Combined with a blog, the use of Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube has become the prominent online sales strategy for hundreds of thousands of online marketing hopefuls. More and more would-be marketers are flocking to these sites in an attempt to use them for all kinds of promotional purposes.
In theory, it’s easy to make money using social media sites; all you have to do is pump out links and people will click and buy, right?
Wrong. Here’s why:
The problem with the “link and click” theory is that nearly everyone putting up these kinds of links is missing the point of social media: it’s not about buying, it’s about being social. Generally, when people are using Facebook or Twitter they’re not in buying mode; they want to relax and chill out.
To make the best use of social media sites it’s essential that marketers learn how to leverage the full potential that the platforms offer. This means marketer’s MUST relegate their desire to make a sale to second place.
So, what comes first? In a word, relationships.
When we’re looking to solve a problem by buying a particular service or product, we are far more likely to buy from a person or a company that we feel we know, like, and trust. The key word there is “feel”.
Why? Because the vast majority of our non-impulse, non-essential purchases (meaning, buying things like e-books to help us lose weight, or online courses to improve our self esteem or to help us get the perfect date) these kinds of purchases are made based on emotion, NOT for reasons of logic or out of habit.
Logical or habitual purchases are things like household utilities, packs of gum, newspapers, groceries, and gasoline. They make sense (they’re logical), and we use them on a regular basis.
Emotional purchases are generally driven by a deeply felt need, pain, want, or desire. Because these kinds of purchase decisions are tied to our desire or psychological need for something better, we’re more inclined to connect with a supplier or vendor that we feel understands us and our desire for change.
The more we believe this connection is in our own best interests (because of the marketing messages we’re receiving and interpreting), the better we begin to feel about the product’s ability to solve our problem and the more we begin to feel that we know, like, and trust the vendor.
When this happens, the combination of our desire for change and the validity of the message we’re intercepting and interpreting makes the message we’re reading, seeing, or hearing all the stickier in our mind. Sticky messages ignite the desire to connect and to relate because they build rapport. The stickier these messages become, the more they deepen and strengthen the connections between buyer and seller, which in turn reinforces the relationship.
With social media, it’s possible to log onto a site and to tweet and connect all day long. But that’s a huge time sink. So what does it take to get the right people following you on social media?