Let’s talk about Social Media. As a business owner it is so easy to get into a cycle of solely posting about my business. I’m motivated and can get single minded. This is normal for most business people. However, there is a wrong way to go about it and I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
Raise your hand if your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or even Snapchat feeds have been taken over by salesy posts advertising the wares of your various friends!
Raise your hand if you’ve unfollowed or unfriended someone because of it!
Raise your hand if your an offender who posts salesy posts advertising in your personal feeds!
We are none of us immune to this. I admit when I first joined Scentsy I was spamalicious. Looking back on the first 4-6 months through the “on this day” feature on Facebook is a good reminder of where I used to be. I would post hourly and almost exclusively about my business. Maybe this is still you. Let’s talk about why using your personal feed is a bad idea.
First a foremost, for Facebook especially, it violates the user agreement. Facebook has business pages and other services set aside for business people to share their products and services. So, selling from your personal timeline violates this section of their user agreement. They want you to use business pages and likely the advertising services they offer to build your business. That way it brings you both money. Now the risk of violating your user agreement is a deleted profile. I can speak from experience that this happens. Luckily for me, I was reported maliciously after I no longer used my personal timeline for business so my account was restored, this is rare. Usually once deleted you stay deleted.
The other big downside to advertising on your personal feed is alienation of your friends. When we first start our businesses our friends and family are our warm markets, our first customers. But we quickly expand to their friends and family and so on. While having all these customers as friends on facebook can be good for relationship building it can cause alienation if all you post is business adverts. People can and will unfollow you, which makes posting useless anyway, or unfriend you which sucks. Instead of sharing specials and product, share your experiences and excitement. Are you getting ready to go to an event? Share how you’re excited not a post asking people to come. But a post saying, “I am so excited for the LHBC Bazaar today, I love meeting new people! #lovemyjob,” is probably going to get better engagement than a post saying, “If you need xyz product I’ll be at LHBC today 9-3!” It’s a subtle difference but one is about you the other about your product. Sharing your experience with your company and growth as a business owner can help keep people engaged with you as a person not you a salesman.
Now, let’s talk about the proper place to share those salesy posts. This will be a brief overview as I will do a more detailed post on the use of Groups and business pages later.
Business pages are designed for you to post product pictures, share tips tricks and hacks, and specials. Don’t forget to also share you because customers buy from people they trust and like so sharing you helps them connect to you and your brand. Some quick tips to get you going: have a picture of you not your product and name your page in a way that makes it searchable and easy to remember. From here if you occasionally want to share a post about something extra special going on share from your business page to your personal profile. But do this sparingly.
The other great tool I use is groups. I have a VIP group for my customers that I share a lot more about me and also my product. I use this to build engagement and relationships with my customers. They get first looks at new products, first access to samples and specials, and exclusive offers I don’t post anywhere else. This is where I turn a one time customer into a regular.
P.S. if you’re reading this from Facebook you may have read a similar post to the don’t option from the section on not posting from your personal timeline and I get the irony but you are also reading this from either my VIP group or business page which makes it a great example of how to use those features of Facebook. Stay tuned for upcoming posts dedicated to business pages, everything from setting up to posting, and VIP Groups and using it to build your brand.