HOW TO USE SOCIAL MEDIA TO GROW YOUR BUSINESS.
What is social media and why it should matter to you as a small business? How should you leverage it to grow your business? And what are the common mistakes to avoid? If you are interested in those questions, then you are in the right place.
What is social media?
Social media is a combination of two words (social), which means a group of people communicating and engaging together and (media) broadcasting Images, videos, and articles (content).
It’s a platform and shared place for different groups of people/business to highlight “content” around a specific topic that interest other people to drive a conversation about it.
Keep in mind that for social media to work, it requires “content” that feeds this platform, plus a group of people who are willing and interested to “engage” with that content.
What separates social media from other types of marketing media out there is that social media is a two-sided conversation controlled by the brand and the audience.
Instead of a one-sided conversation controlled by the advertiser while the other side has no choice but to listen.
Psychologically social media affect human behaviors in a way that increases/decreases people’s self-image (people show-off and share content they think will make them look to others as smart and cool people).
It also acts as a reward/punishment system in the human brain. If you share a picture of yourself or an article, you found to be useful and people like or comment on it, you will get excited, your brain will release dopamine.
Dopamine is a chemical in your brain that plays a role in pleasure, motivation, and learning. This reaction will cause addiction in your brain to share similar types of content –
On the other hand, if your content does not get any engagement, you might get disappointed, delete your post, and never post that kind of content – Loss/Punishment.
Why I’m telling you this? For a straightforward reason, if your brand “content” is not engaging, then it’s not going to get a lot of social engagement.
If you sell kitchen supplies, don’t expect a lot of people to share a picture of a spoon no matter how sexy your images are. There is nothing unique about them.
Unless you present your product in an engaging way such as making an exciting video about 5 weird ways to use a spoon, don’t expect things to go viral, just accept the fact that it’s not widely sharable.
It might sound like a no-brainer to most entrepreneurs, yet many people get it wrong by posting content that does not drive engagement then complain about why social media does not work for their business.
Okay, now that we are clear about what social media is, let’s dive a little bit deeper and clarify a couple of extra things.
1. Social media is not created for advertising and promotions:
People don’t sign-up for a Facebook or Instagram account because they want to see your product ads, that what marketers do, not the average person, so don’t expect people to accept or engage with your ads right away.
2. The Context of the platform defines your content:
When people are surfing across different social media platforms, they expect a specific type of content format, length, and relevancy.
YouTube differs from Facebook and Instagram; you don’t expect to watch the game of thrones on the Discovery channel.
In the morning, People might be on Facebook gasping, checking other people’s feeds, complaining, and busy in a conversation mode. Those same people might switch to
to look for inspiration or something weird and exciting visually.
In the afternoon, they might switch to YouTube for longer watching time and learning/entertainment mode, and at night they might log into LinkedIn for building relationships.
If you are advertising your beautiful earrings on LinkedIn and getting no engagement, it’s not the mistake of the platform nor your audience, it’s your mistake of not capturing your audience in the right place with the right state of mind.
Gary Vaynerchuck on Content vs. Context
How to leverage different social media platforms?
Facebook is a discovery + interest-based platform, and it’s not a search intent platform like (YouTube), which means that people would discover your content while scrolling through their feed. This makes it very powerful for you as a business owner.
You can leverage Facebook advertising to target specific groups of people with particular interests and grab their attention with boldly presented interest-based content, then drive that audience to an article, a product page on your website, or ask them to visit your local store.
The attention span for people on Facebook is short, therefore, unless it’s not a live video conversation, make sure that your content is concise, educational, entertaining, and on the point.
From my previous experience with clients' projects we discovered that Facebook works best for impulsive purchases, which means deep discount offers, or exclusive deals, Facebook is also great for selling low ticket items up to $50, or building a mailing list for a high-ticket item up to $1997.
Facebook is also great for building a community around your brand, answering questions, and providing support, it’s also great for building social proof and following around your business, which makes you look legit.
Instagram is a place where people showcase their art, everyday life events stories; Instagram is similar to Facebook; they are both discovery-based platforms, but Instagram is also a search platform, you can search by hashtags and places.
However, the age of the audience on Instagram is younger comparing to Facebook.
The difficulty with Instagram comes with the visual quality and storytelling of your content, you will be competing with a lot of pets, art, and nearly nude images, that stuff is very hard to compete with visually.
Unless your content is different and beautifully captured and not dull or visually cluttered, it would be close to impossible for the viewer’s eyes to notice and pause their thumb to look at your image while scrolling through their feed, keep in mind that if they don’t see it, then it does not exist.
You as a small business owner can leverage Instagram to create a content portfolio to showcase your brand products and link it to your online store, you can also leverage Instagram stories to create short videos communicating your brand story, culture, and upcoming promotions with your customers.
On Instagram, feel free to post behind the scene videos, and educate your audience about a specific topic around your industry.
Just keep in mind to stay consistent with a distinct brand voice, message, and style across all your social media channels.
YouTube is unlike Facebook is a search intent entertainment platform, some people use it to listen to music, others to watch documentaries, and some just use it to watch cartoons.
What matters to us as small business entrepreneurs is when people search for educational information about a specific product such as how to…..? and why……? Or search for our brand name or our competitors’ name is to exist on their searching result.
Here would be an excellent opportunity for your business to deliver value through educational + entertaining content and build authority around your topic.
On the other hand, when people search for a product unboxing, product reviews around your brand name, it would be an excellent opportunity for your brand to work together with influencers to showcase your product from different people and experts’ point of view, this will boost the credibility and social proof around your business.
Successful brands use YouTube to create a reality show around a specific topic where they explain common problems and solutions around their industry, they aim for audience engagement through delivering entertainment and education then position their product as the best solution available.
3. No one can promise you with a return on your social media marketing: I hate it when I see marketing agencies scam small businesses with their 500% returns on Ads spent, that is a total B.S, does Mark Zuckerberg the CEO of Facebook him-self or YouTube promise you that if you advertise on their platforms, you are sure to get a specific return?
Come on, I don’t think so, what a marketing agency tells you is only a small portion of the big puzzle, they trick you into hiring their agency, and since most of them take a managing fee and don’t work based on results.
It makes no difference for them if you want to continue working with them or just leave if you complain about no sales; they give you the option to up-sell your service and build a complete marketing system or just leave.
Let me save you some money and tell you what it takes to get a noticeable return on your online marketing:
Desirable proven product
High product margin
Complete marketing/sales funnel
Tested and winning offer
Tested and winning ads campaign
Minimum $2000 of monthly ads spent
And with all of that, you still can not guarantee a high return, why?
Because you are marketing to people, and not to robots, people consider a lot of things before they spend money, yes there might be a couple of great case-studies, and yes some agencies might increase some brand sales by 400% from $200 to $800 a month but if you add up their management fees and ads spent, you might go back to zero if not end-up with a loss.
Don’t get me wrong advertising on social media is great if you get it right if you have a proven system that works and a pile of cash to play for the long run then by all mean go for it, but if your business is striving to survive, social media advertising might not be the right fit for you right now.
4. Your social media profile should look legit:
No matter what your business is all about, no matter what social media platform you use, your brand business page and profile should look professional and attractive visually, which includes:
1. Logo, header, and thumbnails “ A bold and attractive visual presentation of your brand” – How to design brand visuals without being a designer.
2. Bio/Description “ A clear unique selling proposition of what you do or sell” – How to sell your product to the right customer.
Koala Mattress | Facebook
3. Theme-based feed: A clear visual presentation of your brand positioning, customer groups, unique selling proposition, and theme. How you communicate a luxurious and highly prestigious brand differs from how you present a casual and on a budget brand, both groups of customers perceive the world differently, and your brand visual communication needs to position itself correctly in the eye and the mind of the customer.
How to present your brand on social media
We, humans, are visual creatures and we will judge your business by the overall look and feel of your brand, so please don’t neglect it, this might be a bit frustrating to many starting entrepreneurs since they have no background at all in visual design, my advice to you is to work with a freelancer, problem solved!
5. You need a human behind your social media:
Please don’t over automate or underestimate your social media account, you need to have a real person who understands how to treat people, like, and answer your customers’ feedbacks, it’s a human-to-human interaction and not a robot-to-human interaction.
Some aspects of social media can be automated, such as automated posting or bot assistance, but not everything, another problem that I see as well which is brands ignore their customers’ questions and complaints, that is a huge mistake, and it will show off as a lack of credibility.
Things to avoid:
Fake followers: Those are bots, dead followers, they have no value, it’s not about showing how many followers do you have, but the quality of your followers.
Automated software: Avoid automated bots that like and post on other people’s posts. Sometimes this will backfire since the comment will make no sense at all. You need a human behind your social media, not a bot.
Before you think about increasing your followers, why not pause for a second and ask yourself a very reasonable question?
What type of followers do I want?
Facebook had over 2.4 Billion users in 2019, so what? Most of the digital marketers tell you this information to sell you their Facebook advertising courses or advertising services, but honestly, what do I have to do with the fact that there are over 2.4 Billion active users on Facebook?
Do you want to reach and advertise to 2.4 Billion random people? Of course, you don’t, even if you do, you still don’t have the resources to reach that amount of people, I think you got the point.
Instead, slow down and think about how you can attract, deliver value, and engage with people that desire similar types of your products.
How many posts a day should I post?
Stop listening to all the nonsense advice about how many posts should you post a day, some tell you to post 10 posts a day, and others 1 post a day, 10 posts a day might be right a long time ago or if you are on a new platform, why?
It’s because the platform or your profile are lacking content and the algorithm favors the page that posts the most to encourage people to post more, but once the algorithm is overwhelmed with the quantity of the content, it’s time to focus on the viewers’ experience and the quality of the content, which means engagement trumps quantity.
There is a specific amount of posts, images, or videos that need to be posted on your feed, the first main goal of those posts isn’t selling your product but building credibility and authority around your brand, everything comes after that is called engagement and staying on top of your customers’ mind.
It does not require posting 10 posts a day to be on top of your customers’ mind, depending on the platform 4~6 posts a week on your feed with excellent quality content should be more than enough for your customers to hear from you, you can stay engaged through short videos on your stories, but keep your feed elegant and clean.
Think of how many brands, influencers, and friends that you followed for a specific reason, you engaged with them for a while, then slowly you started to ignore their posts, and one day you just decide that you had enough and you just unfollow their page.
The more you post, the fewer people will see the value of your content, and the more that you will dilute your brand, and once you run out of content ideas, you will sacrifice the quality of the content and make your brand appear less valuable.
Listen, it’s not a measurement about who has the most followers; that might be the case for influencers, mid to large brands, or immature business owners; for us, what matters the most is the relevancy of our audience and their level of engagement with our offering, period!
1. Social Media Content
Okay, so now that we are clear about what to do and what to avoid let’s focus on what type of content to post and what to avoid, but before we do that let me explain to you an important concept since this idea is critical when it comes to marketing your brand.
Branding Vs. Marketing Vs. Selling Vs. Advertising:
Throughout my working experience with different clients, I have noticed that many of them get mixed when it comes to producing content.
They don’t understand the difference between branding, selling, marketing, and advertising. Let me quickly explain the difference between each of those concepts:
1. Branding: Building a complete customer experience around a specific subject.
2. Marketing: Communicating with people your brand message and experience, educating your audience about your products, and attracting leads.
3. Selling: Converting your leads into buying customers.
4. Advertising: Spending money to pull attention toward your offer through advertising channels could be Tv, social media, radio, billboard, magazines, etc.
Social media for small-business owners is an advertising channel that allows you to brand, market, and sell your product with more attention and a lower cost comparing to other advertising channels like tv.
Branding content Vs Direct marketing content
Branding content: This is content you post about your brand in general, highlighting the lifestyle and benefits around your products, you provide educational content around your industry.
You post beautiful imagery and videos of people using your products, in this type of content you don’t promote any offers, you just increase the awareness of your brand and drive engagement.
We use our social media feeds for that purpose, this makes you look legit, credible, and professional, think of the first impression of people visiting your page, you want it to be about your brand culture, lifestyle, and beautifully designed content, therefore quality overrides quantity.
Purple Mattress | Instagram
Direct marketing content: is content you create to promote an offer of your product; you show-case your products along with customers’ testimonials and special offers such as% OFF or free shipping.
The main goal of this content is to sell; this content is usually and effectively published through Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube advertising services where you can set-up an advertising goal, target a specific group of people, and measure results.
Purple Mattress | Facebook Ads
OK, so now that you are clear about the difference between Branding content Vs. Direct marketing content, let’s talk about each type of content separately.
Stop everything you are doing right now, and visit an Instagram profile or a YouTube channel of a brand you like, scroll through their content, then figure out the following:
– What are the majority of topics they are posting about?
Behind the scene
Answering frequently asked question
Educating about a specific topic
Customers generated content (images of their customers using their products)
– In what type of visual style do they present their content?
Weird and unusual
Flashy and bold
Minimal and elegant
Around a specific theme (classic, urban, or any other theme)
– What does their content make you feel?
Makes you laugh
Makes you cry
Makes you engaged
Makes you learn something new
Makes you curious
Makes you inspired
Makes you excited and want to buy
Makes you bored
You feel nothing
The different types of branding content:
Behind the scene: Many businesses post behind the scene videos about their brands; most online businesses face a critical problem when it comes to selling their product, which is a lack of trust.
Right now, we mostly buy from the internet from businesses we never see face to face, posting those types of videos and images would increase the trust and transparency of the brand.
Go Behind the Scenes at a McDonald’s Photo Shoot
Products test and demonstration: Many businesses right now make a lot of claims about their products, but people still don’t believe a lot of marketers, creating videos that put your products to the test and proves that your product is up to the mission will add so much credibility to your offer compared to a written sales copy.
Roady’s Purple Cushion – Egg Test
Answering FAQ and objections: Most of your customers will have objections when it comes to buying your product, those objections that might get them to stop and wonder if your product is the right fit.
You can leverage social media to answer those questions, talk about what makes your product different, explain how your product is made, compare it with different products, and teach your audience how to set-up and use your product correctly.
Educating about a specific topic: The best businesses that I have worked with are the businesses that understand that they are not in the business of promoting their product but are in the business of educating people about a specific problem around a particular niche then positioning their product as the best solution.
Selling mattresses is not about selling mattresses but about teaching people how to get better sleep, selling dog coaching courses is not about promoting the course but about telling people how to have a better relationship between their dog and themselves.
With this strategy in mind, you can attract a much wider group of interested people, then promote your product as the perfect solution to them.
Bark – Do Dogs Really Understand Us?
Customers generated content: What is more powerful, you posting images about your product saying how great it’s, or your customers posting pictures and videos of themselves using your product and showing how they are enjoying it?
I think we both know the answer; you first need to ask your customers to post such images, therefore, if you don’t have a beautiful or engaging product/store, then there would be no reason for people to get those images unless you motivate and give them incentives.
Those incentives might be a coupon code or a Starbucks gift card, once you get your hand on this content, ask for permission to post on your social media accounts, once you get their permit don’t hesitate to post on your social media account and tag their name within the post, this simple trick will boost your brand credibility to the roof.
Lifestyle photography: Your social media profiles are an extension of your brand lifestyle, think of your Instagram feed as a visual presentation and a mood board that describes your brand values.
MVMT Watches | Instagram
Products and promotions: Use your social media pages and channels to showcase your products at their best, remember it’s about quality over quantity game, keep in mind that you are building a top-notch brand and not a “let’s just post something” brand.
Remember that when new customers visit your Instagram feed, they will inspect the overall quality of your product through your images and videos, and they will not care about how many pictures you have posted in the past.
Things to avoid:
Random content: Don’t just post about everything, your personal photos, your cat photos, your BF/GF photos, your daily quotes, your cup of coffee, and so on, remember this is not a personal profile, when it comes to business keep it about delivering value to your audience.
Over promoting your product: Imagine someone screaming in your ears or holding a written sign in front of your eyes that says, buy now, buy this, buy that, 50% OFF, limited time offer. How would it feel?
Direct Marketing Content
Direct marketing content is content you create with a specific offer and specific call to action, the main goal of this content is to motivate your audience into becoming buyers.
There are three types of direct marketing “offers,” and by offers, I mean a “godfather offer” an offer they can not refuse, those offers are critical for us as small business owners to drive sales from social media, keep in mind, the internet is mostly an impulsive purchase, something you won’t find somewhere else.
Keep in mind that if you want people to spend energy, click on your ads, visit your store, buy and share your product, you have to give them a reason to do so, a push of motivation and incentives for their action to be justified in their minds and makes sense, otherwise why bother?
Also, keep in mind that we usually advertise such offers to a warm audience, people who are already aware of our brand, in many industries it’s challenging to sell a cold audience right out of the bat, there is no trust established yet.
Learn more about different audience temperatures and how to convert new customers into buyers read how to build effective marketing systems and generate sales
A clear and strong offer has:
1. Desirable product offering: It’s all about the offering, people don’t buy a product, they do buy a complete package. An offer is a group of elements that are combined to make your main product look desirable; those elements are bonuses, discounts, product bundling, free shipping, returns policy, free warranty, free installation, etc.
Buy X get Y for free
Buy X and get Y + Free Shipping, easy returns money back guaranteed.
Buy X and get Y + Bonus A and B + easy returns money back guaranteed.
A desirable offer is a no brainer offer, keep in mind that customers are not responsible for taking the risk of buying your product, if you are not willing to provide a bold offer then there might be a problem with your product or your sales mindset.
Note: Some people will take advantage of your offer, but most people won’t. If you have a great product, they would just be grateful for your offering and refer your business to their friends and family.
Another note: Make sure that you have enough margins in your product to cover your marketing cost and leave you with some profit, low margin products do not work well on social media unless you are going to up-sell your customers on the back-end.
2. Desirable product visuals: We buy with our eyes before we buy with our credit cards, make sure that your images/videos are clear and desirable and not generic, dull, or boring, be very specific, those visuals will set the expectation in your customers’ mind.
3. Clear and a direct message: When it comes to direct marketing there is no place and time for being fussy, you just can not afford it, start your message by calling your audience, then grab their attention with action vocabularies such as Get, Enjoy, Learn, Shop then follow it with your offer.
Note: The job of your message is to sell the “click” and not the product, once they click, then you can sell them the product on your landing page, but first, you need to build the excitement for people to stop, read and care to click.
4. Clear deadline: Without a deadline, there is no reason to take action right away; your deadline should not feel overwhelming and exaggerated if it makes little sense for your product to have a deadline, then don’t use it. Otherwise, it might backfire. Ex. This offer ends in 24 hours. | Limited seats | Limited inventory.
5. A clear call to action: Tell people what to do, how to act, and where to get your deal. Ex. Use coupon code XXX at the checkout | Ask for Monday’s special offer at our store cashier with code XXX.
6. Clear social proof (if available): Display images of people enjoying your product, show customers testimonials, or display your yelp reviews rating.
Here is another simple formula for writing your ads copy:
Here is what I got for you.
Here is what it can do for you.
Here is how to get it.
How to use your godfather’s offer?
1. Deep discount offer: This type of offer works best during holidays, special events, and anniversary, it also works great for inventory clearance or inviting foot traffic to an empty store, it’s pretty straightforward, 40% + on selected items or store-wide:
Dollar Shave Club
– Celebrate mother’s day with a warm hug and a beautiful gift in your hands, Enjoy 50% OFF store-wide on all of our special items, shop special offer now http://zz.xx offer ends at midnight PST.
– Looking for a birthday gift, but overwhelmed? Look no more, enjoy 25% OFF on hot and special items, plus we will handle the shipping and send a beautifully handwritten gift card; it’s time to gift something special they deserve.
2. Local-store visit: This type of offer is pretty straightforward as well, it’s great to send more customers to a local store, or attend a local event, think of your offer as an investment and not a loss.
If someone comes by your store and experience something unique, then there is a reason for them to go back or refer your store to their friends and family.
You can always sell them more stuff once they are in, but first and foremost, you must get them in and then focus on delivering a great first impression and experience.
– Chocolate lover? Yesss! Enjoy your evening with our handy-made freshly baked chocolate cake plus a FREE drink of your choice, drop by our store now to claim your special offer, your cake is waiting!
– Feeling stressed? We know how to get you relaxed! Register for your FREE yoga class this Sunday and discover easy and effective ways to relax your body and bring peace into your mind, book your FREE class seat now, limited seats available, the first scheduled first served.
Free service offer: This offer works excellent if you want to collect leads or attract a cold audience to your mailing list, then overtime slowly nurture the relationship and convert them into buyers.
The idea is pretty simple and straightforward, you offer a service for free in exchange for their email or phone number, your offering should be relative to your target audience.
Your audience research is critical, someone who lives in Los Angeles is highly unlikely to be interested in your FREE New York real estate listings reports unless he is a real estate investor.
Keep in mind that when you are advertising on social media or dealing with a direct response marketing campaigns, there will be money on the line, and your goal is to drive sales, not to entertain or amuse people, be aware that you can not know the results of your social marketing effort unless you measure the results.
I don’t want to confuse you with marketing analytics right now, I think that should be the job of the person who is managing your social media advertising account.
Just make sure to monitor your ads spend, your cost per acquisition, and your average order value; otherwise, you are just not leveraging the power of technology and throwing your marketing budget and effort into the bin.
Also, keep in mind that advertising on social media is only a small part of the big puzzle, you still need to nail down your landing page design, your email auto-response sequence, and your brand experience.
Before you spend a big budget and effort on social media advertising, make sure that all the other pieces of the puzzle are in place.
2. Social media reach
As you may know by now that organic reach (just posting without advertising) on social media has become almost close to impossible.
This is why it’s critical for you as a business owner to learn how to advertise on social media or work with someone who is specialized in digital advertising, it’s not only a matter of boosting a post, if you want to drive sales and results there is more to that.
As we mentioned at the beginning of the article that there is a difference between branding and direct marketing, we use our social media feed to create a better branding experience with little or no direct response marketing, on the other hand, we use our social media ads account for targeting, remarketing and promoting offers.
Facebook and Instagram come with a compelling ads platform that allows you to reach and target people in four unique ways.
People who are in your area or people who visited a specific store of your competitors, these people are highly likely to buy similar products, say, for example, you have a small bar, you can offer a coupon code for the people around your area as an offer and incentive for non-weekend days.
This offer could be free French fries with every large beer they order or a beer + nuts for $X amount of money or anything that makes sense to your business and attract new customers on an empty day.
Facebook and Instagram allow you to target people with a specific interest. This interest might be around a particular topic, influencers, media channels, a sport, or a hobby.
If you teach art classes, why not target people who are interested in those topics in your area with a short demo video ending it with an offer of a free trial class and free pencils and drawing pad if they sign-up for your entire course?
Facebook Ads Interest Targeting | Joao Zorro
People love to celebrate different events of their lives, birthdays, friends and family birthdays, wedding anniversary and the list goes on and on, Facebook allows you to target the people who their anniversary are coming up and offer them something special.
Say, for example, you opened a new spa and would like to attract more couples to your warm and beautifully designed spa, why not offer a special sixty minutes Asian oil massage with flowers for couples as a wedding anniversary special gift with a 25% OFF?
Facebook Ad Audiences For Targeting Gift Givers | Ian Smith
Facebook is very powerful when it comes to re-engaging with the people who visited, liked, or interacted with your online store, Facebook video, and page.
With the power of remarketing you can segment your audience into different groups then re-pitch your product and offers it to them in different messages, depending on where they are in the shopping process you can promote it to every segment of your audience separately, this is called creating a marketing funnel.
Setup Re-targeting Ads on Facebook | Travis Marziani
Although YouTube is a bit similar to Facebook when it comes to Geo-Targeting and interests, it’s still considered a search intent platform (people search for content) What makes YouTube targeting special is the two following unique features:
You can target people who are searching for a specific keyword, say, for example, you sell gym equipment for a home workout. Why not target people who are searching for home workout tutorials?
Then show them a video of you teaching them interestingly and entertainingly how to perform a better workout at home using equipment without breaking the bank, then pitch them your product at the end of the video with a risk-free guarantee.
Note: always offer value, be interesting and entertaining, then pitch your offer.
YouTube Ads Keyword Campaigns | Shash Singh
Specific channel/video targeting:
This one is one of my favorite features when it comes to YouTube marketing. It allows you to target people who are watching a particular channel or a specific video on YouTube then market to them your product; you get them in the right mindset and right timing.
Say, for example, you sell specific food ingredients or kitchen cooking supplies, why not target people who watch specific cooking channels and videos, then show them your special short tutorials and end it with an offer?
You kind of already know that those people are interested in cooking at home and might be interested in giving you a chance and listen to your offering.
YouTube Placement Targeting | Drost Video
A social media influencer is someone who has invested in his social media account and attracted a specific type of followers, working with those type of influences is more than a business transaction, it’s their credibility and name on the line, they can not suggest and promote products that do not fit their message.
I have worked with many for different projects, some are nice and easy to go with, some are selfish and a pain in the ass, while others are just a scam bag.
People ask me where and how to find influencers, I think they are asking the wrong question;
they are all over Instagram, YouTube channels and if you have a great product, they will reach out to you, the lesson that you should focus on is to learn that before you invest in any relation with an influence make sure that you are clear on the following:
1. They are legit: This means that it’s not just a generic account with a few nice images without an authentic personality that presents their page.
2. Their interaction is legit: This means if you scroll through their images, check for the likes and comments if it’s only a bunch of likes, or generic comments like a nice pic, great photo, few emojis, lovely pose, and so on.
This means that this account is not a two ways conversation between the influencer and his audience; it’s a gallery more than a conversation, or it’s a part of closed groups where people like each other’s posts and randomly comment to boost their posts to the top of the Instagram feed.
3. Their location is relative and legit: I don’t want to sound racist, I’m not, but we have received a lot of messages from “influencers” from countries in the Middle East and some areas of India and Europe.
Their feed seemed to look legit, we had an agreement, and once they receive the product we never heard back, they don’t reply or some asks for extra payment, my point is this, if influencers from outside the U.S/Canada/UK/Australia comes to you and offer to work with you just be cautions.
When you are reaching out to influencers, first try to analyze the following:
What is the purpose of working with this influencer?
– Is she/he an expert, and you want them to do a product review?
– Is she/he a celebrity and needs them to do a product promotion?
– Is she/he an average person with a large following and wants them to shout out and share your product?
Who is going to prepare the media files?
– Are you going to provide him/her with images and your promotion copy?
– Is he going to take the picture on his/her own? Who is responsible for the cost of production?
How do they work?
– Are you going to offer a free product for a post?
– Are you going to offer a pay-per-post?
– Are you going to offer commission-based coupons?
What are you offering to her/his audience?
– 25% OFF special
– Free shipping
– Buy 1 get 1
– Special free report/recipe/audiobook
Where can you find influencers?
As we mentioned, you can look for influencers directly on YouTube and Instagram, or you can search for influencers' platforms such as hire influence. This makes it easier for you to connect and communicate with an influencer without being scammed.
How to Reach Out to Influencers
What type of influencers should you look for?
If you are a small business, you need to look for niche-influencers and not generic influencers, influencers with one million followers and a low engagement rate would not benefit, look for influencers with 20~50K followers, well connected and engaged with their audience.
How do you reach influencers?
Influencers are people as well, they have to deal with their daily life problems and events, and not all of them are interested in business collaboration, however here are few steps to follow if you want to connect with influencers:
1. Research and collect 40~50 niche-influencers on your topic.
2. Follow their social media account and start contributing. (build rapport first)
3. Shoot them an email or a private message with a nice and polite tone expressing your interest in working with them.
4. If they agree to work with you, understand their terms if it fits your budget set an agreement, and work with them if it does not thank them for their reply and move next.
How to Work With Influencers
Picking the right influencers with the right audience and offer can generate a good amount of followers and sales for you in the short run while selecting the wrong one might cause a disaster, bad deals, and unwanted inventory.
Let’s just be clear here, no influencer can guarantee you a specific amount of sales or followers if they did they would all quit their jobs and work on commissions. Therefore, it’s on you to choose the right one and provide their audience with a great offer.
It’s also a better strategy to collaborate with over 10 micro-influencers to post together simultaneously since most of their audiences will overlap. This will boost the credibility of your brand if social proof comes from authoritative accounts.
Here you go. Now you should have a clear and basic understanding of social media work and how to leverage it to grow your business. My advice to you is to take it one step at a time, social media might be a bit overwhelming, and most of the small businesses still have no idea how to deal with it.
Let me make it clear to you that you don’t have to work with a large agency and spend tons of money or buy a $2000 social media course to understand how to market your brand on social media.
Social media is a game of content and engagement, that’s it! You can learn all the tools and tactics on how to advertise on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube online for free, you just have to Google it and Voalá everything is there.
In this article, I have shared with you some strategies and tactics that are used in digital marketing agencies to drive sales to their clients;
I have also shown you few examples of how other successful brands leverage their social media to build a following and make sales.
Some tactics you learned today you might not even see in a $2000 social media course yet they are here for free for you to learn, my only hope that is you ignore all the misleading information out there and apply some tactics we talked about growing your business and make more money.
How Fashion Nova beats out Dior and Gucci to Become the Most Googled Fashion Brand in the World
How the world’s fastest-growing watch brand – MVMT went from debt to $90m revenue in just 5 years
The Story of Content: Rise of the New Marketing – Documentary
Celebs, Brands & Fake Fans – (Social Media Documentary)