales tool, rather a way to build a solid brand, foundation and trust with the people on whom you can influence your potential buyers.
What I mean by that is staying relevant and trendy without being pushy or forceful can go a long way. Try to educate people in a fun way without sounding salesy. It’s annoying and irritating and people will leave your page within seconds if they feel they are being conned into a purchase or being sold on something. If you don’t like it then the odds are, neither do they. Find ways to engage with your particular target market whether that is polling, trivia, asking simple Q&A’s etc. You don’t always need to promote something related to your business to get the attention or results you desire.
Take my company Facebook page East Coast Loyalty for example. We post a lot of promotions but we also have side tabs like “Fan of the Week” and “Sound Cloud” radio interviews we do monthly. Along with that we throw events where we meet the public and offer a grand prize to enter competitions and scavenger hunts locally. We try to have fun with it all, and because of that, the people love us and trust us because they feel they know us beyond business. Your locals are your backbone so befriend them first and sell them later. After all, the people are buying you 99% of the time not what you sell, so the more they know about you and your business the more likely your success.
Remember, nobody has ever built a successful business in a day. Success is built over time with a lot of hard work, dedication, blood, sweat and tears. You will always get back what you put in. That very quote applies not only to business but life in general.
All we are today is because we realized something other business owners have failed to notice. That is that social media is MARKETING, NOT SALES!