4 Steps to Grow your Business with Social Media

Here are six very important words for you to remember: SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT ABOUT YOU!

What do I mean by that?

Social media is not about you. It’s about others. It’s about your customers. It’s about everyone but you.

Many think of social media as a one-way broadcast medium, but that’s far from the truth. We have to stop thinking that way and start thinking of it as a way to inject ourselves into conversations, monitor our brands, and to actually care about our customers.

If you’re trying to grow your business, whether it’s a restaurant or a book your promoting, you know social media is a key aspect in growing. If you don’t know this, we need to talk as soon as you finish reading this post.

Every person can use social media to grow their business by following these four recommendations:

1. GIVE MORE THAN YOU ASK

In his book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World, Gary Vaynerchuk uses this principle to explain why giving more than asking is key. He uses boxing as the perfect metaphor to paint the picture.

You have to give, give, give, then make the ask. 

For example, say you’re a gourmet olive oil company. You don’t want to post four products in a row, yelling, “Look at me. Buy my stuff. Buy my stuff.” Instead, try this:

  • Share a recipe with one of your items in it. (Give)
  • Post a picture of a tap dancing cat, especially if you’re on Facebook, because Facebook loves cats. Get your customers involved by suggesting they caption the picture. (Give – You showed the customer you were interested in what they had to say)
  • Provide an article on four ways you can use olive oil as a household cleaner. (Give)
  • Post a link to your weekend sale and invite your fans to check out the details. (Ask)

You weren’t pushy. You provided value, which benefited your customers, then you made the ask, and earned respect.

2. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS

People want to know you care – not that you’re just trying to sell them something. Social networking is just that, networking. You don’t build trust with others without first building a relationship with them.

No, you don’t have to be “dinner and a movie” friends, but you get the point.

A few years ago we were providing social media marketing for a niche restaurant in Branson, MO. Using the hashtag #Branson on Twitter, I (Sundi Jo) found some intriguing conversations happening. As I perused through the comments, I learned a woman was planning a vacation for she and some women who visit Branson yearly.

I replied to her, but instead of saying, “Hey.. check out this restaurant and join us for dinner,” I made conversation. I learned what her favorite things to do were. I learned how long she was staying, why she enjoyed Branson, etc. After some great conversation, I invited her to enjoy a great meal at the restaurant with her girlfriends. She was excited and immediately made a reservation for a large group.

She and her friends visited, tweeted about the restaurant experience, and even blogged about it. Why? Because I built a relationship with her, treating her as a person, not a dollar sign.

3. MAKE YOUR CUSTOMER THE HERO

When you make yourself the hero, you miss out on making the customer feel like they’re part of the equation.

Here’s a great example:

Maybe you own a gym. You provide classes, as well as personal training. An overweight woman comes to you seeking help. She just doesn’t seem to have the energy to workout anymore. She’s married, raising two kids, working a full-time job, and the thought of being emotionally present after she gets home from work and cooks dinner is just too much. She feels like she’s letting her family down, and herself.

Two months later, after meeting with you twice a week for personal training, as well as partaking in the group classes, she has more energy than she’s had in years. She’s finding time to take care of herself so that she can take care of her family. She spends the weekends hiking and biking, and she’s enjoying working in the garden again.

Her family notices. They have their mom back. Her husband has his wife back. Life is good. But you’re not the hero of the story. Your client is. She’s the hero because she’s saved her family.

Use social media as a way to portray that. Interview her. Share her transparency and hero story with others. People want to see that. If they know they too can be a hero, why wouldn’t they want to join your gym?

4. ADVERTISE THE RIGHT WAY

There are tons of social advertising opportunities. That’s an entirely different blog post, but I do want to debunk the myth that it doesn’t work. Let’s focus on Facebook advertising for a moment. It’s my favorite!

Advertising works, if you do it the right way. 

Within Facebook, you have the opportunity to target your audience to exactly what you’re looking for, and you can do it on a minimal budget.

We recently ran an ad for a company to get more Facebook likes based on the audience they wanted. We targeted their audience to women, ages 21-55, within a 50 mile radius, who had specific interests, and liked the customers competitors.

We worked within a $50 budget and received 70 Facebook likes in a month. That was a successful campaign, reaching an audience that was actually interested in the clients’ business.

Social media works if you use it the right way, but you have to use it. You can’t create a Facebook page or Twitter account and expect people to flock to you. You have to do the work, but you have to do it in a way that attracts customers, not push them away.

I encourage you to evaluate how well you’re applying these four recommendations to your online marketing, then let us know how we can help.

DISCLOSURE: I am an affiliate for some products that I recommend. If you purchase those items through my links I may earn a commission.