From small business owners, webmasters, eCommerce shops to corporate giants to Internet Superstar wannabes, we were all given a lot of big promises about social media and its potential as a marketing lever. We were told the amount of traffic would dwarf that found through search engines. That people would be more engaged. That our content would go viral and our profits through the roof.
Over time, however, as we moved forward into what is indeed a social revolution, we found the traffic we got through social media to be un-targeted, uninterested, and unprofitable.
What is it that makes or breaks a social media campaign though? Why do some business owners just seem to “get it” while others, who seemingly go through all the same motions, find it impossible to connect with their prospects?
Understanding Why People See Through Social Marketing
When it comes down to it, social media platforms are not meant to be selling platforms, are they? Of course not. It’s all in the name; it’s called social media because it’s a place to socialize. That doesn’t mean that you can’t sell with social media, but it does mean that selling tactics often seem out-of-place and awkward.
Most entrepreneurs realize this on some level, and so they implement all the watering-down tactics intended to make their interaction more relationship-focused. Like scheduling posts beyond just business topics. By not selling too hard. By making sure to interact with the audience.
Problem is this still rarely works. The audience often sees right through it all and ignores them completely, and the reason for this is usually due to the campaign being too artificial in nature. And when something like this is artificial in nature, that typically means that whoever is handling the reigns is just not that enthusiastic about the business.
Do You Believe in Your Business?
For social media to really work, a lot of components have to be in place, but one of the major ones is that you need to believe in your business and what you’re offering. You have to truly care about your customers and how your business affects their lives. A passion in what you’re doing and goals beyond making profits.
It might sound like New Age talk, but imagine a business owner trying to build relationships with people while lacking enthusiasm with their own offer. Even with text-based communication, can’t you see and feel the difference? Contrast this all-too-common mistake with a small business owner who has so much passion for what she’s offering that she can even make every single post completely business-oriented and people don’t even bat an eyelid.
Because they can tell she means it!
Of course, not every business owner has to care in order for their social media to work. Consider giants with huge marketing budgets that have found ways to launch viral marketing campaigns from their ivory towers.
That said, companies with huge marketing budgets have teams of people, whether the work is done in-house or outsourced, that are the best of the best when it comes to getting inside the heads of prospects, determining what they really “feel” about the product, and then finding passionate ways to convey the benefits the product produces.
In other words, these people know how to create a passion for their offering even where it doesn’t exist.
Turning a Purely Profit-Driven Business Into Something More
I’m not going to blast you for building a business purely for profits. Let’s face it – profit is the main reason people get into business, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you want your business to work, and especially if you want your social media efforts to work, you need to find it in yourself to believe in your product.
And if it isn’t worth believing in and getting excited about, you may be offering a disservice to your customers, at which point it really just might be time to go back to the drawing board.
Look deep into your own offer. Seek to understand how it actually does benefit your customers. Get in touch with the value – the contribution – to their lives, and if you truly believe it exists then learn to communicate it ecclesiastically.
If it isn’t inherently exciting on first impression, how can you get excited about it? Or who can you hire that is excited enough about the subject to run your social media campaigns with sincerity?
If there’s no answer to those questions, you may still be able to succeed in business, but you’ll doubtfully succeed with your social media campaigns.