Social media is of course a powerful marketing tool – and for the purposes of this piece, when I say marketing, I mean talking about what you do to people who are interested and engaged in your story.
My main message here is this – don’t feel awkward about selling yourself and your product on social media. Yes it’s magic to make new connections and friends with shared interests, but we also want/need to grow our businesses, sell our things and be sustainable.
Writing and posting sales-driven posts on social media is a delicate dance, and can be disheartening at times. In my experience and that of some others I’ve spoken to about this; the explicit sales posts don’t always get the most likes but our lunches sell out so people do see them. I chatted about this with Tamsin Carvan of Tamsin’s Table in Gippsland, Victoria for the My Open Kitchen podcast (series 1 episode 1), and as she says “the explicit sales posts don’t always get the most likes but our lunches sell out so I know people see them!”
The other thing to keep in mind is, as Simon Sinek says, ”Sell the problem you solve – not the product.” So before you post anything ‘sales-y’ think – what problem does my ideal customer have and how can I help her or him solve it.
When writing posts that are clearly selling or promoting a product, always keep in mind that social media is a conversation and if you have built up interest and trust with your people through your posts and sharing of information and inspiration, when you do come to actually telling/asking/promoting a product, your audience will very likely be grateful to find out how and where to source what you do.
So as far as I can tell – there are two main things to keep in mind when ‘werking’ the sales post.
- The 80/20 rule – only drop in a sales-y post every now and then, and intersperse it with ‘value’ posts that give inspiration and ideas.
- Figure out the Features/Advantages/Benefit of your product.
When you do slot in a sales-y post, you need to think through the FAB (feature/advantage/benefit) breakdown for your readers. Because as always, as much as your online community cares about you, deep down, they care more about our friend WIIFM (what’s in it for them).
So before you do write a post that is directly inviting your audience to buy or invest in something, make sure it includes some kind of FAB statement explaining the feature, (what it is), the advantage, (what it does) and the benefit (how that benefits your people).
Feature – this is probably the easiest part; the facts about or characteristic of your business or service. For example in the case of our own family business, our feature is ‘Australian farmed venison”.
Advantages – This is what the feature does. So for example in our case again, the advantages of buying our Australian farmed venison are – great taste, low in fat but high in protein, and nutrition.
Benefits – This is where you need to illustrate why someone should value the advantage. So to finish our example, we might say, “when you buy our Australian farmed venison you will be serving your family and friends the most delicious, tender and healthy alternative red meat in the country’
You can’t just tell your potential customers all about how wonderful and fabulous your farming practices are and how delicious your meat is. You need to convince them of the FAB, the features, advantages and benefits of buying from you.
What are the features of your products/services, their advantages and benefits that will drive people to come back to you again and again?
Give your people something to hang on to and talk about. Ask them a question, prompt a response, ignite their curiosity, invite them into your world.
And as a little thanks for visiting us here and reading this article (which I hope was useful!), here are some lovely Christmas-y hashtags I’ve been collecting these past couple of weeks. You might like to copy and paste some of them into your ‘notes’ app and add them to your brilliant sales-y posts in the next week or so!
#merryandbright #asimplechristmas #christmasfaffing #feelingfestive #makingchristmas #flashesofdelight #asecondofwhimsy #kindredmoments #simplethingsmadebeautiful #christmaslights #christmasmood #thathyggefeeling #kindredmoments #makelightfestive #aseasonalyear #my_magical_moments