How To Use Social Influence to Motivate Consumer Buying Decisions
When it comes to selling on social media choosing your own instant gratification over social influencers is a sure fire way to fail.
If You Want to Know How to Use Social Influence to Get Others Selling for you:
- Stop Thinking About Yourself!
- Understand Your Audience.
- Know Who Your Social Influencers Are.
- Understand What Content is Appropriate for Social Media
- Plan out New Content Ideas for Your Influencers
People are hardwired to want things right now. Social media has certainly had an impact on this sense of instant gratification.
Unfortunately, instant gratification is a one way street heading right to your consumer. Click To Tweet
I know it sucks, but the consumer isn’t really thinking about your needs or your desire to make a sale – only what they can get from you.
The majority of online businesses fail miserably trying to sell their products on social media.
Why? Because they are looking for instant gratification, thinking only of themselves. They have no relationships and no influence over potential customers.
Here’s something to think about; social media is designed as a share and engage community style platform. If you’re goal is to sell, you’re going to have to provide a lot more than just a product. You’re going to have to be in it for the long haul ie: build actual relationships, provide engaging content and ultimately gain trust.
It’s absolutely impossible to build trust, engage on a thoughtful level, and impact influencers if you’re only focused on the hard sell.
If you’ve been guilty of this – you’re not alone. So many businesses make the mistake of thinking social media is all about having followers to push products in front of, but for a business it’s far more important to have social influence.
Because social influencers don’t just sit idly by and like posts, they motivate others to take action.
The good news is that you don’t need Kylie Jenner or some other celebrity with 100m followers on Instagram to mention your product. I’m not saying that wouldn’t be cool… it’s just not super realistic. Influencers come in all shapes and sizes so, before you start firing off emails to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson or some other well-known celebrity, you need to do a little research of your own.
Are you confusing sales with marketing?
Firstly, let’s address the main question this post is dealing with. Why is it so hard for businesses to sell products effectively on social media?
Well this is partly due to the fact that social media platforms such as Facebook aren’t the ideal environment for direct sales. More importantly ‘sales’ are the outcome of an effective marketing plan, and this is something you must have when trying to promote products through social channels.
If you are failing at generating sales on social media you might want to consider that social networks are exactly that – social.
I’m not exactly sure why so many people expect that just because they are posting on social media that their content should automatically convert to sales. What I do know is that simply pushing your products or services to those who are NOT actively seeking them is a sure fire way to NOT convert them to sales.
In a landscape designed for relationships, pimping products isn’t really an effective strategy. Building relationships on the other hand is, and that’s exactly where social influence comes into play.
Why Your Business Needs Social Influencers
Online sales are built on trust and recommendations; which is why any eCommerce store worth it’s salt focuses on getting customer reviews. Consumers trust recommendations from a third party more than the business promoting their product.
When you apply this same thought process to social media it makes total sense that a more personal context is going to motivate your consumer far better than a hard sell. You don’t often trust a salesman, but an influencer on the other hand, is that trusted friend that connects your consumers with your products and more importantly can influence their buying decision.
So why aren’t more small businesses using social influence to their benefit?
This is a great question with a simple answer. Social influence is earned and It’s just easier to throw money at advertising rather than building relationships.
Unfortunately, this is the best way to fail at converting potential customers on social media. Businesses who seek immediate gratification by opting for the hard sell on social networks typically find themselves not very gratified.
What To Do: Select the Right Influencers
Social Influencers need to be a good fit. Influencers need to be a contextual fit. For example, it would be totally worthless to go after Katy Perry’s fans when you’re selling business leadership courses.
Like I mentioned before, you don’t need a global superstar to tweet about your product. A less well-known influencer with a loyal following in the right demographic is going to be extremely valuable to you.
Identifying potential influencers to partner with can be tricky, but there are tools that can help, such as:
- Little Bird
When you align with an influencer they bring their audience to you. Because this influencer has trust, credibility and reach they have the ability to drive traffic and conversions to your site.
Maintaining Social Influence Means Keeping Influencers Happy
Keeping viewers engaged in a huge part of any successful marketing campaign and influencers won’t stick around long if they’re forced to regurgitate the same old product information to their audience.
What can you do to keep influencers happy?
Be proactive in feeding them fresh content and content that they can stand behind with their reputation. Planning out content ideas ahead of time should most definitely be part of the research you do prior to reaching out to an influencer.
Be prepared to give your influencers the ammunition they need to run with by;
- Researching Audience Demographics by running some initial test campaigns through facebook on your own.
- Test different content ideas to see what people actually engage with via social platforms in terms of comments and likes.
For example one product that I was testing different content ideas for using ad variations on Facebook was for an RV Holding Tank Treatment. Typically, talking about RV toilets and holding tanks isn’t really all that exciting, but if you put together the right information in the right way… well as you can see this really resonated with the RV community. Infact, this ad actually brought some really good influencers to us.
Getting information from your customers will be an essential component of the content you feed your influencers.
There are several ways that you can encourage this type of user generated content such as:
- Asking customers to review your products
- Asking customers to upload videos or photos of them using your products.
- Encourage them a little by offering discounts or give a ways.
- Actively engage in community forum discussions.
- Send out free products to influencers, and or blog owners.
If you want to succeed in building social influence in order to motivate consumers to buy, be clear about what you want to achieve and be realistic in your expectations. Start by building relationships and if you don’t see the results you hoped for, go back to the drawing board and find out where you went wrong.
Tomorrow is another day!