Most business owners think that the ‘key ‘ to making money on social media is by increasing engagement. After all, the platforms are quick to suggest ‘boost this post’ and ‘reach more people’. The trouble with this, is that the way engagement is measured changes regularly, writes online expert Nicola Moras.
The good and bad of post boosting
Many who strive to boost engagement end up spending money trying to get more likes, comments and shares. This doesn’t always result in a financial return. It’s great for your ego to see your posts get more likes and comments. But if it doesn’t positively impact your bottom line, it’s not worth it.
At their core, social media platforms are advertising agencies who want your money. They are going to try to seduce you into spending money to grow your engagement. The reality is that many people will not comment, like or share because they don’t want their friends and family seeing what they’re commenting on. This means people will click on your post but won’t do anything further with it. So, you spend money trying to achieve the ‘engagement’ outcome, but you don’t see the evidence of this.
Not all engagement is equal
Many people out there engage invisibly online rather than visibly. It’s a little bit like reading a printed newspaper article. Nobody knows you’re doing it. When it comes to the online world, take this article as an example, you’re reading it right now. You might be imagining how you act online. Perhaps you don’t comment or click like or visibly react to many posts at all. Yet, you are reading this article and you’re engaging with this article in your head.
I can’t see the evidence of you engaging. This doesn’t mean you are not engaged. Many people in your audience will do the same. Engagement in the world of social media means visible engagement. You don’t need visible engagement. You need a return on investment from social media. This is the ultimate evidence of engagement.
This begs the question of what to do instead. You know you need to use social media to be seen, to generate results and to make money.
Here’s what to focus on so you can use social media for profit.
- Don’t boost your posts
Social media platforms are designed to make money through advertising. They want your hard-earned money and you need to make money to stay in business.
This is like putting up a billboard for ‘brand awareness’. These work if you have a lot of capital to invest over a long period of time, but don’t tend to work in the short term when you’re looking at generating a fast return. They are also very expensive. ‘Boosting a post’ is the modern-day billboard. Don’t do it! Follow the next step for what to do instead.
- Only pay money for lead generation
If you are going to spend on social media, do it for lead generation. This means capturing the information of people who are interested in your products and/or services. You then own the contact and you can keep marketing to them directly into their inbox. You’ll need to keep emailing them, adding value and talking to them until they buy or unsubscribe.
The audience you want to reach are on social media. I guarantee it. You have the most best targeting options available to you right now. These are better than we’ve ever had access to before in the history of advertising. You can target your advertising to a gender, age, interests, demographics and a lot more. You can laser focus on generating leads of exactly the kinds of people who you want to work with.
- Value stacking
One of the big mistakes a lot of people make is only ever posting when they’re trying to sell. Post pieces of content that educate, entertain and inspire your audience and intersperse these posts with sales offers and the like.
Show your audience by demonstrating value that you are a company that can be trusted.
- Always offer a call to action
Remember to always remind people how they can take the next step with you. For example, “Buy here” or “Download this free guide here”. These are the real results of engagement. A ‘thumbs up’ or a ‘smiley reaction’ won’t pay the bills.
Follow these steps and you will get a return from social media. All without striving for the pot of engagement gold at the end of the social media rainbow.
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