The Social Success Cycle
“I don’t like social media.”
When I hear a business owner say these words, it makes me want to scream. It’s like someone took a knife and stabbed me in the heart. It’s like watching someone throw puppies out of a window. It’s like watching someone eat huge insects. It makes me want to scream, “ARE YOU KIDDING ME?”
As a person that is passionate about helping people monetize their message and be successful in their business, hearing business owners downplay or even out right ignore the power of social media is heartbreaking. It’s heartbreaking because I know that social media, done right, can increase the revenue of ANY BUSINESS.
Remember the bottom line of business. The bottom line of business is very simple. You must get your products and services into the hands of your customers. In exchange for your products and services, your customers will give you some sort of compensation. That may be in the form of money, endorsement or even their e-mail address. All three of these are very important.
There are 5 critical things that we need to do in order to make this happen. Everything you do in business – including social media, must support at least one of these objectives.
- Find our customers or make it easy for them to find us.
- Find out what our customers need.
- Inform, educate and convince our customers that we can meet their needs.
- Deliver our product/service in way that suits our customer.
- Have systems in place to receive compensation. That compensation may be in the form of currency or an email address.
Social media is critical to doing items 1,2 and 3 on this list.
Business Relationships ARE Human Relationships
Marketing follows the same rules as human relationships because at the end of the day, businesses don’t buy from businesses. It is people in business who buy from other people in business.
So you need to use your social media power to cultivate relationships with people. Just as in human relationships, you can move too fast in social media relationships. You would find it awkward and weird for someone to ask you to go away with them for a week’s vacation to foreign place on a first date. Even if you really wanted a vacation and had told your friends about how you wanted to visit a certain destination, you would be leery about taking them up on that offer. Why? It isn’t the offer. You love vacations, you love to travel, you have always wanted to go to that destination. It’s not the offer, it’s where you are in relationship with the person that is making the offer. I can have the best products and services in the world and they could be the exact products and services you need, but if I don’t take time to cultivate a relationship with you, you will not buy my services.
This is why a lot of people claim that social media does not work in terms of making sales for your business. They may get some likes and a few comments but they have not experienced major success using social media. The reason they are not successful is not because social media doesn’t work. Let me be clear, social media works. 80% of my paid business comes from social media. I have authors that I have published that I have NEVER met except through Facebook and they have paid me hundreds and thousands of dollars. I landed 2 of my biggest clients using social media and they paid me 4 and 5 figures before I ever met them. Social media works, you just need to know how to work it.
Social Success Cycle
How do you get social media to work for you? To be most successful on social media, you need to have a strategy in place. The strategy that I have found to be the most successful is known as the Social Success Cycle. I don’t know the origin of the term but I was first introduced to it by Ryan Diess and Russ Henneberry from Digital Marketer when I was studying for my Social and Community Manager certification.
Let’s talk about the 4 parts of the Social Success Cycle.
- Social Listening
- Social Influencing
- Social Networking
- Social Selling
Notice that social selling is the LAST step in the cycle. This is where a lot of people mess up. They start out trying to sell without listening, influencing or networking. You have to “date” your audience first BEFORE you ask them to enter into a financial relationship with you.
It is my personal belief that social listening is the most important piece of the puzzle. If you are not listening, you are not able to respond properly. Think about this. If you put your fingers in your ears and closed your eyes and then tried to have a conversation with me, it would be a hot mess. You wouldn’t be responding to what I am saying. You would be talking about what you wanted to talk about. And if I then started talking about what you were talking about and asked you questions about it, you couldn’t respond because you couldn’t hear me. That is what it looks like when you post a bunch of stuff on Facebook, Twitter, Periscope, Blab or LinkedIn and you haven’t listen to your marketplace.
Social Listening is monitoring and responding to customer service and reputation management issues on social networks. It also includes listening and observing your target audience and finding out what issues they have that you can solve. Some people live their lives on social media. They post every thought they have. Does that irritate you? Does it get on your nerves? STOP IT! Never, ever say that again, particularly if you are a life coach. I love to see people post about their problems with technology. Why? That means I don’t have to guess what problems they are having, they are telling me.
That is why you need to be in groups that your target market is in. If you are an author, being in a group with other authors will not help you in terms of sales. You need to be in the groups where the people who would read your book and find a solution is. Does that make sense?
Tip for Social Listening: Find 3 Facebook groups and 3 LinkedIn group where the audience is that have the problem that you solve are and join them. Spend 5 minutes a day monitoring those groups. Get a notebook and jot down notes about what people are struggling with.
In a human dating relationship, you must show that you have something to bring to the table. You must show that you are a giving person. This is the phase of the relationship where you try to be as helpful as possible. It’s at this point where dates don’t always include a restaurant meal. You want to show the gentleman that you know how to cook. This is where you offer to fix the leaky faucet because you want to show that you are helpful around the house.
Social Influencing on the web is very similar. It involves establishing authority on social networks through the distribution and sharing of valuable content. This is where you need your content marketing. This is where you show that you are an expert through creating valuable content. This is where you show that you have your finger on the pulse of your niche or industry because you are sharing the content of others that are respected in your field. This is where you show that you are an expert. This is where the action and hard work come in.
In my opinion, this is the most important part of the cycle. Yes, I know I said that about social listening. But if you just listen and never take action, never create content and distribute it, never get on Periscope, never write your blog post, never do a Google Hangout or Blab… if you never do anything with that information that heard, you are just a stalker. STOP IT. Take that information you have jotted down and now develop some information products, do some Periscopes or host a Blab about it. Share some information with your audience from someone else. Stop listening and DO something
Tips for Social Influencing: Find 3 real issues that your audience is having (use your social listening exercise). Develop a FREE digital product that solves a portion of that problem. You can write a blog post (if you don’t have a blog, you can publish it on LinkedIn Pulse), do a series on Periscope or Facebook Live or do a Blab or Google Hangout. You can record a video or and audio, it doesn’t matter. Do something.
There are some powerful people that can help your business skyrocket but they don’t know who you are. You may know them but for the most part, you may not even know who they are.
Social Networking involves finding and associating with authoritative and influential people and brands on social networks. This is key to building your brand and audience. You must get in front of more people. The best way to do that is to have people put you in front of their audience. The best way to accomplish this is to put these people in front of your audience.
In my opinion, this is the most important part of the cycle. Yes, I know I said that about social listening and social influencing. But if you just listen and never take action; or if you listen, take action and create content but it never gets beyond your audience, your business will not grow. You must partner and collaborate with people to get your content in front of more people.
I have found that the best way to do this is by sharing other people’s content with my audience. This has a ton of benefits. First, it allows me to share great content with my audience that I did not have to create. It allows me to share information about great upcoming events that my audience could be interested in. Listen, there is no room for competition. There is enough business to go around. When you show yourself friendly, you will be amazed at the business opportunities that become available.
Tips for Social Networking: Find the 5 to 10 influencers in your industry and begin engaging with them online. Read and comment on their blogs. Share their events in Facebook and Twitter and make sure to tag them, if possible.
Finally, we get to the point where we can successfully make offers. I am not saying to wait until you master the other 3 steps before you make offers. You need to be doing all of these at the same time. However, you may not see great success with your offers until the first 3 items are clearly in motion.
Also, you want to make sure that you make the right offer to the right person at the right time in your relationship. You need a variety of things in your online superstore. You need free offers for people that don’t know you. This could be blog posts, videos or content rich social media post. You need lead magnet offers that provide solutions to very specific problems in exchange for their email address so that you are building your list. Followers on your social media sites are worth zero until they get on your list. You need low priced products that you can offer to those that want to try you out. You need mid-range and high end products.
In my opinion, this is the most important part of the cycle. Yes, I know I said that about social listening, social influencing and social networking. But if you just listen and never take action; or if you listen, take action and create content but it never gets beyond your audience; or you create content that goes viral but you don’t make the offer, you won’t sell anything and you won’t make money. You can’t pay your bills with likes and comments. You must convert these viewers into buyers.
So there you have it, the social success cycle. It starts with social listening, then social influencing, then social networking and finally social selling. But it doesn’t end there. You must continue to listen, produce content, connect with influencers and make the sell.
Sound overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be.
Here is a 20 minute a day Social Success Cycle Power Plan that will turn you into a profitable, online social butterfly in no time.
Social Listening – Each day choose 1 FB or LinkedIn Group to monitor. Spend 5 minutes looking at the conversations and questions that were asked. Make a note of the subject matter.
Social Influencing – When you find a problem that was asked that you are able to solve, spend 5 minutes outlining a solution. Schedule a time that you will complete the solution (blog post, video, audio, etc.)
Social Networking – Use Twitter lists to organize key followers in your industry. Spend 5 minutes reviewing, responding and retweeting their comments.
Social Selling – Make sure that you are posting an offer at least one a day. Your offer should not be more than 10-20% of the posts you make each day.
There are a lot of pieces to this but don’t get overwhelmed. Learn one piece at a time.
If you would like to learn how to use Twitter to really up your Social Networking game, I have an online course entitled Tame the Twitter Beast. Twitter is one of the best platforms available for lead generation and social networking, if you know what you are doing. Get access to this on-demand webinar and learn how to tame the beast with these 10 simple tips and tricks for using Twitter to build your brand and engage your target market. The cost is only $10. bit.ly/tametwitternow