So what’s the difference?
Well, it’s pretty simple. When you choose to ‘promote’ something within your business, you’re doing it in the hope customers will buy from you. This can work in some cases but can often be a rather boring and uninspiring way to communicate with your target market.
As you might already know, I’m a big fan of relationship marketing. In my role as Virtual Assistant, I’ve helped multiple businesses develop successful social media strategies using ‘engagement’ as a primary tool.
It’s a pretty simple thing to do, once you get accustomed to the basics. I’m a big believer in two-way communication with your target audience. For example, over the years I’ve been lucky enough to work with a diverse range of people via my Twitter network – simply through practicing the art of ‘engagement’ and the mutual ‘sharing’ of information. I rarely use it as a platform for direct selling but rather to remind connections of what I offer. I like to think of it as ‘planting a seed!’
In fact, I know how easy it is to blow your own trumpet but I highly recommend you don’t do it too often. And, I mean that in the nicest possible way.
Yes, social media can be a great way to promote your brand but it’s not really the ideal way to generate positive brand recognition or even get people to like your product. These days, social media is more about interactive engagement, asking questions, sharing bits and bobs with your audience and generally just being helpful.
If you’re not currently doing this, there’s a good chance your social media strategy will be a complete waste of time and not be truly effective in the long term.
I often encourage business owners to step into a different ‘social media’ mindset. Rather than using it to attract lots of ‘likes’ and ‘followers’, get into the habit of sharing great content that your audience can relate to. This could be in the form of an article that may be of interest to them, blogging about a topic that will help solve a problem or simply sharing something humorous.
If you do this consistently, it will be enough to be recognised as a leader in your field. In fact, not only will you be the go-to person, you’ll remain memorable and ultimately inspire your connections to buy from you.
Spending less time promoting and more time engaging is a surefire way to develop real rapport, trust and credibility with your customers. If you remember to ask the right questions, initiate conversations and reply to fans in real time, there’s no limit to what your business can achieve through social media.
Now off you go and start engaging! 🙂