Facebook Rule #1 – Never “Sell” Products
I was talking to a friend of mine who is the marketing director for a local theatre company, and he was asking me what types of posts are good to use on Facebook. I told the best thing he could do was to never sell products. We got to talking more and discussed how people love to hear about successes you are having (see upcoming Rule #6). He said, “If I post that we are happy about being 98% sold for a show, I essentially want to sell the remaining 2%!” That is true, but social media interaction, and really all marketing, is about perception rather than just intention.
His intention with sharing that bit of information was two-fold: share the success of great sales AND sell the remaining 2%. Even if he never sells anything, the perception is that things are going well at the theatre and and as a result he has built positive word of mouth. Marketing is about selling, but it is more about connecting with people and helping them buy, rather than selling to them. Selling on Facebook is the process of creating better connections with people so they think of you more readily when the time comes to buy.
Now, there are times when you can sell on Facebook, but be prepared to give something away. People get connected to restaurants on Facebook for specials, but a good Facebook special needs to be a DEEP discount. I’m talking 50%+ if you want to have any traction. Groupon is a good example of social coupons, and all of their deals are in excess of 50%. Rather than trying to directly sell, you are better off using Facebook as a way to build the relationship with the consumer and help them in the buying process.
Another of my friends is a photographer (a very good one, I believe) and to the left is a picture of consecutive posts she created on her Facebook page. They are spaced over a period of a few days. (Click here to visit her Facebook page or to visit her website, go to haleesurachphotography.com)
Notice in the top post she mentions that she has some openings for photo shoots before the fall colors go away. Southwest Michigan has some awesome fall colors that last about 40 minutes (okay, 3-4 weeks) and are great for family photos.
A great Facebook post builds conversation and interaction with your followers. The bottom post is simply a picture she took one morning, with no call to action. Look how many more Likes (13 vs. 1) and comments (5 vs. 0) she got. This is a great of example of the difference between selling and building rapport.
The photographer built a ton of credibility with the picture she posted because people love pictures of Michigan color and because it shows off the fantastic work she does. In the next few weeks we discuss other ways that you can connect and engage with your Facebook page fans without continually selling to them.