Many business owners I speak to tell me they do not get clients from social media. Being on social media, interacting, sharing, liking, following, etc. has not helped grow their business. Like them, I have seen little conversion from my social platforms. But I have had some, so I wanted to know what was the difference between when I did get new clients and when I didn’t and what had changed.
Social media, like any marketing, is a relationship building platform that allows your friends or followers to learn and know more about who you are and what you are doing. This is the same as traditional marketing, that gave touchpoints of information to potential clients on who you are and what you are doing in your business (like having a sale). One of the most used marketing channels in business is networking and one of the most structured networking is BNI, a referral-marketing focused, for-profit organization.
I was in BNI for the first 5 years of my business and was always stunned when people thought that somehow I was going to refer them the minute they joined the chapter. Referrals, like sales, come with a relationship of trust. As a member they were required to show up every week, make time outside the meetings to build stronger relationships with the other members, and work on building trust (usually by volunteering). But they didn’t understand that the time it took to make this kind of connection was mandatory for building the valuable relationship they were hoping for.
Social media is the same, it requires a commitment to show up consistently, make time outside your standard post to build stronger relationships (be personally online and not just with bots) and be seen as “standing for something” (maybe on video, sharing other people’s stories and events, or actually getting out to connect IRL).
Consistency applies across the board for building a business. Where and when can people find you? If you have a physical location this is easier as your hours would be posted on your store and published on Google. If you do not have a physical location the where and when are difficult and can be frustrating for potential clients. Do you answer email within a few hours or do you have a published phone number? Are you available on messenger or do you monitor specific hashtags online to respond to requests?
Whatever you do, be consistent at it. I started doing videos on Facebook and then got lazy about the time and day I would put out my information. Initially, I was getting great connections, likes, and new followers and then I found my interaction online dropped because I was not showing up regularly. Don’t do what I did, commit to something that you know works and use it to build great relationships so you can eventually help those that need what you are selling.
If you want to fail at your business then stop showing up, stop being consistent, stop doing things that make people trust you – Of course you are not going to do that! Now that this mistake is top of mind, spend a little time to evaluate where you might be making this mistake and then go and make your marketing better.