When we talk about social media marketing to most business owners, what readily comes to mind is the ability to sell products or services to many clients.

Over the years, many business owners have struggled to make this conversion, and many have thrown in the towel, or worse, given up drawing the conclusion that it doesn’t work.

The fact still remains that social media continues to be a great place to display your brand and interact with your prospects. The process of achieving this goal should be seen as a marathon and not a sprint.

Here are a few ideas to help business owners begin the process of having social media marketing success as you open your doors again to customers.

Are you where they are?

Most business owners don’t know their customers personally in order to determine which social media platform will be the best place to find them. One size does not fit all. Most teenagers do not have Facebook accounts, meaning if you have a driving school business the best place to engage with teens will be on Snapchat or TikTok in addition to Facebook.

Stop selling

Most consumers don’t want to be sold to, they want to buy, meaning they want all the information and assurance they need so they can make up their mind at some point in their decision journey.

It’s usually the opposite of what small business owners do on social media. Every post they put out screams “buy from me”, and prospects are asking, “why should I buy from you when I don’t know you or what you sell or how you can help me”.

Investing time to develop content in the form of blogs, and video to help prospects learn about how your band can help them solve their problems always wins. To do this effectively, posting about once four to five days a week on social media is a good place to start.

Let your prospects stay

There is the mindset that every post should be pitching a sale. We tend to post links which take prospects away from our social media to our website. Let that be just 20% of the time. Rather, focus on posts that promote interactions. With this approach, Facebook over time will reward you when the time comes to run a paid campaign. Facebook will show your ads to more people because your post keeps your followers on Facebook.

What about the Tube?

YouTube remains a huge opportunity for business owners to advertise and increase conversion but very few do so. Ads on YouTube are served to prospects based on their intent. Therefore, if I search for a video on cars not only will I see ads on cars but will also see ads on car insurance. The icing on the cake is you don’t pay for the ad until it’s clicked and if you communicate your message within 5 seconds before the skip button is activated you get your message through. In addition, the visual appeal YouTube offers make the impression stronger and your prospects will remember you when it’s time to buy.

Keep it simple

When posting content on your social media page, keep it simple and relevant. Using an image of a person smiling or a pet always forms an emotional connection. Do your best not to add text on top of the image if possible, otherwise Facebook will rank your ad low.

Don’t ask don’t tell

Don’t ask for clicks, shares or ask guest to buy. This reduces your Facebook ranking; the goal is to engage with your guest most of the time. Asking followers to post an emoji describing how they feel being home for the past two months is a good place to start.

Post relevant content

Content which triggers an emotional response are the best. My best approach is to have your post reflect what is happening in our world and how it relates to your brand. So if it’s spring and you sell airline tickets, give your fellows ideas on how to plan their next trip or even better give them Ideas of places to visit. You can always provide steps on how to solve a problem.

Say something

As your followers begin to respond, interact with them by saying thanks to their comments, agree with them on what they said or even use your response to correct a wrong view of your brand and show how you’ve help other guests.

Our customers are going to demand more from us so let’s communicate with them by not only telling them our business is safe for them to come back, but also showing them pictures of our store-front or office with the safety measures and changes they should expect when they visit so they will feel safe.

Akawsi Oppong is an expert in Social Media and a certified SCORE Mid-Maryland mentor

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