Will Having Social Media Accounts Grow My Business Profits?
But that's really not the point of social media.
It's true, I did successfully run my direct sales business on social media, alone. If it wasn't for social media, no one but close friends and family would have known that I was selling something, and I wouldn't have made the kind of money that I did. But, I didn't just post the link to my sales website every day and talk about how people should buy from me. And I don't recommend that's how you run your business either.
"Social Media is about the people! Not about your business. Provide for the people and the people will provide for you!" -Matt Goulart
I have this quote on my website because it is quite possibly the most important thing to remember when you are actively promoting your business on social media.
We primarily don't get on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.) to peruse things that are for sale. There are other websites/apps available to do that-- Amazon, Etsy, Ebay, Craigslist-- to name a few. Yes, Facebook does have a "Marketplace" and Instagram does have targeted advertising, but the reason we initially go on these social platforms is to see people.
Connection to others is what everyone is seeking- especially in this Covid-19 virtual environment. Now, more than ever, people want to see that you are present and available. I describe your social media presence like a fluffy pillow; people need to be comforted that if they choose to invest in your business, there is a human behind the scenes who will always be available for them during this tumultuous time. And this goes for whatever goods/services you provide--from a microbrewery to a real estate agent--people need to see that there is a heartbeat behind that business name.
Updated and ongoing continuity across platforms is also extremely important. Imagine going to someone's website in August and seeing an ad that says, "Check out our sales that are coming in May!" Automatically that is a red flag. Clearly that business has not even looked at their website since April when they posted that advertisement. And if they have looked at it, they were too busy to change the ad. Would they be too busy for me? Is there someone even running their site? Would they pick up the phone if I called? Do they even care that they get my business? These are all questions that you would ask before putting in your credit card information, and it definitely would be a reason to immediately look elsewhere for another company that offers a similar service.
Social media provides the service of showing potential customers and clients that you are there and that you care! (Rhyme!) That is why posting consistently and interacting with comments and questions is integral to the success of your business. Even if you contract out your social media presence to someone, like me, (baby plug for my business), it shows people that there is an actual human being working your business- and that if you needed them, someone is available.
You're also providing value. My husband, who really has yet to use social media in his life, [I run his Facebook page for him!] was confused as to why I would be "giving away all the tricks of the trade" in this blog or on my Facebook and Instagram business pages. I had to explain to him that social media is not about selling to people- but about giving people a reason to choose you in the first place. Honestly, the information I share here, and on my social media pages, is readily available in multiple articles, documents, blogs, info-graphics etc. across the internet. I don't generate this knowledge, but I sure keep up on it and show potential clients that I know what I'm talking about. And if something that I post helps someone else's business without getting me a "sale", then that's great! There still will be someone out there who will realize how much work it is creating meaningful content on a daily basis and will out source the task to someone like me. In my idealistic world, business should be about helping others, and by doing so, creating the value that then makes people want to financially utilize your services.
And at the crux of it, that's what social media is about and that's why platforms like Facebook utilize algorithms to show LESS of your "Buy From Me!" posts and more of your "This Will Help You!" posts. Or why Nextdoor only allows you to post from your business page two times a month! They know why we go on social media and it isn't to purchase our next hot water heater- it's to connect with one another.
It's not too late for your business, even if you have been going with the "Buy From Me!" social media tactic for awhile. As previously stated, now, more than ever, everyone is on the internet for large portions of their day. Improve your social media presence by giving value to your business and showing your followers consistency and enthusiasm!
And eventually...if you provide for the people, the people will provide for you.