Never Get a Single Lead On Social Media
Sell, Sell, Sell
One of the first jobs I ever worked was for a retailer with this philosophy. After working for a month or two, I was sent up front to meet with our general manager for an important evaluation. He asked me “What is [this retailer’s] number one priority?”
I answered fairly confidently and said something along the lines of “Helping customers solve problems.”
He made a shot-clock like buzzer noise and said, “No, try again. What do you see on the time clock when you punch in every morning?”
“Sell, sell, sell?”
That was the answer. I went back to work shaking my head. But believe it or not, this philosophy of sell, sell, sell is exactly what you need to be well on your way to never getting another lead on social media…ever!
There are many reasons that this strategy is so effective. Facebook punishes overly promotional content in their algorithm, Instagram users never follow you in the first place, and Pinterest users don’t re-pin your posts–ever. People don’t come to any social media network for your promotional messaging. They come to be entertained, inspired, or informed. Essentially, they come for the things their friends are posting. If you don’t want to get leads on social media, ensure that you never, ever attempt to join the conversation on these platforms. Talk at people, not to them.
Ignore Your Platform
You must show utter disregard for every platform your business ever approaches if you’re going to ensure that a lead doesn’t sneak in via social media. To do this, ignore best practices like when to post and what to post. On Instagram, post images that are impersonal, unprofessional, and irrelevant. On Facebook, try posting things that don’t contain any sort of informational or entertainment value.
Again, millions of companies successfully activate this strategy on a daily basis. It also helps to approach these platforms with the idea that quantity is better than quality. With that approach, you’re sure to see some unfollows and post hides.
Lastly, Don’t Follow These Tips
On a more serious note, in 2017, social media marketing is not dead, it’s just used woefully wrong. On every other medium marketing professionals have ever approached, the platform is carefully considered and the rules are scarcely ignored.
On social media, following the rules will get you ignored, because almost no brand understands social media. In the words of Brandon Rhoten, head of social media at Wendy’s, “Most brands suck at social.” Since everyone is on social media, everyone professes to understand it. This is simply not true when it comes to social media marketing.
Not even the savviest brands are making a genuine effort at participating in social media marketing’s most basic goal – joining the conversation. They have forgotten that social media is one of the clearest representations of the switch from outbound to inbound marketing, and they continue to embrace the outbound style. The fact is, people don’t come to social media for the coolest brand graphics and GIFs, they come to be informed, entertained, or inspired. As I mentioned earlier, these findings from Buffer show that overly promotional messaging is penalized by Facebook’s algorithm, making it even less likely that outbound, sales-motivated content will ever be seen. Very few brands struggle to stay away from this, and the result is a brand caught up in the algorithm and swept away. After all, according to Hubspot, a user’s news feed comprises about 6% of all of the posts they could have been shown at any given time. It’s logical to assume that only the most relevant content survives.
If brands continue to stay committed to their sales quota rather than their audiences, social media marketing will be dead by 2018. If brands skillfully adapt to the changing landscape, social media marketing will be booming once again.