• Jillian Lawrence

Why Great Social Media Marketing Isn't About How Well You Can Sell

Updated: May 22

Selling is certainly a large part of effective marketing, but it isn't the biggest part.


Great marketing isn't about how well you can sell, it's about how well you relate to people.


".... people will never forget how you made them feel." - Maya Angelou.

People also never forget a good story, but many business owners struggle with sharing their story on social media. Not necessarily because they don't know HOW to share it, but because they don't actually know WHAT their story is.


What you are experiencing right now IS your story! There are so many people online, making it an amazing opportunity to connect with others. Staying connected to your customers is especially important if your business is temporarily closed due to COVID19. Share what you're experiencing with your followers and don't be afraid to be vulnerable. That's the secret sauce to building true connection and trust.

The more you know about your followers the better. And I'm not talking about if they take cream in their coffee. I mean what makes their heart hurt; what struggles are they facing; what brings them joy; how are they inspired? When you know what they're experiencing, you can share your own perspective to relate to them (and even inspire them!).


The goal when building connection is for your audience to feel like you wrote the content just for them.

Based on your own experience, this can connect you to others in a similar situation, while still sharing your products or services and how they can help. If your not sure what to share here are some starting points:


1. Talk about the impact this is having on you and your staff.

If you have to completely close your doors, then this is probably a very difficult time for you. It is okay to let your followers know you are going through a difficult time. Sharing your vulnerability will show your audience that you are human.

Telling your emotional story of how this is affecting you can inspire others because they can relate to the way you are feeling. Share your new everyday routine; what you are doing for exercise; how you are staying busy; or how you are relaxing. Show your followers that you are there to support them, no matter the circumstances.

Obviously use your discretion when sharing, they don't need to know the details of your bottom line. But reaching out and telling them how much you miss them and what you're experiencing helps them to feel connected to you.


2. Tell your followers how they can support you.

People are still spending money and they want to support LOCAL! If you have had to pivot your offerings temporarily due to the circumstances, the question is: do your customers know how they can support you?

You don't have to sell perfectly to them, you have to know what their current needs are and how you can meet them. That way when you're telling them how they can support you, you're not asking them to buy from you, you're offering them solutions to their problems.

For example, if you have a brick and mortar store and start offering over the phone orders with curb-side pick up, you can use your social media accounts to communicate that to your customers. Share your posts in local Facebook Groups (if appropriate), and use local hashtags on Instagram to reach your customers.


3. Share your industry knowledge to help others.

It seems like everyone is experiencing difficulty in some shape, way, or form during this pandemic. This is the perfect time to reassure your followers that everything is going to be okay. Like Maya Angelou's quote says, if you make your followers feel good when they're interacting with your content, they will be more likely to remember you.

Sharing your knowledge offers a sense of authority; not only are you creating yourself as an industry expert, but you are offering a sense of peace that there is someone who knows what they are doing.

Some ideas include: Sharing tips on the tax breaks if you're an accountant; sharing DIY hair cutting tips if you're a hairdresser; sharing yard maintenance ideas if you're a landscaper. People might not be able to use your services right now, but when this is over they'll certainly remember the people that were there for them.

Even if you can’t actually sell your product or service right now, you can use this opportunity to make an impact on your followers lives by building your connection with them. If what you are offering can be done at home, offer tutorials, or zoom calls; something to keep the connection alive.


Once you've built trust with your followers, the job of selling your product or service becomes a whole lot easier!


You may also like to read my blog Social Media and Your Mental Health.

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