Did I grab your attention? How dare I say 1.28 Billion Facebook users don’t matter – or 540 Million Google+ers – or 1 Billion Twitter users – or 200 Million Instagrammers – or 300 Million LinkedIners.  Well, they don’t.  What matters is what you say and how you say it.  For all the novelty of social media (and I know plenty of folks who are “over” social media so it’s not so novel anymore) it has now become just another avenue to reach your potential customers.  And, in reality, it is a very crowded avenue with most folks screaming at the top of their lungs about their great products or services.  Do you like getting shouted at?  Didn’t think so.

Let me say this again:  What does matter is what you have to say and how you say it.  Plain and simple.  Yes, use social media channels to get your message out – but think about what you are saying first before just hitting send on the next kitty video that has nothing to do with you or your business.  Hey, I love to play around on social media too, but not for business… because at the end of the day, I have to ensure everything I do (or my company does) on social media, is focused on this:  educating and converting my audience to paying customers.  If you own a business, you need to do this too.  If you run a nonprofit, you need to educate and inspire your audience to either volunteer or donate.  Otherwise you are wasting your time – and you know the old adage – time is money!

Just Say No

Here are two questions to ask yourself BEFORE you hit send.

#1 – “Am I excited to share what I am about to post?”  If the answer is “yes,” hit post and share immediately.  If the answer is “maybe,” or “I know I’m supposed to post on social media…” – STEP AWAY from the computer!!  Don’t be one more drip in an ocean of meaningless dribble just for the sake of getting wet.

#2 – “If I were my customer, would I be interested in engaging on social media with my company (or opening my emails)?”  We all open our emails and participate on social media in the same way and with the same desire: “What’s In It For Me?”  If you are able to provide a great “There is definitely something in this for you” reason for folks to open your email or engage with you on social media, you are ahead of 90% of all of your competitors out there.  The secret here is to think like your customers – not like a business owner.  As a business owner you are probably thinking, “of course my customers want my amazing product and service” but that doesn’t matter on social media.  With over 65% of all social media activity happening on mobile devices – it is nearly a guarantee that the customers that do interact with you have done so in tiny bits and pieces.  You can’t get into a long discussion about all the value your amazing product will bring these customers – because they are next in line at Starbucks and just heard “next” – or they are sitting at a red light and did the dreaded quick glance at their favorite ADD device – or they are busy doing something else while multitasking through their email. Don’t expect to make sales on social media – that is what your website if for. Instead, use social media to invite people from their hectic day and social media engagement to later join you on your website when they actually have time to do their research.

Now, repeat after me – the most important element of internet marketing is my website!  Say that again – the most important element of internet marketing is my website.  The reason once again lies in “What matters is what you say and how you say it.” Why?  Because we all hate talking, speaking or engaging with SALES PEOPLE.  Just the mention of “Sales Person” brings up awful images in our minds – slick, slippery, sleazy, Sales Person… ick… And because we all hate to talk with sales people, we will do everything in our power to avoid it including this:

“Today 80% of B2B purchase cycles are completed before the buyer considers contacting the vendor and, even then, they are loath to do so.” — FORBES

Have you ever bought something online simply because you never had to talk to a sales person?  So have your customers.  Where do these potential customers do their 80% of research?  On your website! So what is the most important element of internet marketing again?

Okay, so now you are excited to share your content, and that content is guaranteed to have “something in it for me.”  You have successfully invited your potential customers to engage with you on your website – what next?  Ensure you have a plan to keep the conversation going. Don’t allow folks to “drive by” your website without asking them for their email address and to follow you on social media.  Once you have that information, design communications and messaging that answers the burning questions all your customers are asking.  Build a list of frequently asked questions from your customers and post the answers on your website and include those answers in dedicated emails and social media.  Those answers are the “What’s In It For Me” solutions that your customers want!

Finally, and most importantly – don’t give up!  Because we all hate salespeople so much, we are often too timid in our own follow up to potential clients because we don’t want to be “pushy” or basically, “slick, slippery and sleazy.”  But persistence is not sleazy, especially when you provide a solution to a customer’s pain point.  Remember these few important points – we are so used to our pain points that it often takes repeated “touches” to potential clients to educate them how you can relieve them of those pain points.  Secondly, only 5% of sales close on the first or second call while 81% close after the 5th!  72% of companies quit reaching out to potential customers after the second call and only 10% quit after the 5th… That’s why the big guys are the big guys.  They can afford (or have the discipline) to implement automated systems that ensure repeated exposure and education messaging goes out to ALL of their potential customers on a consistent basis.  Do you?

So do your work up front – design and implement “What’s In It For Me” content and messaging then ensure it goes out multiple times over multiple channels. Use automated tools to help you distribute that content and then, and only then, will Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and all the other social media channels matter.


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