The Social Media Etiquette Tips You Must Adhere To In 2019 In Order To Maximize Your Business Efforts
As I have shifted my career towards helping more and more people and clinics with their online presence, I've had the fortune to see how human behavior changes when done in an online format. Sadly, there's a misconception that behind a computer screen or phone, we are allowed to behave differently than we would in person. I wanted to take a few minutes to break down some of the biggest social media etiquette mistakes I see and explain how they can be detrimental to community building and ultimately, business. Whether you are looking to market a new product or service you have created or you are looking to attract local clientele, the way you manage your etiquette online in 2019 is critical to making sure you are maximizing your efforts.
#1 - Blanket Sharing Is An Absolute No-No
When someone makes a post on Facebook (or any other platform that allows for the ability to share content in groups) and shares their post in multiple groups immediately one after another is what we call "blanket sharing". It's sort of like putting a digital blanket all over social media with your one piece of content. Blanket sharing MIGHT (and even very rarely in this case) be okay IF (a big IF here) you leave a custom message when sharing that explains why the piece of content is relevant to that particular group. The worst thing you can do is just share your post in groups without leaving a custom message. While you might be thinking that you're providing valuable content to a group of people, what people see is laziness, desire for attention, and a lack of respect for the group's admin who are trying to create a positive and engaged community.
Rather than sharing your post like a digital blanket, choose one group that it would be most appropriate for, message the admin of the group and ask for permission to post, and then write a specific message of WHY this content you are posting is valuable to them. You'll be amazed by the engagement you will receive on your posts when you make this subtle etiquette change.
Curious About Facebook Marketing? Click Here For A Recent Podcast Episode I Was Interviewed On Covering FB Marketing
#2 - Using Social Media Only To Promote And Receive Won't Get You Far
Okay, so we now know that blanket sharing isn't a smart way to go about getting your message out to the world. That doesn't mean that you can't have a massive impact for your personal brand or business using Facebook groups. We just have to think about these communities differently. Rather than viewing them as giant bulletin boards where we can share our content, we need to approach them as communities filled with people who have needs and wants. I would argue that THE biggest benefit of Facebook groups is the fact that people use them to ask questions when they run into problems. This is where the magic happens. Being an active, engaged, and HELPFUL community member with no expectations of receiving something (views, likes, business, etc.) will do wonders for your ability to connect with people online and ultimately build your online word of mouth reputation.
Be the biggest community supporter in these groups that you want to have an influence in. What that specifically looks like includes commenting and providing feedback on questions people ask in the group. Even if you don't have the answer, see if you can find someone who might know the answer to their question. When someone posts a victory that they have had, celebrate it! When they post about a frustration, lend an ear and comment something positive to encourage them. The way we act online should be the same as the way we act in person. As soon as you shift from wanting (attention, likes, business, etc.) and giving, you in turn will start receiving more. It's just how the game works and it's how humans work.
Want To Know How To Make The Perfect FB Post? Click Here To See The Formula
#3 - Selling On The First Message Is Why You're Killing Sales
If you can't stand calls from phone numbers you don't recognize...or even worse, you pick up the phone from one of those numbers and it turns out to be someone trying to sell you something, then you're like me. I'm not sure who told people that doing the same thing on the internet was acceptable, but whoever it was, they were very, very wrong. If you ever spend any time on LinkedIn you'll certainly come across these digital versions of telemarketers. They start out with, "Hey Will, so glad we could connect. I do X thing for Y company and..." then they go on to write 3 paragraphs about their product. Mind you, only 30% of the time what they're selling is even relevant to you or your business. Here's how most people react: "UGHHHHH not another person trying to sell me things!!!". Sales and the art of selling is based on building a relationship. Whether that relationship is person-to-person or brand-to-person, the fact is that engaging people will ALWAYS trump asking for a monetary or time exchange as part of your first interaction with a potential customer or client.
Rather than sending a blanket, copy and paste style message, reduce your number of people you want to message, select a few that you really are interested in, and leave them a custom message. Since everyone else sends blanket messages, when you send a personal message you instantly stand out and will massively increase your number of responses. I recommend by looking at that person's profile, read some of their content, and then send a private message to them that talks about something you learned from reading through their content or profile. DO NOT ASK for a sale or to promote anything. The best thing you can do is to ask a question that is relevant to them and will show interest in them. If you haven't read Dale Carnegie's, How To Win Friends And Influence People, he speaks about the importance of being interested in other people when it comes to growing your influence in a marketplace.
Curious How To Use LinkedIn to Attract Local Customers And Clients? Click Here To See The Blog Post Where I Walk You Step-By-Step How To Do It
If there's one thing to take away from this blog post it's that the way behave in an online environment should be similar to how we behave in person. People are increasingly able to see through people who aren't sincere and are looking simply to receive rather than give. Relationships, even those online, are based on providing value and demonstrating interest in others before ever asking for a sale. So, in 2019 the best way to maximize your online efforts is to become the biggest contributor in your communities and to give, give, and give again before ever asking for something.
Looking To Learn How To Dominate Social Media in 2019? Then You Absolutely Need Social Secrets While It's Still On Sale...
Facebook and Instagram are all the talk these days...
And rightfully so. They dominate the total user base of people on social media platforms. That being said, other social media platforms have TONS of value to bring to small business owners and practice owners in particular. LinkedIn for example is less crowded and therefore your message is put in front of more of your audience compared to say Facebook (FB Fan/Business Pages have close to 3-5% organic reach and dwindling...).
Which is why I wanted to write a quick blog about the power of LinkedIn as a local lead generating source and how I use it to connect with my target audience. But before we dive in, we need to break down a few key principles to make the most of the platform...
#1 - People Who You Are "Connected" With Are The Ones Who Will First See Your Content
LinkedIn works by you having to "Connect" with another person. Think of this much like sending a friend request to someone on Facebook. You send them an invitation to connect, they accept, and then you will be able to see the content they post on their LinkedIn profile. This might be a good time to pause for a second and let you know that LinkedIn has it's own version of a Newsfeed where you can post and your connections can see your posts. There's a misperception at times that LinkedIn is just for businesses trying to connect with other businesses or for recruiters seeking job applicants. The platform has become MUCH MUCH more than a job board. It is a living content organism much like that of Facebook or Instagram. People are consuming content there, especially people who work in the B2B space. I was recently talking with my best friend, Aaron, who worked in Tech Sales for years and he said that many of the employees in that industry have LinkedIn up on their desktop all day because it's a marketing channel for them where they can converse with other marketing and sales reps or higher up executives. With that being said, here's what I recommend when it comes to using LinkedIn to serve your local business...
Connect With LOCAL People
Given that the people who see your content on LinkedIn are the ones you have "Connected" with, it only makes sense that we connect with LOCAL people on LinkedIn. If you're a physician, physical therapist, occupational therapist, etc. this means that your goal should NOT be to connect with other healthcare providers across the country (unless that's your ideal customer)...
We should be focused on making connections with anyone and everyone in our local area who has a LinkedIn profile (okay, it's best to be a little more judicious than ANYONE, but I think you catch my drift)...
How do we do this?
Start by using the LinkedIn search bar and type in your City or Region name. See below...
Next, we want to choose just "People" after we type in our city or region name...
After we've chosen "People", LinkedIn will pull up any connections we already have that are in our local area first. What we want to do is Connect with new people in our local area...
Therefore, click on "Connections" and Select "2nd" and "3rd+" to find people in your local area you have not connected with...
Here are my results after doing this process...
#2 - "Connect" With As Many Local People As Possible
From here, we want to click "Connect" with as many local people as possible (preferably outside of just other healthcare fields)...
Wait...isn't it rude to Connect with people I don't know? I would argue that if you're looking to use LinkedIn as a business tool, you should be willing to connect with anyone in your local area because you have information and services that can benefit the vast majority of people. Also, connecting with other healthcare providers across the country may be great for building a professional network, but how many of them could ever turn into a patient of yours? I'd guess less than 1%. This is about viewing the platform as a tool to WORK FOR YOUR BUSINESS, not to build a network.
LinkedIn will suggest you send a personal note when connecting with someone and if you have the time, that's great. The reality is though that most people have so few connections on LinkedIn that any relevant invitation (you are relevant because you are both in the same town) tends to be accepted.
This will sound crazy, but I would try to connect with 50-100 local people a day until you have over 1,000 local connections. This will take you 10-20 days, but you will then have a local audience that you can educate and build relationships with. You might be surprised at how many people will directly reach out to you with a question in response to just your invitation to connect.
#3 - Take Any FB Or IG Posts and Copy/Paste Them Into LinkedIN
Last step! Now that we have a LOCAL audience, we want to provide them with valuable content to both educate them and for brand awareness. Won't this be a ton of work, though?! Not really! What I recommend is taking a post you would normally already be making for Facebook or Instagram and copy/paste it into a LinkedIn post...
Or even better...if you do video, share that video on LinkedIn (**important to note that LinkedIn currently only allows videos up to 10 minutes long) because LinkedIn is heavily pushing video content.
#4 - Go Take Action
Okay, now you have a step-by-step strategy for how to use LinkedIn to potentially get local clients or patients. I want to say that this likely won't lead to a major influx of new patients in the first few weeks. Most marketing takes time to truly affect your audience and for them to trust you and see you as an expert in your field. Be consistent and keep showing up. Good things will happen.
Was this article helpful? If so, leave a comment about what you found most useful!
Want to learn more tricks and tips like this?
Join the free Facebook Group I run with my Physio friend and business partner, Alex Engar, at...