Social Media: Start Asking… Stop Selling!

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A commonly asked question among business owners is “What should I post on on my social networking platforms?”  The question has a variety of answers depending on how and why you’re using social media.  Today, however, a light bulb went on after I heard three simple words.  “Ask for business”.  So… how did this come about?

This morning I attended a workshop entitled “Creating a Social Media Plan” facilitated by Jason Kocina, President of Checkerboard Strategic Web Development, a Kocina Branding & Marketing company.  As is typical, I came away with an abundance of great information.  During this particular workshop, Jason made an interesting comment which I feel may have been lost on many of the attendees.  “Ask for business”.  He then went on to cite an example.  A lawn service company might post something like: “We have a spot open on Wednesdays at 1:00.  Know anybody who would like to fill it?”  It’s easy to take that question, modify it and apply it to your individual business or situation.

There’s a night and day difference between “asking for business” and “advertising” when it comes to using social media.  How many of you reading this article would go home after a hard day at work, grab the remote control, settle into your favorite chair and tune in to the “All Commercials! All Day! 24 x 7!” channel?  Most of us record our programming and skip through the commercials when given the opportunity.  It’s the same thing with social media.  I can assure you that the fastest way to lose fans, followers and subscribers is to do nothing but post ads, promotions, and specials.  And yet, I constantly see businesses doing this and wondering why their social media isn’t working for them!

So… what’s the difference? Simple.  “Advertising” can be viewed as intrusive.  “Asking for business” is engaging.  Your direct followers may not immediately need your products or services so ads and promotions will get lost on them… however, a well worded question will spark thought, entice people to answer, and is more likely to be shared and passed along by friends, fans and followers wanting to help.

Don’t misunderstand.  There’s nothing wrong with advertising through your social networking platforms… but if that’s all you’re doing, your efforts will be futile.  Your message will quickly fall on deaf ears.  Your fans and followers will disappear and you’ll have a long uphill battle trying to regain the ground you’ve lost.

Want to learn how to be more engaging?  Let me know and we’ll schedule a time to talk!

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