My main message here is this - do not feel awkward about selling yourself and your product on social media platforms.
Yes it’s magic to make new connections and friends with shared interests.
But, we also want (or need) to grow our businesses, sell our things and be sustainable.
Writing and posting sales-driven posts on social media is a delicate dance.
Sometimes it can be very disheartening.
In my experience, and that of others, 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).
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.
If you have done a good job of building up interest and trust with your people through your posts and sharing of information and inspiration, when you do come to actually telling, asking or promoting a product, your audience will very likely be more than grateful to find out how and where to source what you do.
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; and
- Figure out the Features/Advantages/Benefit of your product.
When you do slot in a sales-y post, it is very important 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.
Make sure it is explaining the feature (what it is), the advantage (what it does) and the benefit (how that benefits your people).
This is probably the easiest part.
It is 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.’
This is what the feature does.
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.
This is where you need to illustrate why someone should value the advantage.
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 or services?
What are their advantages and benefits that will drive people to come back to you again and again?
Another thing to think about when writing captions that are selling or promoting a product or service is to try to make it conversational.
Make sure you draw your people into an interaction.
You need to give people a reason to comment back.
Do not use passive captions like 'New event details now on the blog, link in profile'.
Go for something like 'Who fancies a lovely long lunch in the paddock next weekend? Think platters of seasonal goodness, shared conversations and chilled local whites followed by bold bright reds. We've just opened up bookings for the next farm lunch, book now and pack your wellies'.
Give your people something to hang on to and talk about.
Ask them a question, prompt a response, ignite their curiosity, and invite them into your world.
- For more ideas and inspiration on growing your social media skills and audience, sign up for Sophie’s My Open Kitchen ecourse.
- To learn more, you can listen to Sophie’s podcast at www.my-open-kitchen.com.