For many smaller businesses that are looking to promote their products and services, the internet is awash with articles and helpful blogs that provide advice about how to make money and generate sales from your social media growth.
After reading 5 or 6 articles on different sites that offer ‘expert’ help and information it is clear that many of them focus on the same points, which often are not useful for small or new social media account owners that are starting from scratch.
Many of them roll out the same tired and repetitive advice –
- Build your audience
- Connect with like-minded people
- Offer value to engage users
- Think about paid ads
- Tactfully promote your services
Reading the same articles over and over again that contain the same advice just isn’t helpful, and after a while can cause the reader to roll their eyes and move along.
While the points mentioned are good advice, the reality for a lot of small users that are just starting out is that social media promotion is a long game.
A VERY long game!
Building an audience across multiple social channels takes time, effort, and in many cases, it can seem like forever before getting any traction that leads to actual social media growth.
Smaller businesses are in the unfortunate position of competing with many well established, and sometimes well funded, social media accounts.
Of course, there are always those that hit their niche perfectly and take off without a second glance backwards, building a huge following overnight, but that is not the case for many of us.
Building a presence on social media takes time, and while it can be a valuable way to connect with your audience, it won’t happen overnight.
So what can you do?
Forget the numbers
If you are just starting your promotional efforts, forget the numbers.
Even though seeing accounts with thousands of followers may make you dribble enviously, your focus should be on conversions!
Or in simple terms the number of sales or clients you get.
A large number of followers can look great, but wouldn’t you rather have a steady flow of paying customers? Course you would!
Take a human angle
There is an old saying that “people buy from people”, and even in the digital world that still holds true.
Many successful business owners have converted social media users into clients by simply having a direct conversation with them.
Look out for comments or requests from people seeking your services and connect with them directly. That doesn’t mean bombarding them with direct messages, but just see if you can start a conversation.
It won’t always work, but sometimes it does.
Prospect for sales in groups
Groups are great for making direct connections and promoting social media growth, Facebook groups offer a huge selection of different groups to join.
Find 2 or 3 good ones in your niche and participate.
Similar to the previous comment this is a perfect way to make those human connections.
Check regularly and look for comments from people that could use your services and talents.
After the last few years of disconnection and conversations being held over messaging or social media services, people are rediscovering the fact that they like interacting with people in real-time.
This is evidenced by the explosive growth of audio chat apps like Clubhouse. Many other social platforms have quickly jumped on the bandwagon and added their own audio features.
Use them to have real interactions with potential clients and make valuable connections with future contacts.
Don’t get frustrated
Again, this is a long game and being persistent and consistent will help you to yield the best results.
Make sure you participate in your groups or audio chats regularly and soon you will begin to see results.
It is easy to feel like every comment or post falls into a void, but dedicating just a few minutes a day can generate positive results.
Unless you are striving to make your living as an influencer, your number of followers can often simply be a ‘vanity metric’ when compared to how many clients or sales you are generating.
Following these tips should help you to let go of some of the pressures associated with trying to get your company name out over social media.
Remember to assess the effectiveness of your social media efforts against leads, conversions, and sales volume rather than the number of followers.