Are you on social media, or do you use social media? There’s a difference. In today’s world, it seems like everything is online. Printed media, it seems, is becoming less relevant, which makes advertising in it less powerful. In fact, I can’t remember the last time I picked up a magazine and read it. In the past few years, I’ve really discovered what social media can do for my business, and I’ve cracked the code on how to make the most of it.
When I first began my career, I relied heavily on Google Adwords, local magazine spreads and a few other forms of paid advertisement in order to get the word out about my business. It was extremely expensive and, as the years went on, I realized that the print ads weren’t feeding my business at all. I began realizing that more of the world was on the internet and I could start connecting with other people on social media about my business. When I realized that I could actually advertise my business for free, I stopped using Google and magazine spreads immediately.
It took a few years of dedicated work on sites including Facebook and Instagram, but I figured out how to use these platforms to transform my business. That was a big deal. When I first started using the platforms, I wasn’t sure it would work — especially Instagram. It seemed like these platforms worked better for people in the fashion and beauty industries (I’m a cosmetic dentist). But where there’s a will there’s a way, and once I realized how to utilize the platforms correctly, my business grew exponentially and I started getting patients directly from Instagram and Facebook. Those patients referred family and friends, and the growth continued. One of the best parts was that I cut out almost all of my advertising expenses. I believe that if this can work for a small business like mine, it can work for any business.
The reason it took so long was that in the beginning, I was simply on social media — I wasn’t actually using social media. What’s the difference? Think of being on social media as having a “to-do” list and marking “post on Facebook/Instagram” as one of the tasks that you simply check off once it’s completed. When you are using social media, on the other hand, it means that you are posting with a strategy and you are creating content that is intentional and will serve your business. You use the platform(s) to showcase yourself and your company. See the difference?
If you’re reading this and you’re wondering how to get started, let me help you understand how social media works. All social platforms are different, but let’s use Instagram as an example. Instagram is a very visual platform, so you should think of your feed like a magazine for your business. When someone lands on your page, what do you want them to see? How do you want them to feel?
Now that you have those two questions answered, the next thing you’re going to want to do is to create content. Since I’m a cosmetic dentist, I was selling a high-ticket item on my page — not a $15 lip gloss or a $10 shirt. I was selling procedures that range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Learning how to sell my services on social media really became an art.
Here’s the general rule: No one wants to be sold to over and over again. You must create your content as if you were sitting around a campfire with your audience. If you were to talk strictly about business, you would get kicked out of the campfire. but if you connect with people emotionally about your business, that’s when you start grabbing people’s attention. Create your content in a way that will connect you with your followers and your potential clients. This is what’s going to help you turn those followers into customers.
Keep in mind, social media is all about the long game. It’s about building a community and helping people get to know you and trust you. Once that happens, they will turn from a follower to a customer. Use social media to showcase personal aspects of your professional business and create experiences for your tribe. Don’t be overly focused on sales. You’ve got to work hard at being consistent and showing up. Remember that social media is a long-term strategy. Dedicate yourself to one platform for a period of time and see how your business can flourish.
Feature Image Credit: Getty
Expert in reconstructive & cosmetic dentistry and social media growth. www.DrYazdan.com. Find me online @DrYazdan.