A few days ago while I was doing my daily check-in on LinkedIn, I came across a gem of an article that may change. your. life. Ok, I am exaggerating a bit. However, if you are trying to sell your products and services using social media, this article I found provides at least what you would call a game changing insight.
This provocative article was written by self-identified small business expert Susan Wilson Solovic and she titled it Is Social Media a Bust for Small Biz? Not in My Book.
In here post, Susan shares two eye opening stats that blew me away:
- According to a survey done by Manta, 61 percent of the small businesses don’t see any ROI on their social media activities
- Another similar survey done by Intuit and Constant Contact showed that over 80% of small business found that Facebook was their best marketing platform
Susan then uncovers the underlying reason she believed caused this dichotomy in results…
The Manta survey respondents were small businesses who primarily used social media as a platform for selling while the Constant Contact and Intuit respondents primarily used social media as a platform for engaging customers.
Selling vs. Engaging
We’ve all seen it before on Twitter. You start following someone and the first interaction they have with you is a Direct Message telling you to like them on Facebook or check out their blog or an @ reply with a link telling you to visit their website.
You know what I think when this happens? LOOOOOSER
This may be a bit harsh, but it’s the truth. You will never win if your social media strategy consist of sending someone you’ve never interacted with on any type a level a link to your website the first time you engage with them.
Let me state it again plainly for emphasis. You will never win blasting out links.
There are two reasons for this:
- Your website probably sucks, and
- This is what everybody calls SPAM
How to Sell and Not to be a Loser
If your website sucks I can’t give you any advice on that, that is my wife’s specialty. She is an awesome designer, with a critical eye. She will call out a crappy website in 5 seconds or less.
What I can tell you is that content marketing is the answer to your blessings.
With content marketing, you can have a crappy website and still make sales using social media.
With content marketing you can sell stuff through social media and not be a loser.
Why Content Marketing is Your Winning Strategy
Content marketing is the hottest trend in marketing right now for one reason, and one reason only. It works.
If you are ready to stop spamming people with links and become a winner then the first thing you must do is stop treating everyone like a sales lead and start treating them like your audience (click to tweet this). An audience you must educate and entertain or risk getting booed off the stage.
This is what content marketing is all about. Content marketing will help you sell more stuff through the conversations that you engage your target audience with. Conversations centered around what your audience wants, not what you want.
On social media, people only want two things: Education and entertainment.
Education may come in the form of news, surprising facts, motivational quotes, or how to content.
Entertainment may come in the form of silly memes, funny YouTube videos, and piffy status updates.
By sharing educational and entertaining content on your social media sites, you will see the number of conversations you participate in at least quadruple. You will also find that people will like you more and stop calling you a loser and a spammer.
Once you stop selling and start creating conversations you will then discover the Zen of Content Marketing. It is only through this path to enlightenment that you will learn how to sell using social media.