I had a former client tell me the other day about how growing fake likes on their Facebook page using dubious means will “look” good. There’s a lot of snake oil out there telling dealers and other businesses what success looks like on social media. They describe your problem for you and let you in on the little secret they have to remedy it. Their solution jumps over the hard work and magically promises an engaged audience. There are no secrets, there are no shortcuts.
There is no work-around that will bring you traffic, leads and sales. Is anything worthwhile ever achieved from trying to game the system? Any ‘get rich quick’ scheme should be viewed as relevant as the snake oil it’s made of. There’s no shortcut on the road to successful social media marketing but with the right strategies, you can achieve your goals…and sometimes for less than what those get-rich-quick schemes cost.
Social media marketing generates traffic, leads and sales and a winning content strategy gives you traction. Content is at the center of social media (and all other) marketing. It’s how you attract your ideal customers to engage with your business. Facebook updates, tweets, videos, blog posts – all should do one thing:
Inspire you to communicate the vision you have for your company. Inspire your employees to deliver an outstanding customer experience and participate in social storytelling. Inspire your customers to like, comment and share the content you serve them. Inspire your customers to buy.
A house is only as strong as its foundation. Remember, people don’t buy what you do they buy WHY you do it. Inspiration keeps you connected to your WHY. As the leader of your business, develop habits that keep you inspired:
- Never stop learning. Read a book, write a blog post, network with others in your field.
- Practice gratitude. Every night before bed, write down 5 things you were thankful for that day.
- Figure out what you’re passionate about and devote yourself to it. We all can get sidetracked from what’s really important to us. Spend time in nature, meditate, exercise, listen to music. Do what feeds your soul.
Employees are THE trusted authority on a company’s culture, programs, integrity, working conditions and related issues. I cannot overstate the importance of employee’s contributions to content in your social media marketing. If you’ve done the work and you’re feeling inspired, there’s a pretty good chance it will be contagious. Take it a step further:
- Ignite passionate performance. Ask them to take the same road you have: continuous learning, practice gratitude, cultivate your passions.
- Help them love their jobs. Grow leaders, reward leadership, provide regular training and support.
- Encourage employees to be their best selves. Inspiring leaders tell powerful, memorable, and actionable stories. The most effective social media marketing tells stories that inspire people to take action.
Inspire your customers.
Every business wants to create fierce loyalty in their customers and their community. The power of social media is not in direct selling to the customer; it’s to inspire a customer who made a purchase to talk about your business to others. Useful content drives social media and only through users’ inspiration does your content get likes, comments and shares.
- Listen more than you talk. Engage when you can contribute or be helpful rather than hijack the conversation, turning it into a sales pitch.
- Ask questions and answer them thoughtfully. Social media is a marketing medium but the added bonus is being able talk with customers and prospects in real time. Inspire customers by being the likable expert.
- Inspire customers to leave reviews! Institute an internal process to capture your happy, loyal customers’ opinions. Today, the key to building your online reputation using social media marketing seems to be less about a specific incentive and more about making it super easy to create a review – especially now that a majority of people are accessing the internet on mobile devices that aren’t always conducive to writing out a long review.
By inspiring yourself and those around you who are connected with your business, you can pull off very successful social media marketing and achieve your ultimate goal.
Inspire = traffic, leads and sales.
P.S. If this post inspired you, please tell me how in the comments below. I work with those that gain great satisfaction from seeing the fruits of their hard work unfold into leads and sales. Social Media marketing works if you work it!