“We have been in business for over 8 years, it is now time to employ a marketing media manager full time to take charge of our social media, from everything involved in increasing our sales to our presence in Australia.”
– business owner, CEO.
If you’re an experienced marketer worth your salt, you’ll get why this is laughable.
You know, and I know, that this business owner wants to hire a social media manager to create regular posts, and expects to generate revenue. For some reason, society and social influencers (for job security reasons) are convinced that merely ‘existing’ on social media will boost sales. If you’re a business owner who fell for this misconception, thank God you’re reading this.
While all the small business owners are hiring social media managers, the big companies are dominating with advertising. You see, in marketing we get this literally every single day.
You know the metrics I’m talking about: views, impressions, clicks, and engagements
What do they say to you? That engagements mean you’re getting popular, so you must be getting more sales somehow?
It’s the usual story.
If they’re saying this, they’re only doing it out of survival.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t entirely the social media manager’s fault. It’s also society’s fault.
It’s the fallacious expectations that business owners are taught to have. Thinking that whacking up a few posts will do the trick and make your brand more money.
A social media manager’s job is to boost and maintain presence, not increase sales. They’re essentially a branch of your customer service team, not your advertising team. Big difference.
“No, we spend money boosting posts, so it is advertising” – this is a far cry from advertising.
Boosting posts will only get you more engagements, views, and impressions.
Unless of course the post you’re boosting is strategically constructed with customer research and an irresistible offer.
Truth is, humans haven’t changed. Only the technology has changed. The way we convince someone into a sale is largely the same as 100 years ago.
The way I would sell to you face to face compared to using a billboard is completely different. One requires building rapport. The other doesn’t.
But what are businesses doing?
They’re transitioning from print and television advertising into digital advertising, thinking that the ball game is the same.
Print and newspaper advertising had one job – to cold sell you into doing something.
Social Media however is completely different.
It’s a social setting. People are going online to connect with each other, not to be sold to in an obvious way.
They expect brands to build relationships and connect just like they do, not to cold sell them.
We’re seeing a major transition from outbound marketing (cold selling) to inbound marketing online (educative, nurture-based marketing). And that’s because of social media.
You cannot expect to “build it and they will come”. It doesn’t work like that anymore. Not for your ads, or your business.
You can create an offer and blast it on your page, but people will not come. It’s equivalent to writing a newsletter and leaving it on your notice board. How is this going to reach new customers? It’s not going to. Yet that’s what small businesses are doing with social media.
So if you’re using a social media manager and you expect them to bring in ROI, stop using them. It’s doing a disservice to them (having to lie to you), and it’s doing a disservice to your business.
We live in the only time in history that you can create an ad that can target people from the other side of the planet, in a matter of minutes.
Drilling down further, you can target people’s interests, behaviours and value systems. It’s intense.
So, here’s some tangible advice on how you can make money using social media:
Step 1: Craft The Offer
If you craft the same average offer as everyone else in your industry, where’s the point of difference?
Consumers are Google-savvy. They compare three to eight competitors before they make a buying decision.
You need to stand out. Create an offer so outrageous that consumers are stupid not to take it up.
How? Do something that no one else is willing to do.
Some good examples I’ve seen to get people through the door is:
- Free 2 Week Trial at a daycare center.
- Free 49 Point Health Check with an auto mechanic
- Free 2 Sessions with a personal trainer
If you’re skeptical on the word “free”, don’t be. It’s a form of risk-reversal.
All prospects have objections. If you can break objections down fast, you’ll get the sale.
And, if you’re afraid of losing too much money doing something like this, think of your customer lifetime value.
If you get one client through the door, and they spend $1000 over six months, then that introductory offer would be a no brainer, right?
Consider it a marketing cost, and you’ll be able to sleep better at night.
We’ve used these for our clients, and 7/10 of the people who redeem the offers become paid clients.
Imagine a 70% conversion rate. That’s insane and unheard of in most industries.
And yes, you will attract freeloaders, but that’s all part of the game.
It’s about crafting an irresistible offer that eliminates your dream buyer’s objections – these are the people you need to focus on.
Step 2: Go To Your Customers
If your dream customers are men aged 32-40, interested in car racing and football, and they have a professional job, why the hell are you using Instagram?!
Think about where your customers hang out. Do they check LinkedIn every couple of days?
Are they always checking up on family and scrolling the news feed on Facebook? What about using Google to search for things?
Think about their behaviours, usage and culture. A lot of Americans use Twitter, but a lot a Australians use Facebook.
Remember, Star Bucks failed miserably in Australia because they thought Americans and Australians shared the same coffee culture.
It’s the exact same for social media platforms. They are all used by different people, different cultures, and for different reasons.
It takes some serious brainstorming to work this out before you even consider crafting an ad.
Do this first. And don’t create a social media account on a place that’s not going to bring value to your business (think the 80/20 rule).
Step 3: The Ad
Assuming you’ve nailed the first two steps, you can now create the ad.
The ad has one job – to sell the click. That’s it.
It’s not a salesperson. It shouldn’t have to cold sell.
Since your ad is designed to sell the click, you need to make it compelling.
- People love stories.
- People are emotional.
- People buy out of problems.
If you can figure out how to resonate with your audience using one of the above variables, then every ad you create will work.
How can you figure this out? Well for 2 and 3, you can run customer research.
All you have to do is ask your audience. It’s that simple.
Do the following:
- Create an audience using your mailing list and customer database.
- Then, create lookalike audiences to target people who are similar to your current customers.
- Create a survey using Survey Monkey or something else, with five short, open-ended questions.
- Create an ad asking these audiences for advice on how to improve your business (use direct response copy).
That’s it. It is really that simple.
You’ll be surprised how many responses you’ll get back when you ask people for their advice.
So there you have it. If you’re a business owner who was relying on social media before, hopefully this article has made you think twice.