The #1 Mistake Businesses Make on Social Media
If there’s one thing that hurts my brain to watch, it’s people doing this one thing on social media. More specifically than “people,” I mean people who are trying to grow a business or get clients on social media. This pitfall is SO common and so often ignored, but easily fixed and can change everything.
It’s an overarching problem throughout the way people use Facebook groups, hashtags on Instagram, and even the way people network in real life. It’s hard to synthesize in one sentence, but here goes nothing.
The problem is:
Attracting other people who do what you do, instead of attracting potential customers.
Fitness instructors on Instagram are just getting followers of other Fitness instructors (who don’t need their services). Life Coaches join Facebook groups full of other life coaches, and then wonder why no one is signing up for their programs. SEO companies on Twitter are getting tons of new followers… of other people who do SEO services.
And in all of these scenarios, none of these people are growing their business on social media because they aren’t attracting their actual customers.
The really sad part is, businesses on social might be putting out great content and investing tons of valuable time into growing their accounts. They may even end up with tons of followers, some of whom engage with their content… but none of whom actually buy. The result is that more and more business owners or self-employed people are concluding that “social is not a good investment.”
… because they end up with followers, not customers.
Followers who won’t purchase a product or service; are less likely to refer you to their network; won’t opt-in to your email list… you get the picture. It’s a bummer.
The good news, there’s a better way to approach social. When you fundamentally change the way you think about your efforts, you can start getting a bigger return on your time investment. This might not mean you’ll get tons of followers—but you’ll get more customers and potential customers who will support your brand.
Personally, I’d rather have 100 followers who are highly engaged and likely to purchase, than thousands of people who don’t care about my business.
How to use social media to get IRL leads and customers, grow your business, and stop wasting time.
Before you do anything, you need to research your ideal customer.
You need to know:
- Who are they exactly?
- What social platforms are they spending the most time on?
- Instagram? Twitter? Facebook? Pinterest?
- What life events might make them your ideal customer?
- Recently married/divorced
- Had a child, graduated college
- Started a business
- Quit their job
- New job
- Moved cities
- What pain points do they have (that you can solve)?
It’s only once you have the above information that you can use social media to effectively find leads and customers. You can start researching what types of hashtags those people use on Instagram, what groups they might be in on Facebook, what Facebook interests they have so you can target them better in ads, and get clearer overall on how to reach them.
For example, a life coach could stop joining Facebook groups of other entrepreneurs and online business owners (because those groups are probably full of other life coaches). Instead, they could join a group for women who are recently divorced, a job-hunting or career development group in a certain niche, or whatever other life event would trigger a need for their services.
A photographer, as another example, will not book a ton of clients in groups of other photographers… but if they’re offering graduation photos, they’ll have more luck in groups of college students.
The clearer you are on who you’re talking to, the better you are at creating a social media strategy that works.