Facebook is only beneficial to you if it drives sales. Social media is only valuable to you if it gets the phone ringing.
I hear a lot of misconceptions about social media:
- No one buys from Facebook
- People have moved on from Facebook
- My customers aren’t on Facebook
- I just don’t get it
- It’s just a place where people vent and post negative comments
- No one’s listening
- Facebook only wants my money
Too many small business owners and self-employed professionals view Facebook, and social media, as a tool for negativity and wastefulness. You couldn’t be more wrong.
Social media is about small techniques performed to perfection, strung together to make a strategy, which creates a campaign and ultimately achieves a goal…
A goal to increase sales and grow business.
The strategy that we’re focusing on today is exactly how my client Val Vista Lakes grew from only 300 Facebook Fans and 500 monthly website visitors to over 6,700 Facebook Fans and over 3,500 monthly website visitors.
Val Vista Lakes is the single, most popular wedding venue on Facebook because of the strategy that I’m going to show you today…
(Seriously…for wedding venues that are not resorts, hotels, or zoos…Val Vista Lakes is the single most popular wedding venue Facebook Page in Arizona.)
This week we’re talking about building relationships with images. But before we dive into photo posts on Facebook, let’s take a look at intent…
Posting with Intent
When you’re a business owner, you never do anything just for the heck of it.
Everything that you do is done with intent, with purpose, with an objective…an end goal.
You get new business cards with the intent to share your brand and information. You pay for a professional photographer to take new headshots with the intent to build credibility…make a better impression. You go to networking events with the intent to build relationships.
Social media is no different. Marketing online is no different.
You post a blog link with the intent to drive buyers to your website and improve credibility. You post videos to Facebook with the intent to build relationships and personalize your business. You post photos with the intent to humanize, or drive traffic, or maintain transparency.
With this Facebook strategy that took Val Vista Lakes from non-existent to influential, intent plays a crucial role.
Using Photos and Images to Build Customer/Client Relationships
The first thing you need to know is this:
Images are powerful…
And there are about a million strategies for using photos to:
- sell a product
- share a special/discount/coupon
- feature an employee
- feature a customer
- share a laugh
- show a space or venue
- build trust and credibility with transparency and emotion
With my client Val Vista Lakes, we use images with the intent to:
- Show the Venue
- Share the Experience
- Tell a Story
If you’ve ever been to Val Vista Lakes, you know how beautiful the space is. That venue, that space, is their greatest asset…their greatest draw. And so we show it, as often as possible.
(What is your greatest asset? What is your brand’s greatest draw?)
My job for this client is to get people to want to see the venue in person, because once you walk through this place you’ll want to get married there.
Here’s an example of Val Vista Lakes photo posts…
Here are some numbers related to this post…
Here are some additional ways I take advantage of these client images for VVL…
Here’s why this strategy works:
1.Inspires Dreams and Emotions: When you’re planning your wedding, emotions are high. And then you see photos like this…
Photos with so much emotion, so much beauty, and you can’t help but click on them (or at least pause on them). You start to dream, imagining your big day.
And, before you know it, we’ve created an emotional connection between the brand and the customer.
2. Invites an Experience: Wedding photos are intimate. Sharing wedding photos is an invitation to share the experience…the positive experience these customers head with Val Vista Lakes. These are customers of the business, and they’re extremely happy. It’s easy to see in the photos, and it resonates with the client’s target audience.
3. Encourages Engagement and Interactions: These photo posts are the most engaging, popular posts on the client’s Facebook page. The numbers on these photo posts are 375% higher than any other types of Facebook posts on the client’s page.
The client gets likes, comments, shares and tagged, and even gains new Fans and leads from these photos.
The customers in the photos always engage with their own pictures, usually adding a raving comment about their experience with Val Vista Lakes. Friends tag other friends in these photos. Newly engaged couples tag their fiances to share the photos. The photographers tag and share the photos with their audience.
And all of this generates more brand awareness, more eyes on the client’s business, more Facebook Fans and more leads for the client.
4. Tell a Story: Every photo tells a story…a story of the business…a story of the experience…a story of the brand. And a story ties in every element of marketing that increases your bottom line.
How does the saying go? A picture is worth a thousand words. In this case, a picture can be worth $1,000. Or perhaps a thousand eyeballs on the brand. Or maybe a thousand new leads over the course of the next few years.
If you are able to take and post photos that tell an entire story, your bottom line will dramatically increase.
It’s easy to see how photos for a client like Val Vista Lakes impacts their bottom line. It’s easy to see how wedding photos tell a story and invite engagement.
But your business, your brand, you and your space…you have the same advantages. What makes you special? Sure, at Val Vista Lakes is easily the beachfront wedding property with a waterfall…but what about you?
Is it a specific product that people are raving about? Can you share photos of customers using those products?
Is it the $3,000 you saved a client on their taxes last year? That is something to rave about with storytelling photos!
Is it the new home that your client finally bought, after visiting dozens of ‘not right’ homes first? That’s a great story to tell with photos!
Maybe it’s the grandparent who now finally feels secure knowing his family is going to be cared for. Share his story with photos and how you took away his fears!
No matter what your business, tell your story with photos and watch your engagement go through the roof.