We have to change the way we are using social media in 2019. Not just you, not just me, but all of us.
This ties really closely to a bunch of different ideas we have written about in the past few weeks – and we are not alone in thinking this way. We know that businesses are seeing less and less engagement with social media platforms and finding it harder and harder to engage their audience. Similarly, we know that people are spending more and more time online. We know we should be sending out more email marketing And that we should be KonMari Method-ing our communication strategy. But most importantly, the game for social media has finally changed.
Social media is many things and We are absolutely not suggesting you abandon it. It is a fantastic discovery platform – where users can have a bit of a hunt around and browse for new suppliers. It is a great way to showcase the work you are doing and show off beautiful things. What it is not is a great way to garner genuine engagement, add significant value to customers or drive people into any kind of sales funnel. And so we need to bear that in mind when we are creating content for these platforms.
Think about where your customers are when they are seeing your social media posts. Probably on a train, or first thing in the morning, or on the toilet or absent-mindedly scrolling while watching tv. Are these situations in which they are likely to make a purchase decision? Probably not. BUT the flip side of that is that this is probably the time they are searching for a new hairdresser, browsing local properties in their area or trying to find the perfect pair of jeans. But it will be a few steps before they make that purchase decision – and we need to communicate how to go about that in the right time, in the right place.
Let’s take real estate as a great example of how this might work for a brand. You have a new property listed and you want to amplify this message to your customers. It’s a great idea to post a gallery of the property on your social media platforms or update your audience on what suburbs you’re visiting that day or peripheral news in your local community. But you are unlikely to get a genuine enquiry on a property via social media through your social media presence. That enquiry will come when customers click through to the new property listing you have sent them via your EDM or through your contact form on your website. Buyers will want more information on the property, and the way to communicate that is through different amplification strategies.
Think of social media as a portfolio if you will. Show off your products or services, be discoverable – but save discounts, memberships and content for a place where people are more likely to be making a purchasing decision from. Similarly, don’t use your EDM or your website to show off every great haircut you create or your favourite coffee shop in your local community. Be personal and personable online. Share your team and your business values and interests on social media. Encourage people to engage with the emotional sides of your business on social media, and leave direct purchase push for a more appropriate place. That’s what we will be doing moving forward, and what we will be recommending to our clients.
Because now is a time for change.