Social media is a gold mine for product and service sales. Or so you’ve heard.
All the marketing experts and statistics are spouting the same thing, just look at this one:
“43% of all social media users have purchased a product after sharing or favourite it—and that includes hiring a creative professional” — Vision Critical, 2013
But for many brands and businesses, the whole idea of ‘social selling’ has failed to live up to anything like the hype.
The thing is though, this isn’t because they experts and stats are wrong. Rather, it’s because social selling, unlike say selling through an online shop, is more of an art than a skill. And as such, it takes a particular way of thinking and certain nuanced approach to get right.
In this article, we’ve put together three social media secrets to help you master the art of social selling and discover the real gold that’s hidden beneath the rough.
1. Don’t Make it All About You
Look at your last ten posts and ask, how many of them were chosen due to yours or your team’s preferences, how many were about your business, and how many were simply talking from a personal or individual perspective?
It’s easy to fall into this habit as this is what much of social media has turned out to be — mindless and self-obsessed dribble. To counteract this customer-alienating approach, then, you need to put yourself last and well and truly get into the shoes of your audience.
Experts say that for every post about yourself, there should be three posts of curated or audience-generated content. This can include anything — user reviews, news stories, etc., — as long as it stays relevant and brings value to your audience.
2. The Art of Timing
Talk to business owners and their experiences with social media range from devastating to incredible. This is because one of the biggest social media secrets is that it’s not mostly about posting, but timing.
It’s like if you were to set up a stall in a department store. If you decided to open it when the sun was out or everyone was working or in bed, then you’d think it was an utter failure. But open it at the times when the footfall is highest, and you’d think it was a huge success.
For Twitter, those peak times are 12-3pm. Facebook posts tend to do best between 6-9pm Wednesday through Sunday. And on Instagram, well, Instagrammers are engaged pretty much all the time so you make the choice.
3. Find Your Voice
Digital marketing and social media trends come and go every few months, and whereas you should stay highly adaptive, it’s important to find and stick to your own unique voice.
This is much harder than it sounds, particularly as most brands copy what seems to be working best and piggy back on other people’s styles instead of forming their own. One thing that can help you find your voice is listing the values of your brand and drawing up your own voice documentation.
Brand voice guidelines will help you come across more like a human and differentiate your ‘voice’ — your characteristics, values, and behaviours — from ‘tones’ — your emotions, moods, and styles that change in accordance with the situation.