How to Really “Reach” Your Customers, and Why You Haven’t Done it Yet
It’s no secret that businesses have invaded social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest, Vine, etc. etc. etc. Cool, awesome, happy day, good for those businesses that aren’t reluctant to make changes and try new things. But things get a little icky when businesses realize they have to do more than merely exist on these platforms to reach customers. How to reach your customers is a huge question that everyone wants to find easy answers to. But maybe reach doesn’t mean what you think it means. Okay, it does mean what you think it means, but let’s stop being like everyone else for just a second.
Bomb ‘o Truth, dropping in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…
Maybe, just maybe, you should think of reach as getting THROUGH to your potential customer, not just getting in front of them.
“WHAT??! You mean I can’t just create a page and post kitten memes and doofy Buzzfeed articles and annoying sales pitches and crappy industry news that I copied and pasted after a 30 second Google search?! I can’t flip a magical social switch and turn my thousands of irresponsibly gathered Facebook fans into customers?! You’re telling me I can’t post crap and consider it a success when X number of people were “reached”?!”
No. Just no. Now, please run and hide before I get angry. Actually, bring me a sandwich.
Let’s break this down in the simplest way possible. Your goal as a business is to find new customers and get them to give you their money. How do you get people to give you their money? You make them like you.
How do you make them like you? You make out with them under the bleachers. Heh, kidding.
You make a potential customer like you by being REAL. By being human, by having real life opinions, by giving real life advice you believe in, by being helpful, by being giving and generous with free information, by having conversations with your customers the way you’d have a conversation with your best friend or your dog.
People have become obsessed with seeking out social media “best practices”. People want to know the 1, 2, 3 formula to “reaching” more customers on Twitter or the type of content Facebook favors in the newsfeed or my personal favorite…the fastest and easiest way to make money with social. What you should be concerned with is being awesome, saying awesome things, and having fans that actually care about the awesome things you say.
And while certain tips and tricks and best practices can be helpful and are important, don’t let them overshadow the fact that people aren’t dumb and social media makes your business transparent. Your potential customers can see right through your annoying salesy posts, the link that you shared with the caption “Wow! What do you think about this!??!”, and the content that is supposed to garner engagement but really does nothing for your customers.
The way I see it, Facebook (and all the others, too) is this huge stage and the second you create a page and begin posting daily, whether it be photos, videos, links, or just words, it’s as if you’ve taken center stage and you’ve been handed a mic. You wouldn’t stand on a stage and screaming meaningless words about topics that didn’t matter to you or the people listening. You wouldn’t be boring. You wouldn’t pretend to be someone that you’re not. And if you would, then…well, we can’t be friends anymore.
See, if you’re standing on a stage and spewing a bunch of nonsense, you’re technically “reaching” the people in your audience. But they don’t care, because you’re awful.
The bottom line is this: You want to be able to connect with your customers using social. Stop expecting to find an easy solution. The magic wand does not exist. Focus on finding your voice and just being awesome, in general. And when you figure it out, consider your customers and think of how they’re interpreting the stuff that you’re doing, both on Facebook and everywhere else. And never forget that REACHING them isn’t your goal. Delighting them once you reach them is.