Social media is an awesome tool and has made life easier in many ways.
Never before in history has it been so easy to connect with almost anyone anywhere in the world. However, social media is a double edged sword and can also hurt you and your business if you use it the wrong way. Used correctly, social media can help you elevate your brand and increase your business revenue. On the other hand, used improperly it can become an act of “busyness” instead of doing “business” and will leave you with an empty bank account.
Here are some common mistakes that many make with social media.
Mistake: Not being active on social media. There are still some who are afraid of exposing themselves on social media. It’s time to get on with the show! Social media is here to stay and is an excellent way to grow your business.
Social media can be just like meeting people in everyday life. You’re doing that already. You can connect with someone at Starbucks having your morning coffee, or at a business meet up or mixer, at the gym, etc. And get to know that person.
On social media you can do something similar: Read over someone’s profile and message them, “how’s it going today? I was reading your profile and am curious, what is your primary business focus?” And so on…
Or you can make a comment: I see you are in xyz business. I’d like to know more about what you do. Which leads us to the next mistake.
Mistake: Treating social media as something different than meeting people in real life.
The good news is that social media is not something different. There are no new rules nor etiquette that you have to learn! Social media is just another way to meet people.
There is only one rule to remember, if you won’t do it offline, then don’t do it online. What I mean by that is, would you walk into a party and without getting to know someone you just met, begin immediately to start pitching your product? “Looks like you are about 30 pounds overweight. I have a great weight loss product that’ll solve that problem” Where do you think that would get you…maybe a slap in the face…or “REALLY!” and a lost contact. Of course you wouldn’t ever consider doing that. So don’t do it online either.
Get to know people first. If you ask what they do, they ask what you do. That’s just common courtesy
Mistake: Focusing on too many social media channels
You have limited time and there is no way you can stay active and do well on all social media channels (such as Facebook, twitter, Linkedin, Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram, etc.) unless you have the budget to hire a social media manager to assist you.
When you set an unrealistic goal to be active on all social media channels, what ends up happening is you do a poor job on all of them and that ends up hurting you. It’s like starting 10 businesses all at once instead of focusing on one. The same with social media. It’s better to focus on just 2 or 3 depending on your business model.
Mistake: Trying to sell your product or opportunity (if you are a network marketer) immediately…by posting and hoping someone will respond.
Every day I see network marketers making huge mistakes on Facebook, twitter, Linkedin, pitching, pitching and pitching their business or product to people who don’t care and are not interested. All this achieves is having people block, delete or ignore you.
There are some exceptions. You might be able to post something like, “I’m looking for 10 people to try my new weight loss product. Pm me for a free sample.” But in general, you wouldn’t walk into a party and start selling immediately, you also shouldn’t do that on social media. You have to provide value and get to know people first before you start asking them to buy or join you in business.
I see it all the time. People “posting” and “hoping” someone will respond to their post of “the world’s greatest product” or “the best opportunity ever” without ever establishing that a person has a need.
The exception is a paid ad that drives people to a capture page, web site, etc.
Promoting products on your timeline is not the way to build a business on social media.
This may be controversial and goes against what you’ve been taught, but top online marketers don’t use social media to sell. They use social media to create curiosity and then when prospects become interested, then they sell them.
In the example of “need 10 people to try my new weight loss product” private message me with your phone number if you want to try a free sample. Then call them to qualify them. Ask how much weight they want to lose? Then say, how serious are you about losing the weight?
I can send you a couple packs, but here’s what I would suggest instead. So that you get the full effect, you can either purchase a 30-day supply or I’ll sell you a seven-day supply for $15. I’ll even throw in another day so you have an eight-day supply.
Of course, create your own based on the product you are promoting
If they are serious they’ll purchase one or the other. If they are just looking for a free sample, I don’t think I’d even bother to send it, or at least charge for postage.
As far as an opportunity promotion…When you post links to your web site, you kill the curiosity and people become less excited to meet and learn about your business, because they can google and learn everything on their own. Then, they make their judgment based on your post and their research, which could be inaccurate, and 99.9999999% of the time it will be a “no.”
Here’s the key: use social media as it was meant to be used, to build relationships and create curiosity. It’s relationships that will grow your business online or offline. It is curiosity that gets them to respond.
Get proper social media training if needed so you know how to do this right, otherwise you are just wasting your time, while irritating the people in your networks.
Mistake: You don’t provide value.
Always think about how to help your audience and give value.
You get people’s attention when you help them.
Here are a couple simple ways to provide value on social media:
- Sharing knowledge. If you are selling weight loss, perhaps posting weight loss tips. Do that with any product. Doesn’t even have to be your tip. It can be something you read somewhere else.
- Sharing interesting personal info. Maybe you’ve lost weight on a product so you post a before and after but don’t mention the product. If someone is interested, they’ll ask you how you did it. Curiosity will get them to respond.
Mistake: Not engaging
Again, social media is just like attending social events offline. Just like you don’t walk into a networking meet up and talk to no one. You try to meet people and get to know them, what they do, their needs and desires, etc. You have to engage with your audience on social media in the same way if you want results.
Never think “what can I get” from this contact online or offline. Instead always be thinking “what can I do to help this person.”
That means you have to like, listen, comment and communicate with others.
You are trying to find out three things: 1. Do they have a pain or problem? 2. Do they want to solve it? 3. Can you solve it. It’s called qualifying.
Yes. It takes time but you have to do it, otherwise you’ll just be like the person who walks into a party and stares at everyone and leaves without ever making a connection.
Or the one that is always trying to sell you something and no one wants to talk to him.
Most importantly, if you don’t engage with those in your network, you are telling your social connections that you have no interest in them, or their needs. In other words, you are conveying the message “you don’t really matter to me” I just want to sell you something. And if they don’t matter to you, you will be decreasing the number of people who even care about what you have to say. You will eventually become irrelevant to them and they’ll eventually unfriend you.
Mistake: posting things that are not consistent with what you represent. Some forget that everyone is always watching what you do. They post things that are inconsistent with their business.
An example is I saw a distributor in a health wellness company that posted pictures of him eating fried chicken wings, French fries and a coke! I’m not saying he shouldn’t be eating them, but if you do, you shouldn’t be posting about it if you are in the health business and using social media to promote your business!
A few family posts now and then are good. It lets people know that you are real and care about family values.
Look at it this way. Every post either adds value or decreases it.
Think before you post. Do you see Tony Robbins posting politics or what he had for breakfast?
If you want to be perceived as an expert in your field, post only stuff that makes you look like an expert, with that occasional family or personal post.
Mistake: Not showing commitment to your business.
Especially in the network marketing business I see so many just posting and hoping someone will respond? And when they don’t, you blame the business?
What is your main vision? What do you want to accomplish? Are you fully committed as an entrepreneur or just giving it a try? Are you a real entrepreneur? Do you have the mental toughness to stick with it until you get it right and get the job done?
I see this frequently. I see people claim they are serious about building a successful business, but then on Facebook they invite me to play these dumb game like candy crush saga or posts about his high scores on game of thrones, or something like that.
Sorry but the last time I checked, serious entrepreneurs are not wasting their time playing video games!
Bottom line: if you want to be taken serious, make sure your posts are consistent with the image you want to create.
People see and feel your commitment. They feel what you feel online and off.
Mistake: Lack of consistency in posts.
When you are not consistent, people start doubting your commitment and vision. You have to make it a habit to post on a regular basis. This is another reason why you should focus only on a few social media channels. It’s better to post consistently on one channel than being on every social media but with no consistency.
Mistake: No personal content.
People are interested in what you have to say, not always what others have to say.
People in general are not interested in what you had for breakfast.
Many of my most popular posts are the ones that have my kids or grand kids in them.
However, don’t post them too often but on occasion works. If you just share business stuff without weaving some personal, people will start ignoring you and you become irrelevant. Always that fine line.
Mistake: Not having a time budget for social media.
Social media can hurt your business if you let yourself get carried away with the amount of time you spend on it. There are endless things to read and things to comment on and you can easily spend too much time and find yourself not doing the money making activities that builds your business. To prevent from falling into this trap, the best thing to do is set a time limit for social media each day. This may vary depending on your business model. If you do a lot of prospecting and engage in a lot of dialog with prospects, or you have a lot of prospects in the pipeline, you may spend more time. Just make sure it’s “business producing” and not “busyness.” In other words, make sure it is goal achieving and not just tension relieving. Just make sure you are productive in your social media activities.
Mistake: Replying back to people too quickly.
Successful people are busy and if you reply back immediately it shows lack of posture and success.
Just imagine if you emailed the president of the USA or even a top name entrepreneur, would you receive an immediate response? Most likely not! Why? They’re too busy doing important things. If you reply back to prospects immediately on social media, people will lose belief in your leadership and also your level of success. Because if you were truly successful, how would you have so much time to waste on social media?
Quick replies are also not sustainable. If you are successful, you are busy and there’s no way you can get back to people immediately. So it’s better to set the right precedent from the start and train people to wait.
Mistake: Don’t mention your product name in your post, especially, if you are prospecting for your business on social media, do not mention the name of the company or product. If you do, they’ll just go goggle it and decide without all the info.
Remember you are just trying to generate interest, not get them to buy or join at this point.
Mistake: Spending too much time on social media and not enough time in the real world. Don’t be so connected on social media that you’re not connected in real life.
I know people who have huge followings and thousands of friends online but no true friends in the real world…and that’s a sad life in my opinion. Make sure you avoid this mistake and set a time budget so that you have time to be present and spend time with your friends loved ones. Take personal time…turn off the phone and computer and go out for a walk and cherish your surroundings. Leave your phone in the office in the evening. Get time away from all electronic gadgets. You have to make that decision now or else you can be consumed by it for hours, and then not only will your business suffer but deep down you realize you’re living an empty life.
Those are some of the common mistakes that people make with social media.
Which ones do you need to work on?
I’ve discussed the most common mistakes made on social media. Now let’s discuss some strategies you can use to grow your business.
In the last few years, social marketing has created a fundamental shift in the way we do business.
Sites like Facebook, twitter, Linkedin and Instagram allow organizations to easily compete in a global market and reach out to an audience that would otherwise have been inaccessible.
Whether you’ve already been utilizing social media for your business, or if you’ve just decided to take the plunge, here are some things you absolutely must know:
Connecting. Social marketing begins with making targeted connections.
Get started by finding potential new clients that may have an interest in what you offer.
The search function on social media sites will allow you to use targeted keywords to locate the right connections for your business. Entrepreneur, network marketing, home based business, etc. Look for people with common interests that you could start a conversation with.
For example, If you like fishing, look for people that fish and start a conversation. “where’s your favorite fishing spot?” If you like classic cars, look for someone with the same interest and start a conversation
Play by the rules.
As with any other tool you use, it’s important that you understand the “do’s and don’ts” when it comes to social networking sites. Each site has different rules pertaining to how you connect with others, what you can post and how to use the site in general. Follow the rules and you can’t go wrong.
Conversing. Once you’ve found targeted connections, it’s time to start a conversation!
Show a genuine interest in their activities, retweet their posts, like and share their content or ask questions and respond to their posts. However you choose to get started, your next big step will be engaging them in conversation.
Sharing. Now it’s time to showcase your expertise by offering quality content, helpful tips and bits of information designed to show your target audience just how knowledgeable you really are! Do research if needed before responding back with quality content.
Sharing, liking and engaging in conversations alone aren’t enough. Your goal is to be so interesting that people will naturally want to interact with what you’re posting.
Try asking a question or posting something that requires a reply. “who is your favorite motivational speaker and why?” This could start a conversation. Then also make sure you’re responding to any questions that might come your way.
Listening. Social media offers a prime opportunity for you to really find out what your target audience wants. Discover their pains. Ask, what are the biggest obstacles they face in their business or life today. If you can offer them a solution to their problem, you’ll reap the rewards.
Networking. Networking is the process of developing and using contacts made in business for purposes beyond the reason of the initial contact.
When you attend a networking event, do you anticipate getting a client that night? Of course not! Well some may…but that will rarely, if ever, happen. You are there to network! Maybe you’ll make a few contacts that will later become clients.
Social marketing is no different from traditional networking. It’s a process that must be followed consistently and with a firm strategy in order to be successful.
How about your work and education section on social media? What to do?
Let’s say for an example you are in direct sales or network marketing. It may be tempting to go switch your employer information to your company name. As soon as you hit submit on your application, please trust me when I say… This is not going to help you in your business. Why? Because this eliminates curiosity. The goal is to always create curiosity and have people asking you “what do you do for a living?” Or, “how did you lose 15 pounds drinking coffee?
Again, you don’t want them googling the name of the company and making their own judgement.
Monitoring your reputation. Take precautions to keep your online reputation spotless.
Set up your google account to alert you when your name or brand comes up in an online conversation. If anything negative should arise, you can address it immediately. Google yourself on occasion.
If you’ve ever attended a networking event, then you know just how important it is to put your best foot forward. The more appealing you are to others, the better your chances of achieving your desired results.
Social marketing is no different. Showcase yourself as an expert, listen to what others have to say, be interested, be interesting, be informative and always be positive.
Follow these simple rules and your audience will happily comply when you’re ready for them to take action.
Use your personal picture as your social media profile picture. Go figure, right? It says put in your picture. It doesn’t say put your cat, your dog, or even your company logo!
When you’re using social media to grow your business, people want to get to know YOU, not you dog or cat. They want to see your smiling face. And use a professional quality photo, not some selfie.
Stop selling & start story-telling
People don’t go to social media to be sold, they’re there to be social. If you’re doing any kind of business on social media or you want to, for the love of everything social, please, please stop selling and start telling stories. People want to live a fun and free life – and that’s what we’re selling. So when you’re using social media to grow your business, give people something good to watch or read.
On occasion, post some family pictures, lifestyle pictures, post about you traveling and fun things you’re doing. This helps your audience to grow to know, like, and trust you.
On social media, reach out to 1-5 people each day and send them a message that makes them feel good. You can leave them a nice comment that genuinely makes them feel good. This is not the time to share any call to action or business links. This is only a message to compliment or leave them feeling really good. (commit to doing this for 30 days, heck – let’s do a year!) What this does over time, is it creates a community of people that think you’re awesome.
And if you have a ton of people who are following you and think you rock, the more people that will be interested in what it is you’re doing.
I know you’re probably asking yourself if you aren’t posting specifically about your business or products, how do you get people interested in what you have? Here’s what to do –
If you’re sharing a story, testimonial, or product success story, you want to have a call to action at the end of that post. This creates curiosity and leaves your audience with value without you being salesy or pushing something on them to buy.
For example, “if you’re interested in learning more, send me a private message. I’d be happy to let you know what we are doing.”
Create a Facebook fan page!
You may or may not know, but it is against Facebook’s terms and conditions to promote any business on your personal profile. A lot of people don’t know that, but having a fan page gives you instant credibility and authority with your market and more people will take you seriously about your business.
Here are a few questions to consider as you create your strategy:
- Who is your perfect customer or ideal prospect?
- What problem do you want to help them solve?
- What is your ideal prospect interested in?
- What kind of content will you create to help solve the problem or speak to your perfect customer?
- How can you craft a variety of posts to keep your posts from becoming mundane?
- What kind of posts will you craft to engage your audience so you can begin more conversations to engage with them.
- How often will you post?
- How often will you post specifically about your business?
- Will you use your personal page or a business page to promote your business?
- How will you turn social media prospects into customers.
Social media is a platform for you to showcase your value and let people get to know you, because people do business with those they know, like and trust.
Last but not least…get on the phone with people.
You can get all the likes, shares and comments you want on Facebook. However, if you’re not getting on the phone with people and having real conversations you’re missing the point of creating curiosity and engagement.
There’s a big difference in social media marketing and internet marketing. With internet marketing you are making a sale. And social media marketing is not internet marketing.
With social media marketing you are building a relationship.
If you are just selling something online then sure, you don’t really need to have conversations with people. They either buy or they don’t.
As a social media marketer you are building relationships, and you must look at the phone as your friend and relationship builder. In fact, one of your best strategies is to connect with people local to you! Those people you can even meet with in person for coffee.
What is valuable content? Anything that inspires, educates or even entertains.
Think about this: if nobody “likes” your stuff on Facebook maybe it’s because they don’t like it, not because they don’t see it. Change your content or change your audience.
Remember, people are always watching. When they see you step it up a notch, kick up your game, upload a sharp headshot photo, they take notice. That’s exactly what you want.
Again, the goal of social media marketing is to attract attention and keep them curious. You want people sending you messages asking you what you do. Then you hop on the phone and the fun begins!