BNI is one of the most successful networking organizations in the world, with members passing millions of referrals resulting in BILLIONS of dollars in closed business every year.
The philosophy of BNI is “Givers Gain”. This means that members actively take a role in helping other members to grow their business by seeking out referrals and opportunities. In doing so, they understand that business will come back to them via the same methods.
Simply put, it’s a philosophy of “I help you and then you will want to help me”.
The concept is sound and proven successful for decades. It’s similar to the Zig Ziglar quote so many business owners have become accustomed to hearing:
“You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want.”
How It Applies to Social Media
Often, business owners will express the desire to create a stronger Social Media presence for their company. They want to make connections, attract followers, and eventually have that effort turn into sales and revenue. Admittedly, however, most don’t fully understand how to make this happen.
It’s not uncommon to see a business Facebook page full of shameless plugs, sales speak, calls to action, and “in your face” advertising that few of us would ever implement if we were face-to-face with a potential prospect or referral source.
Unfortunately, that method of pushing for a closed sale on Social Media is likely to be a recipe for disaster. It truly annoys people more than anything else. In fact, Social Media is often the worst place to try and pitch your product or service because it’s so easy for people to dismiss you with a mouse click. You risk becoming a nuisance to one’s news feed, in which case you’ll drive potential customers away.
Entertain, Educate, or Inform… Don’t Sell
People spend time on Social Media to be entertained, educated, and informed. If you want them to consume your content, then you need to fit into one of those 3 categories.
Ask yourself this question: Do you ever log in to your own Facebook page hoping that you’ll see a few ads from local business owners pushing their product or service?
If you answered “NO”, and I’m pretty sure you did, why would you want to take that approach with your own business?
Have a Content Strategy Before You Post
If you’re serious about building the Social Media presence for your business, then take a step back and ask yourself a few questions…
- Who do I want to reach?
- What information would they be interested in reading or watching?
- What questions to they have that I can answer for them?
- How can I educate and inform them in a way that also builds my credibility and displays my expertise within my field?
Remember, a strong Social Media presence isn’t about you, it’s about your audience. It’s not about what you want, it’s about what they want (remember Zig Ziglar).
So, start with the answers to the 4 questions above, create a content plan around them, and you’ll be on your way to a successful and worthwhile Social Media campaign!