By Gloria Rand
Recently, Facebook admitted that the overall organic reach of Facebook posts from brands is in slow decline. The social networking site is encouraging marketers to pay for ads if they want to,”maximize delivery of your message in news feed.”
So, how can a small business owner get their message out to the masses on Facebook, without spending a fortune on advertising?
I’ll tell you one way NOT to do it.
Don’t join Facebook groups with the sole intention of using them as a marketing platform. That’s what one individual did recently in a copywriting group I belong to.
Here’s the faulty strategy that got this individual kicked out of the group, and thwarted any hopes he had of making a sale.
The individual joined the group, but never participated in the group. He didn’t share a status update or comment on any of the messages shared by other members of the group.
Instead, after three weeks of membership, he launched his marketing plan. He began sending friend requests to members of the group and then sent them (and me) the following message:
Saw you’re into copywriting. Me too!
I always had a rough time with the business side of copywriting, so I created some software to help me out.
Feel free to check it out at ______________, (maybe it can help you too!)
Keep on writing,
Like many of the fellow members of the group, I friended him before reading the message. Once I read the message and checked out the website, I realized he was just trying to sell me a product. That’s fine in theory, but I would have preferred if he had struck up a friendship first, or at least offered something of value in the group before jumping in with both feet to the sales pitch.
It also turned out that our group’s administrator had already kicked him out of the group, and as more and more members shared their experience with this individual — how we’d all received the friend request and private message – one by one, members unfriended him.
The upshot is that this gentleman might be a very good guy, and had the best of intentions. But because he didn’t strike up a relationship with our group first, we were unwilling to buy.
That’s the lesson with social media. It’s all about relationships. You have to build trust with people by offering them something of value before you can sell them anything. So, go ahead and join a group, or start one of your own. But before you try to sell anyone your products or service, offer FREE advice. Earn the members’ trust and good will. Then, when you’re ready to make an offer, your fellow Facebook group members will be more inclined to buy.