Metro

  • Written by Ashley Ann

One of the most important things to always remember about social media is that if you wouldn't do it in real life, don't do it online. So many people treat social media almost like they're going on a trip to Mars, but they're not. Instead, you need to think of social media, like a party. If I went to a party, I would not walk up to random people that I didn't know and say, "Hey, my name is Ashley Ann, give me $127." They would probably start laughing at me. They would probably wonder if I just really walked up to them from out of nowhere and asked for $127! You would be shocked.

You wouldn't really know what to think. You wouldn't know what to do, right?

That is literally what many people are doing on social media right now. Whether you know it or not, you're not taking the time to introduce yourself. You're not taking time to open up for a conversation with your followers. You're not taking time to actually work the room, which many people do with several of your hashtags, comments, participation inside different groups, and conversation within micro-communities. There are people not doing any of that. And when you don't do that, you are not taking the opportunity to engage with your audience so that they get to know you and so that you get to know them. And so essentially, when you are not engaging with your audience and working the room, then you try to get them to buy something, it is just like walking up to somebody out of nowhere and saying, "Hey, I'm Ashley, give me some money."

Now, would you do that in real life? Would you walk into a party or into a room full of people you don't know and say to them, "Hey, give me some money"? No, you wouldn't, so I need you to think the same way about the social media pages and platforms you're on. We're socializing, and it’s a big party. So the number one mistake is not socializing on social media. I get that Instagram is a fantastic platform to build your brand, build up teams, sell your products, generate traffic, and absolutely positively, you should be using it for those things. But more importantly, you should be using it to build relationships. When you build relationships with people, that's how you create lifetime customers.

There are three ways that you build a business, and do not ever forget this. Number one is we build by getting new customers or clients, or we retain whom we have. Number two is you increase the transaction amount. So that means, instead of people spending $10 with me, I get them to spend $15 with me. And the third way is we increase the frequency. So that means instead of you coming to see me once a month, now you're going to come once every other week. Or hopefully, you're working out whatever your strategy is, and you're doing a combination of all three of those. So your goal with social media is to leverage it and its power and your ability to target to build relationships with people interested in your services and your products.

Focusing on too many channels is the next mistake. How many of you feel overwhelmed because there are so many social media platforms? There is so much to post with tons of information out there, causing one of the biggest mistakes people are making, trying to be too many places. There are pretty much two social media channels or two social media platforms that you should start on. The one that everyone should be on because everyone is on it, Facebook. Facebook recently reached over 2 billion users, and there is still no social media more prominent and better Facebook. So everyone should have a Facebook account. Even if you don't want to post and be active on your Facebook every day, you need your Facebook to have the power to create and run ads and sponsored posts.

In all honesty, it isn't easy to reach people using traditional forms of media. So it's tough to catch people by running a commercial. Because people have things like DVRs with fast forward, or they have Hulu or Netflix. Many people don't listen to the radio, especially generation X and millennials. They listen to XM, Spotify, YouTube, and those types of media outlets. So you have to get creative, and you have to be where people are. That's the name of the game when you're marketing. So Facebook gives you the ability to run sponsored posts on Instagram, Facebook, and its audience network. So if you want to run an ad to somebody, you can target.

Now the second social media platform that everybody needs to be on is your choice. If you love Twitter, be on Twitter. If you love Instagram, be on the Gram. If you love YouTube, set you up a YouTube channel, or get your TikTok on. There's no such thing as one platform is better than the other. It is about where your target audience hangs out. So, for instance, if you want to reach a lot of small business owners, professionals, and corporations: you're probably going to want to have accounts on LinkedIn or Twitter because people on there fall into that category. If you're trying to reach a lot of generation X, you're moving residential or consumer products, you're probably going to want to spend much of your time on Instagram because it's a lot of us there. Especially if you're doing any product or service related to aesthetics and visuals, if you were looking to work with many millennials and stuff like that, Snapchat will be your friend because almost all of them are on Snapchat. Every day. Over 300 billion freaking snaps are happening every hour. It's ridiculous. So people are snapping their lives away right now at this very second. If you do many how-to's and tutorials, if you want to have a standardized show and looking to develop a long-term relationship with your audience, you're probably going to want to be on YouTube. If you're a crafter or a blogger, or you do a lot of DIY projects types of things, and that's your audience base, then you're probably going to want to be on Pinterest. And TikTok is showing promise for numerous categories and creating its own lane. Are you picking up what I'm putting down?

You need to start to put some thought into who your consumer is, what they like to do and where they hang out, it is that simple. And honestly, if you're not trying to reach people under the age of 35 and under, you really don't have to learn Snapchat. You may want to go over there for your brand's sake, you know, and get an account underneath your name. So it's yours, and no one else can do that. They can't take that away from you. I recommend Facebook for everyone because nobody's bigger than Facebook. Almost everyone has a Facebook account, which will be very important when you start running boost posts. That's when you're extremely serious about building your business and booking new clients and leads every day. I would say Facebook is almost like the equivalent of running a television commercial back in the day, especially if you're doing video ads because that's how you're getting in front of people with them seeing your videos and ads down their timeline.

Tip number two, about being focused on too many social media accounts. Once you master your one account and get a system for it, it's perfectly okay to add another social media platform. Just don't get out there and try to be everywhere because it's going to be too much. You're going to get overwhelmed and not going to be able to manage it. Then eventually, you're going to shut down, which is what many people do.

The third mistake, plainly put, you don't have any value. Nobody wants to pick up what you're putting down. You just out here, RAM-ing, ramming all over the place. Do you know what RAM means?. RAM means Random Acts of Marketing. Just say no to being a RAM-er. That means you all just trying all kinds of random stuff. There is no sequence. There's no reasoning behind it. There's no structure. There's no strategy. You're just out here posting all kinds of stuff—Willy nilly. We cannot RAM. We've got to have value on our pages and our accounts so that people want to keep coming back. Continue hanging out with us.

Here's a tip for a quick way to add value. If you don't know what's a good, valuable piece of content, you cannot go wrong with three particular categories. Now, I'm not saying that these three categories are the only types of content that add value to people's lives. I'm just saying that if your content falls into one of these three categories, it is valuable. Knowledge, people love information. And I think sometimes we forget that things that are common knowledge to us or that we do every day and become like second nature to us, we think that everyone knows that, or everyone understands the process, or they know the behind-the-scenes or how much work it takes. But that's not true; you can do anything knowledge-based. It can be a how-to, a tutorial, an article, or a blog. You could give ten steps to something. Anything that is knowledge-based is always going to be valuable content.

The second category is personal, believe it or not, like your thoughts, opinions, maybe what you're doing on the weekend. That's where you start the Know, Like, and Trust factor. That's where you build emotional connections. Anything that's thought-provoking, anything that's an opinion. Something you want to share in your life, even if it's your lunch, people love to eat. You will be amazed at how many conversations you can start by posting your lunch or dinner pick. I've made all kinds of sales because somebody popped into my inbox asking me about what it was that I ate or said they had dinner at the same place I had dinner. I would then let it lead to other conversations and ended up closing a sale.

And the third category, anything that is warm and fuzzy or funny. You can't go wrong with it. If you can make people feel good, inspired, or motivated because there's so much unhappiness going on in the world. Many people are dealing with all kinds of stuff, and if you can make them laugh, you're winning. Making people feel good is valued whether you want to believe it or not. You know, giving someone something like a joke or a little burst of laughter throughout the day is valuable. That's why you see comedians have these massive followings on Instagram. You will also see that their pages grow quickly. Why? Because people like to laugh. And at times, humor is a really great way to open up a conversation. Real-life situations that everyone can identify with, like current events, may be difficult to talk about, and humor is a great way to segue and transition into it. So if you don't know what to post, find some content that falls into one of those three categories, and you're good to go. That's a great way to start creating a social media page or online platform that adds value.

When selling online, we sell through creating interest. I know that sounds crazy, but it's very counterintuitive. Please understand me; you absolutely will make indirect offers and direct offers from time to time. There is nothing wrong with going Live and doing a Q&A, mentioning a product, or putting a post up and saying, "Hey, go and buy this." However, you should not try to sell to people immediately. Especially if you haven't created any value, any interest, and there's been no conversation with the audience. I'm telling you that if you have interesting content and valuable content on your page, you're going to attract people who are interested and who are more likely to be interested in your product or service. For instance, I get asked by musicians all the time about how to use their IG account to build up a base and sell their music. It is really simple, show your life; you’re your biggest asset. You should create exciting content by showing behind the scenes, showing your rehearsal, showing in the studio, showing the people you're meeting when you have a radio interview or a podcast from time to time. Put these things inside of your Instagram Stories. You can talk about your state of mind. Talk about how excited you are about your music or when you have disappointments. While you're creating your music, let people come into your sessions. Engage your audience with Calls To Action like Do you want to help me write a song? I'm trying to figure out this lyric; which hook do you like the best? It's not that difficult.

People are interested in learning how things work. Now you're creating something where people will find invest in your story. So, let's say for two weeks, I'm working on a song, and I'm letting the audience work with me. Doing things like beat do they like the best, which hook they like the best, and what chord they like. You have engaged the audience, and now they feel ownership in that music and in that song. So if it's something that they helped create, they, of course, want a part of it too. So when you say go to iTunes to buy it, go to the website, or grab the Christmas CD, as a customer, I am more excited about the product, and you didn't even have to sell me on it.

Learn to create interest. My job is not to sell all the time. If I'm an MLM or Network Marketer and need to build my team, I should showcase when I'm meeting new clients. When I'm going to conferences, I may be wearing my product when I'm out eating or drinking, especially when I'm doing live shows. If the clients allow me, I may record some of it, asking them what they think, how they feel, or their experience. I will go Live, talking about how I love my job, how I love the freedom I have created with my business. Maybe from time to time posting up one of my commission checks. That's how you get people to say, "Hey, I need some extra money. I need some extra coins. I was thinking about getting a second job. Instead, I want to work at home. I want to come and join your team." It's about creating interest, so think about all those things that I just listed before I said, make an offer or say something about joining your team. Engaging, building a relationship before we try to sell should be the 80/20 Rule … 80% content and 20% sales.

That's a pretty good format to follow even inside of your Live streams. If you have a product or a service to sell or have a store, or you're trying to get people over to that website, you can reset and name-drop your website four or five times during a broadcast. There's nothing wrong with that at all. But, you're spending most of your time engaging with your audience, building a relationship, giving them valuable content, showing them how to do something. Maybe unboxing different clothing items and dressing the mannequins with them, maybe doing a style tutorial and noting the petite women in the audience items that may be perfect for them and showing them how to pair the best items for their size. Inform them about a good piece for them because it is versatile enough to go from daytime to evening … get creative with your content. And then you say, "Hey, go to my store NoSkinnyGirlsAllowed.com and shop with us. See what's new." That's really how it works. So try and focus on not selling immediately, and instead, let's create interest first.

The last common mistake I will give you is not being consistent in these social streets. If you want to make sales, be consistent. If you want to build your team, be consistent. If you want a large list, be consistent. If you want people to show up to your events, be consistent. If you can be consistent, you will outlast 80% of people because numerous people cannot remain consistent. Some can't stay consistent for a couple of days, much less, two years, and even less for 20 years. You need to pick schedules that are going to allow you to show up. People always think that I had some great marketing plan or some big scheme when I started doing my late-night business Live stream show. Nope, I picked 11 o'clock at night because that was the only time I knew that I could show up consistently. I'm a very busy lady, and I run several companies. I make high-end sales with packages that can sometimes be hundreds of thousands of dollars consistently. I consult with all types of clients, and I travel all the time. So this was the only time I could show up consistently. I didn't want to be finicky or flaky with showing up because I knew that would destroy my ability to use these platforms for monetization, to grow my brand awareness, and to pick up new clients and customers.

Also, I decided what voice I wanted for my social media, which is to educate with some good content, but you know, I love to have fun, and I'm here for the shenanigans. So I had to figure out how I could do this every night. Part of that was picking a relaxed voice. I didn't want to get on here and have to put on a suit every day. I didn't want to have to be in my makeup every day. I didn't want to get on my Live stream and use proper terminology or grammar and not be allowed to use slang or hang out with my audience. If I couldn't have fun and enjoy myself, then it would've felt too much like work to me. And guess what? I would've quit. When I started Live streaming, tons of people started too, but they couldn't be consistent. And because they weren't consistent, they weren't able to monetize their Instagram.

You have to post consistently. There are people on social media who will post six or seven posts in one day and may do that for a week, or so, then they disappear for three or four weeks at a time, then come back, and have the audacity say that they can't make money with Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. No, you can make money; you’re just inconsistent, so people don't know who you are. It's just like, when you start dating somebody, let's say you're dating a new guy or new girl, and you all are calling each other two or three times a week along with texting one another every day. Then all of a sudden, they disappear, and they are gone for two weeks, three weeks, or a month and all of a sudden, they pop up with a "Hey stranger" text message. You probably won't know who it is because you may have already deleted them from your phone. So your reply may be, "Who is this?" That's precisely what some of you are doing to your audiences. So whenever you make a post on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, the audience has no idea who you are in real life. They may not even remember following your account.

After all, you have ruined your opportunity to build a relationship and sell something to them because you made one post, they followed you, but then you ghosted them for two or three weeks at a time. Some people disappear for two or three months. Be consistent. That's one of the biggest mistakes people are making on social media. Stop wondering how people can build up their audiences or followings and make sales online. A big part of the puzzle is just consistency.

I am Ashley Ann, Social Media Strategist & Business Builder. I've helped over 11,000 people make money with social media, over 700 of my clients are six figure earners, and 146 are million dollar earners. Check me out Live on IG, FB, or TikTok @KingAshleyAnn.



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