Social Media is a way to market to consumers. It’s a way to let them know what you want to sell them, to make sure they are aware of the latest song, t-shirt, concert, or product.
That’s the number one misconception that I find when hearing people describe how they use social media. They see it as an opportunity to sell products, and while it is, that’s not the main goal of using social media. When a brand sees the main purpose of social media as sales, they won’t be able to properly focus on the details that lead to sales.
Let’s back it up for a second and look at social media sites for a moment. In this example, let’s use our friend Facebook. You log onto your account and you are scrolling through the newsfeed, the entire time, on the right side you are seeing ads from companies, every few posts you are seeing ads from companies, and the reality is probably 25% of the posts you see are ads. What do you quickly grow to dislike? ADS! No one wants to constantly be “sold” to, rather they interact with products and brands because they actually enjoy them or are intrigued by them. As marketers, our job is to keep that interest or passion for a product and to build on it.
How are we able to do that? We focus on methods that not only sell to consumers, but engage them. Ultimately, if we can get a consumer to engage with your brand by liking, commenting, or sharing, aren’t we technically selling anyways? It’s more indirect, but it works. If a consumer cares about the content that you put out and they interact with it, the next time they are looking for a need that your product fills, they will think of you – especially if they are interacting on a regular basis.
So, yes, social media is about marketing. It is about selling. It is about making consumers aware of offers from companies.
BUT it is not about cramming it down their throats. It is not about being a infomercial. It is not about constant promotion.
It’s about creating content that people find interesting. It’s about interacting – having a two way conversation with consumers. It’s about listening more than speaking.
So, are you ready to listen or are you going to keep screaming at consumers? In the end, a consumer just wants to be heard. Will you hear them or will someone else?