Social Media Content – Why Your Posts Should Be About More Than Sales
We live in a world that’s constantly trying to sell us something. As you scroll through Facebook or Twitter, every few pieces of social media content include an advertisement for a product. Every few videos you watch on YouTube are interrupted by an ad. Offline, TV commercials, billboards, magazine ads, and more compete for our attention.
When you create social media posts and other content, your main goal is to sell your product to potential customers. Approaching your social media content from a sales-minded point of view is a bad idea, and rarely works. Here’s why, and what you should focus on instead.
The Problem with Sales
Nobody likes being sold to. Most people can smell a sales pitch a mile away, and when they see one coming, they avoid it. When you see an ad in your Facebook feed, you scroll past it. When an ad interrupts your YouTube video, you click “skip” as soon as they’ll let you. Your Internet browser probably has an add-on to block ads.
If the sales pitch can’t be avoided, it simply gets tuned out. When you know someone has an agenda, you stop listening. If they claim why their product is the best, that claim is immediately suspect, because you know they’re trying to get your money.
The same is true of your brand. If a new customer finds you online, it’s likely a result of a well-executed optimization strategy. They Googled the thing that you’re selling, and now it’s your job to convince them that yours is the product they need. How do you convince them of that? You can list all the things that make your product or service worthwhile, but in this ad-inundated world, how can you get them to believe you? And what do you do when your competitors are likely making the same claims? In a world where sales pitches are automatically distrusted and advertising is tuned out, your content needs another approach.
A More Effective Approach
When you create content for your brand, you’re looking to sell a product, but when your customers Google you, they’re not looking to buy a product. They’re looking to solve a problem. When they visit your website, they are hoping that your product will be the solution they need.
For instance, if you sell floor cleaner, your customers’ core problem is that they have dirty floors. Your product will certainly help them solve that problem. However, there may be other issues as well. Maybe they want a floor cleaner that doesn’t cost too much but still does the job well. Maybe they want a floor cleaner that’s environmentally friendly and doesn’t use harsh chemicals. Maybe there are tough stains on the floor, which they need to get off.
Your job becomes providing customers with the solutions they need. If your post just says, “Here’s why our floor cleaner is so great,” it will be hard to get readers to believe you. But if you post, “Tips for getting your dirty floors cleaner,” or “How to clean hardwood vs. tile vs. carpet,” then you’re providing them with useful information that will help them with their problem.
By taking this approach, you’re building trust with prospective customers. You’re showing your customers that you’re an expert worth listening to and you’re demonstrating that you know what they need. What you are selling, then, is not a product but a solution to a problem.
When creating social media content, look at the questions your target audience is asking. Then, instead of a sales pitch, focus on answering those questions. Doing so will help you build a relationship with your audience.
The time of the hard sale has passed. Now is the time for high-quality, meaningful social media content that provides real value for your audience. This approach will help you develop a better following and improve your reputation, which will, ultimately, boost your engagement and increase overall sales.