A few months ago a fellow entrepreneur and dear friend of mine brought up a very common struggle when it comes to social media marketing. She said to me: "I cannot figure out why no one is liking my company's Facebook page or following our Twitter account. I'm blogging, putting up pictures, saying please, begging friends and NOTHING.... I'm fed up! I'm at the point of just cursing people out at this point. I feel like I've been so patient but it's just not working. What am I doing wrong?" I get this question literally all the time.... Why does nobody like me?
Let's get something straight - it's not that people don't like you. Or that you have a poor quality product or service. It call comes down to one very simple, undeniable fact: People hate being sold to. Everybody wants to buy things, but nobody wants to know that advertising is working on them. They don't want to feel like a sucker.
The difference between flailing your arms like an attention whore and people really believing they want/need your products can be explained by the concepts of push and pull marketing.
Push marketing is when you are forcing your content into the face of your target audience. We've all seen those commercials on TV where the product name and phone number is repeated a thousand times. Or how about those God-awful tweets in ALL CAPS? How many times have those techniques worked on you? Yeah, me neither.
Consumers often regard push marketing as spam and ignore it, pushing it to the back of their minds as "annoying" or "too aggressive." They might remember your product/brand name, but they are instantly put off by that kind of I'MA GIT ALL UP IN YO BIZNAZ tactic.
In contrast, pull marketing is when people are actively searching for content and organically stumbling across your products and services. This happens when they are reading their favorite blogs, searching the web, exploring specific hashtags, or just hearing a lot of buzz about you from industry peers and leaders. The concept behind pull marketing is to strategically place your product in the right places with the right keywords. If you're doing and saying the right things, the right people WILL find you.
Pull marketing is more subtle than push marketing and, when done correctly, brings in the sales without the buyer even realizing that they've fallen prey to a carefully executed strategy. It's like tapping into your ideal customer's subconscious.
Some helpful tips:
For pull marketing to work, the first thing you need is lots and lots of time. A lot of groundwork needs to be laid, research needs to be done, relationships need to be built, copy needs to be written, social media presences need to be established, and a strategy must be carefully crafted and implemented. You need to allow for enough time for concepts to marinade before opinions can be cemented.
The next step is to figure out who your niche audience is. Why? Because you cannot create customer-specific content without knowing who your ideal customer is! We're not trying to bombard the masses with generic information. We want to find the right people so that we can grab their attention and KEEP IT.
Once you've identified your customer, you can create an editorial calendar. By planning out your posts ahead of time, you ensure that you are consistently reminding people of what's to come. Little pop-ups in their news feed, Twitter feed, or inbox will have them thinking and talking about you on a regular basis.
This also helps build anticipation and excitement over your product release. You want to continuously draw followers in by releasing new tidbits of information every day. Teasing out the release is always a great way to keep them coming back for more. It's like marketing foreplay.
When your strategy is finalized and your editorial calendar is prepped, it's time to rally the troops! You can't implement a social strategy without the social aspect, so make sure that EVERYONE you know is on board! That includes your mom, your colleagues, your friends, your high school babysitter, that one weird aunt that lives in Iceland, and especially industry leaders you admire.
Ask your tribe to help build awareness by giving them everything they need. Write out tweetables, pre-drafted emails, press releases, short descriptions, and more! If you make it stupid easy for people to share your content, they are 100 times more likely to do it. Create vivid flyers and banners to post on your Facebook page and ask your trusty team to simply click that 'Share' button. Reach out in advance and give your tribe ample time to squeeze you into their editorial calendars. Don't ask them the day before your launch - have a little more foresight than that!
No matter what platform you choose to use, just remember this ultimate goal of social media marketing: To bring your customers into the conversation and organically build positive awareness of your amazing brand/product/service. As long as you keep that in mind, it's pretty hard to alienate friends and lose fans.
Pulling my peeps in, xx Nikbear