Forget the hard-sell

Suffering from a lack of engagement with your social media content?  Pushing out posts only to the sound of crickets chirping.....and  8 or 10 likes or comments?  

One of the first things we tell clients, and possibly the most often misunderstood aspect of social media, is that in order to engage with customers you need to stop treating them as that!  That may seem counter intuitive, but the way we interact with our core customers and prospects is the lynch pin of the effectiveness of our social media campaigns.  

NEWS FLASH:  most social media users don't actively seek out brands on social media in order to be sold to.  The lion's share of users are there to interact with friends, chatter about the day's hottest topics, be entertained, and stay up to date on pop culture.  They come there for the conversation.....not the sales pitch.  And too many times, brands don't realize that and simply bore their customers and prospects into a long, slow death via a deluge of sales information, latest product or service news, or brand-related promotional material.

All of that has a place in a social media strategy.  But first and foremost, we have to engage our demographic on those key attributes or themes that we hold in common.  We have to take off the "sales hat" and throw away the product literature, drop the microphone and simply sit down across the table from them with a hot cup of coffee....and begin to chat about the things that we love and are passionate about.  

If you're a shoe company, that's the amazing feeling of running in the early morning when the dew is heavy and the sun is coming up.  If you're a vacation rental brand, then that means chatting up the sound of the waves on the coast and that stress-free feeling of being on vacation.  If you're a local restaurant, then it's discussions about the high school football team and the great weekend activities coming up.  

What does all of that have to do with selling product?  It has EVERYTHING to do with it.  When we can engage our customers on a personal level, we immediately gain trust, credibility, and interest.  And they are more likely to listen to our message, respond to our content, and remember our brand.  When we enjoy a nice coffee conversation with our customers, we build brand loyalty that lasts beyond the present.  We begin to forge a bond with our clients that can last years.  And if we'll begin to have a conversation with them on the common passions that lie in the intersection of them and our brand, then we can be sure that when we do sprinkle in that sales information and product promotion that they are listening and ready to respond.

So challenge yourself.  Make the next 5 social media posts solely about the passions that you share with your core demographic.  And see how your engagement changes.

Don't believe us?  How about some facts:  we took a Gulf Coast vacation rental company's social posts from an average of 15 or 20 Likes/Comments to 1,000+ Likes and hundreds of Comments/Shares on each individual post.  We grew their fan base from 1,800 to over 15,000 in six months.  How?  With supremely engaging content that we created and a sound strategy of growth and delivery.  What was a dead channel for them is now a thriving sales funnel that consistently gets inquiries and customers involved with their brand.


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