Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Facebook: A City Full of Street Vendors.

Vendedores en cada esquina.
Last week I published an excellent article by my a friend of mine, Pilar Perez Baz (@PilarPerezBaz), in which she talked about facebook comparing it to a city full of people who gather there to share things about their lives, interact with others who are interested in the same kind of things, and, generally, hang out.

In my case, for instance, Facebook allows me to keep in touch with my family, a part of which is in Venezuela, and the others spread out through Chile, Germany, Trinidad, and me, my wife and kids here in Spain.

It also allows me to regularly chat with friends I have in the United States and, in brief, Facebook has helped me stay in touch with the people I love, with those with whom I want to nurture relationships along the road and to develop new ones as well, forever destroying geographical barriers.

Today, there are street vendors on every Facebook corner.

However, what began as a platform that you can use to keep in touch with the world, has started to become a street market, where traders will sell their products, stand on street corners with big horns and begin to demand your attention, so that you to buy from them and not anyone else.

They will invite you to follow them, will become your friend, but at the end of the story, they just want to sell you something.

And that's fine: They are merchants. They have products. They need to sell. The problem is that, with their horns and banners, we can’t see the beauty of the city in which we live, in some cases, their noise interrupts conversations we are having at a square or in a coffee shop.

When we’re walking down the boulevard, those guys try to sell us things putting their goods in front of our face, not even allowing us to salute that friend with whom we arranged to meet there.

The problem is not about what they do, but the way the do it.

Obviously if you are a trader, facebook gives you a great tool to get in touch with your audience, to develop long-term, lasting relationships, breaking geographical barriers that may limit your business, add value to relationships, and above all, generate more business.

After all, your marketing efforts must ultimately focus on bringing in more sales, more business.

However, your desire to sell ain’t bad itself. The problem lies on the way you are doing your things. If you want to keep blowing the horn, standing in one corner of the street, yelling to the top of your lungs to the world how good your products are, probably people will end up covering their ears, completely annoyed.

What can you do to take advantage of facebook and bring in more sales?

  • Provide relevant content to your audience: identify the areas of your business that may be of their interest. If you sell security systems, for instance, provide tips on how to better protect your house, what precautions to take when going on vacation. Even talk of other products that may be of great interest, such as doors and security gates, even though you consider them competition, the can add a significant value to your customer’s life.
  • Share news, videos, posts and other material you find that somehow can improve your customers’ lives, bring new ideas, fresh, altruistic, interesting and innovative.
  • Join groups where they discuss topics of your interest: Share the knowledge that makes you an expert within your business, provide tips, offer help, stay always available as a company and as a person.

You will always have traditional tools to promote your business, such as sponsored post or paid facebook ads, however, if we remain faithful to the idea that gave birth to facebook, which was to unite people with people, You’ll do an excellent job if you follow the tips recommended above, make your presence on facebook a little bit more “human” and you’ll be making more money.

Keep in mind it’s not about taking a megaphone and shouting from the rooftops how good your products are, but to prove you're a company which wants to interact with its audience, willing to share and add value in a world increasingly interconnected.

Related posts:
From Conversation To A Brand New Sale in 6 Simple Steps.
“It’s not called Sociale Media for notihng.”

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