I can’t think of too many exceptions. Even businesses that just want brand awareness (think Nike and Coke) still want people to buy their product.
But we often hear businesses complaining that they don’t know whether social media is working for them. In fact, they treat it like a necessary evil.
It’s actually an underutilised tool for generating business, but only when you use it wisely.
Here at Likeable Lab, we’ve developed a very simple 3 phase approach. With this approach, we help our clients use social media to generate results. We help them get real ROI from their social media spend.
One of the critical elements of this approach is that it utilises paid advertising. Because, quite frankly, as a business, if you don’t pay to get your content seen, hardly anyone these days will see it. Facebook organic reach has been in rapid decline over the past 5 years. Meanwhile, their share of global online advertising spend has increased dramatically… draw your own conclusions!
Also critical to our approach is to set up the right audiences to promote your content
Phase 1: Engage and entertain
The goal for Phase 1 content is to engage and build a digital relationship – we want a click, like or comment – but we ask for no more. Entertain, educate, humour… just DON’T sell. The more you try to sell to people who do not yet know you, the less successful you are likely to be. Remember it’s called social media, not sales media.
Phase 2: Generate
Phase 2 content asks your audience (now engaged and warmer) to take one more step in the relationship. To become warmer again before you sell anything at all to them. Download a guide, join a mailing list, message us on Facebook, come to an event, visit a showroom. We’re still not asking for a sale….yet.
Phase 3: Generate sales
By this phase, you are in a better position to sell to those who you have built a digital relationship with. Your audience now knows, likes and trusts you. If you sell to them they may well respond, and almost certainly will not be offended or annoyed.
If your sales happen online, you can send customers to the cart or info page. If your sales happen over the phone you can ask for a call or book a chat. If sales happen in-store, you can make special offers to invite customers in.
Just make sure a smaller percentage of your content is phase 2 or 3 content. Phase 1 content should dominate to keep prospects engaging with your brand. The idea is to keep them warm for when the time is right and you show them the exact offer they need to convert.
Don’t sell to cold prospects. Engage first. Earn the right to sell.
Our approach is about nurturing a cold audience into a warm one. It’s no different
You don’t walk into a shop and have the sales assistant rush up to you and say “Do you want to buy this shirt for $100? It would be perfect for you!” They usually start with a “How’s your day going? Let me know if you would like to try anything on”. They engage you first. They aim to take you from cold to warm.
So remember the phases when you’re generating and promoting your content, and watch your results improve.
First: Define your target audience
Phase 1: Target them via ads, with engaging content
Phase 2: Once warm, ask them to become a lead
Phase 3: Make sales offers to your warmest prospects
Need our help with any of this? We’re happy to talk anytime. Just shout.