If I added up all the hours I’ve spent on creating social media content for Pepper Street Social, it’d equate to a fairly significant portion of my life, in all honesty. Is it necessary? Yes. Have I enjoyed it? Absolutely. Has it made a difference? You bet. But I’ve also had to learn some hard truths about social media and using it as an effective business marketing tool.
The truth is that I have spent whole days, strings of days in fact, creating content that’s thoughtful, on-brand and engaging. I’ve researched topics, written long, value-packed blogs, created killer images to match, posted good copy, laboured over graphics to get them just right, and at the end of the day, felt good that I’d done my job.
Now here’s where it might get a little confusing because I am a social media manager, so that IS my job, right? Wrong, actually.
For me, just like for you, social media is a tool I use to market my own business and clients’ businesses. It’s part of what I do, but it’s still not the purpose of my job. My job is to help clients build brand awareness, connect with their target market and make more sales … and social media is the primary tool I use to do that. Your job is selling what you sell - your coaching or consulting services, or the products you make - jewelry, cakes, accessories, coffee etc. Our jobs are to make stuff and sell it, and so, if our efforts on social media don’t contribute to that, then it’s not part of our job, it’s just a social media hobby.
Take these Facebook stats for example:
Pretty good, hey. Impressive? Maybe. But they’re not sales … and unless they contribute to sales, it’s tricky to figure out how relevant they really are.
Now I’m not talking about some formula where you divide your reach by engagement and then multiply it by the square root of your sales … I made that up, so don’t try it at home, ok? I’m just making a point. When you approach your social media with your focus on sales clear in your mind, the stats start to mean something.
These stats for example, are from the Pepper Street Social Facebook page and coincide with my posts this week about the group coaching programme. So now these numbers aren’t just nice because they’re heading up, they’re telling me something about people’s reaction to something I sell, something that’s directly connected to revenue.
There are two main reasons I’m saying this;
One: because most people don’t like to sell and push back on selling on social media. But there’s selling and then there’s selling.
When I say ‘sell’ & focus on ‘selling’, are you feeling all icky, imagining big red BUY NOW buttons, spammy Instagram accounts, and obnoxious web pop-ups? Thought so. But selling is about awareness, value and service and the process is a relationship building journey based on trust. Sound better? You bet.
When you think about it like that, selling is actually a pretty beautiful thing. It’s about allowing people to become aware of you, understand what you do, like what you do and trust you enough to buy from you. What you sell has value so you’re providing a service in letting people know about it and telling them how they can buy it, all the while, understanding that this takes time.
And two: because when you focus on what you sell, which is your job after all (as opposed to your social media hobby), your content is better and your business benefits.
Focused content is easier to produce and it serves a defined purpose for both your business and your customers. That means you can achieve real outcomes and actually sell something, which is your job.
So don’t just faff around on social media - that’s not your job. Selling your stuff is, so be clear about why you’re posting and use social media to sell it. That doesn’t mean shouting ‘BUY NOW’ in every post, but it does mean staying focused enough to let people know what they need to know and feel what they need to feel to like and trust you enough to eventually buy something from you. Find your own way of doing this and tell your own story. Selling is not separate to marketing - it’s an important part of it, so the way you sell, is all part of your brand and your relationship with your customers.
Selling without selling, which is still selling, but just in a way that both you and your customers feel good about, is something that stumps the best of us until we practice it enough to feel comfortable with it. A big part of it is branding though. When you’re clear about your brand story and the mission you’re on to provide value, it becomes a lot easier to sell in a way that feels authentic and nurtures relationships.
This is something I dedicate whole months to help clients with in my one-on-one coaching programme and it’s also a big focus in the group coaching programme. It really helps to have someone outside of your business to take a look and help you get clear on your brand messaging and how that translates into sales. If you’re interested in working with me either for group of one-on-one coaching, fill in your details here, and I’ll email you.
As always, thanks for reading. Comment below, or ask a question - I’d love to hear from you, or if you’d prefer, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great day,