Use Social Media to Engage People and Not to Sell

Sandeep Kashyap
5 min readDec 8, 2017

Have you ever seen a TV commercial or a YouTube advertisement by Nike?

Did you notice something? Nike uses an out-of-the box strategy for their marketing campaigns. Their advertisements are quite different from the traditional ones. They don’t sell their products. They inspire.

Okay, let me give you a hint through this picture:

I hope you have got an idea by now. If not, then check out their commercial again. In fact, when I first saw a TV commercial by Nike, it took me a long to understand what they were actually selling.

“Want to inspire your team to work harder? Make their life easy by using ProofHub to manage their work life.”

Nike never sells its products through advertisements, commercials, YouTube videos, or by social media marketing for that matter . But if you look at their statistics then you will find something like this: Fourth quarter revenues up 5 percent to $8.7 billion; 7 percent growth on a currency-neutral basis

How are they able to generate such a high revenue without even mentioning about their products in their commercials?

Nike hasn’t been using TV commercials or YouTube posts to simply sell or generate revenue. They have been using it to engage audience by motivating them. For instance someone who has been planning to go to the gym for long finds it hard to find motivation for it. But after they come across something like this they would surely make it to the gym next morning.

Social Media as an Engagement Channel

The point of writing the above story is nothing but to bring to your awareness that social media isn’t just a marketing platform now. Gone are the days when it was easy to drive sales by posting few links on Facebook and Twitter. This worked in the beginning because there was comparatively much less noise and even lesser content. People were ready to click on everything that came across their news feed.

But if you look at the current situation, every social media platform including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube etc., is overflowing with content. This has made people choosy about what they should click and what they should simply avoid.

Do you still think you can drive sales from social media by simply talking about your product all the time? Perhaps, Nike would have never been able to drive such a high revenue at such point of time.

Undoubtedly, social media is an incredible platform. But businesses and startups need to understand that success through social media will only come via authenticity and personalization. If your brand doesn’t speak about personal experiences, forget about sales you will have hard time building an image in the market.

It’s time businesses must think about this and change their marketing strategies accordingly. For instance if you have a story to tell that your audience can relate to or you can help people to grow beyond their limitations, then the world is there for you.

Today, social media is more about strengthening your relationships with your followers by engaging them in conversation. For instance you can use Twitter Direct Messages, Instagram Direct, Messenger to engage your fans and inspire them. The whole idea is to give them a reason to follow you and respond back to you. Simply pushing marketing messages is not going to help.

In the points below, you will find why it is important to change your social media marketing strategy now. If your marketing strategy hasn’t been yielding results so far, then it’s surely time for a change.

Reasons why engagement is the only way to exist on social media in the coming future:

Fall in Organic Reach

It is a well-known fact amongst all social media marketing experts that organic reach on social media has drastically fallen over the past few years. Businesses are finding it hard to drive traffic to their websites through social media. The reason is simple. The more the content on social media, more will be the fall in organic reach.

Rise of Chat bots

After 10 long years, the domination over internet has shifted from social media to social messaging apps. Today, people want to log in to a social messaging app than a social media platform to connect with people and pages. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is at forefront to take advantage of this changing trend. They don’t just post interesting and engaging stuff on their social media platform. They are working on their one-to-one channels.

There are around 200 agents of KLM who are available to handle questions on social media 24/7. They also developed a Messenger chat bot to send flight information, updates, and boarding pass to their passengers. This has eventually increased their overall business value. In fact, this is a meaningful way to interact with your customers rather than just sending marketing content.

Engagement is all about Content Quality

Content is the king and social media has proven it well many a times. If it’s not engaging then you will fail to receive positive responses from your fans. So, the only way to engage people through social media is to improve the quality of your content. For instance, if your post is able to engage more people, social media algorithms consider it as interesting and automatically enhance its reachability among more people. On the other hand, if there are negative interactions such as “Hide post” on Facebook then exactly the opposite happens.

The ultimate goal of every business is traffic, conversions or leads which is possible through more interactions on your social media page. This is possible through high-quality content.

If you want to continue existing as a brand then you must give these points a serious thought.

Remember, social media is a way to gain confidence and showcase your brand. Use it as a tool to engage and inspire them. Let them know that you are available to help them and answer their queries. It’s time to create a social media strategy to create a difference in the lives of customers and fans. All the best:)

“Transform the way you manage your projects. Switch to ProofHub.”

Originally published at LinkedIn.com.

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Sandeep Kashyap is the Founder of ProofHub — a leading project management and collaboration software. A passionate leader, Sandeep is always on the lookout for innovative ideas about filling the communication gap between groups, teams and companies. He is also a featured writer on LinkedIn and a contributing author at YourStory. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.

Also follow our company page @ProofHub to get the recent updates about our tool, published articles, motivational quotes & presentations.

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Sandeep Kashyap

Internet Entrepreneur, CEO of SDP Labs and Founder of ProofHub