Ever feel like you have no time for your social media account? Be it Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or the long lost MySpace, Friendster, and LiveJournal, social media can take up a disproportionate amount of time (although I’m not sure why the latter 3 dead sites would). You’ve probably lost hours watching cat videos on YouTube, scouring through great crafts on your Pinterest pinboard, or sorting your Google+ circles (maybe it didn’t take that long). But what’s the purpose to all of that (besides eating up your precious time)?
As it turns out, there is an inherent value to social media for those of us who have products and services to offer. Your customers want to know who you are, what you do for fun, and where you spent your last vacation. They want to know if you’re a parent like they are or what your favorite music is. They want to see pictures of you playing with your dog at the park. It’s a little uncomfortable to think about, but your customers want to feel connected to you – like they know you.
Social Media platforms are their connection. Where else can you say that you’re “friends” with Sean Connery, Kate Middleton, or your most favorite celebrity? Unless you live among the wealthy or are incredibly lucky, it probably won’t happen anywhere else. That’s part of the magic of social media.
To your customers, you may be a celebrity. Take a look at Sir Richard Branson. He’s not a musician or actor, and yet he has fans that greet him as if he were a member of the Beetles. But even if you don’t have that sort of rockstar appeal amongst your fans, they still want to feel like they know you. That’s the real reason why people buy. I was once told by one of my sales trainers early on, “People can buy your product anywhere, but they can only buy you here.”
“Your own website is your business’s hub, but Social Networking Sites let you create spokes to drive people back to your site.”
– John Jantsch, CEO
Duct Tape Marketing
That brings me around to the point of this article. You have to take the time on your social networks to connect with your customers. Remember, you’re not selling via LinkedIn. You’re connecting. When they want to buy, they’ll think of their friend first.
However, I issue this word of caution: don’t forget where your customer base is. Pay attention to the social networks and find out which one your customer wants to find you on.