Social media channels are a great place for brands to connect with potential clients, share content relating to their business, and listen to what people in their industry are doing and saying. Many brands make the mistake of using their social media feeds to push sales without sharing their expertise or offering a more personal connection. Setting up a business account costs nothing and is an excellent opportunity to position yourself as an expert and deliver value to your audience before they ever decide to buy.
Storytelling > selling on social media. People want to interact with other people, not brands. They may be turned off by a sales pitch because they are constantly bombarded by ads – on TV, online, on the radio, and on billboards. They don’t want to be sold to, but they do want to hear your story. They want to know if your values align with theirs or if you have something to add to their lives. These people want to see where you like to shop, how you like your coffee, and where you go on vacation. They want to get a peek behind the scenes; they can view your products and services on your website, but they want to see YOU on social media.
Due to our fast-paced, “instant gratification” culture, most people tend to have a short attention span, and that’s where the character limits on social media work in your favour. You don’t need to write essays, and you don’t need to make every post about your official business. If you’re running a boutique kids’ clothing store, the stories you share can include suggestions for summer kids’ activities or toddler-friendly restaurants. Your audience is probably made up almost entirely of parents. If you’re selling essential oils or handmade soaps, you can include natural living or zero-waste narratives.
Know your audience, and share relevant content with them by storytelling and sharing, not selling:
Be authentic, be creative, and share your story. Share photos and videos of your clients (with their consent, of course!), products, and services. Share snapshots of your workday or a day off. Don’t ask for the sale until you’ve shared 9-10 other types of content in your posts, stories, or videos and reels.
Yes, Instagram stories are a great place to start sharing! Share local businesses, pump up other entrepreneurs who are killing it. Small businesses need your support, especially during these difficult times. (Remember to tag brands and accounts you mention!)
Connect with emotion. Get personal with your stories, if they fit your brand’s narrative. Be honest and authentic; your brand should align with who you are in your personal life as well, or clients will have a hard time investing in what you offer. Show empathy for your clients’ struggles. Create positive emotions in your audience by showing your respect and interest in them, giving them that feeling of safety and trust.
Engage your audience in your story. Talk to them, not at them. Ask questions, respond to their comments and questions.
Follow the “share, don’t sell” rule, and we think you’ll notice a big difference in how you connect with your audience and how they respond to you!