We all know that people generally hate sales/promotional stuff on social media. Research has proven that the more you try to sell, the less you would actually sell on social media. But that obviously doesn’t mean you should not sell at all, but rather, look for ways to get your customers to buy.
(Now take a minute to think about that last sentence if that makes any sense. Read on if it does!)
The way we do that is what we commonly call these days as “soft-sell”. But what does it really mean? How do you soft-sell through tweets, replies on Facebook and blog comments?
And as do all the things we do, we establish and follow frameworks. We call this framework the R-S-R-Q model (stands for Reward-Statement-Reflection-Question). Credits to Jessse Krieger, who spends a lot of his time researching on social dynamics and conversational skills.
On a Personal Level
For you to have a better understanding, let’s first touch on how this works on a personal level. You see, all of us have topics that each of us personally loves to talk about (ie. our passions). For me, some topics off my head are – traveling, entrepreneurship, marketing.
Now let me explain how this works.
Say you’re talking to someone at a party, and the conversation goes something like this…
Me: So what are you up to tomorrow?
Kris: Oh, we’re going wakeboarding at XYZ.
Assuming I know nothing about wakeboarding, yet I want to steer the conversation over to my mastery topics, here’s how I would apply the R-S-R-Q model.
Me: That’s awesome, I haven’t tried wakeboarding before but I heard a lot about it from my friends. They tend to have a lot of crazy stories every time they travel, definitely a lot of fun every time we travel together. I remember the last time I was in Phuket, where we went to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and the view of the sunrise was so amazing. Do you travel a lot yourself?
Notice how I’ve steered the conversation to a topic which I have a lot of knowledge and experience on? Here’s how I would break it down based on the R-S-R-Q model:
Reward – That’s awesome (a simple compliment)
Statement – I haven’t tried wakeboarding before but I heard a lot about it from my friends (A simple statement based on the same topic, in this case it would be wakeboarding)
Reflection – They tend to have a lot of crazy stories every time they travel, definitely a lot of fun every time we travel together. I remember the last time I was in Phuket, where we went to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and the view of the sunrise was so amazing. (I would fuse wakeboarding to one of my topics – travel, entrepreneurship, marketing. In this case, I picked travel, hence reflecting on my traveling experiences with my friends who had tried wakeboarding before)
Question – Do you travel a lot yourself? (Passing over the conversation baton to Kris)
On a Corporate Level
See how simple that was? Now it’s time to do the same for your brand on any social media platform, this could be used on Facebook (when replying to comments) or blogs, or twitter. Remember that as Community Managers, we need to focus on demonstrating value through what we say, instead of hard-selling.
So what are your brand’s mastery topics? This can be easily answered if you follow the C3 System. Under the E1 segment (the first subsegment of Step 3 – Engage), we talk about creating your content foundation through 2 deliverables – the Brand Persona and 100 Topics. Under 100 Topics, 10 of those would be your Mastery Topics.
For example, if you are a restaurant like FullHouse, some of their Mastery Topics we identified for them are – lifestyle café, fusion cuisine, family-esque atmosphere.
So a possible type of comment they would get on their Facebook Page would be something as follows, followed by how we can apply the R-S-R-Q model.
Facebook Fan: Love this place, quite similar to Restaurant ABC though…
Fullhouse: Thanks! Yep, have been to Restaurant ABC before, though I think they are more on the luxury fine dining side. We’re more commonly known for having birthday parties and hosting family dinners thanks to the convenient location here. How was your experience here at Fullhouse?
And here’s how I would break it down in the R-S-R-Q model:
Reward – Thanks! (Again, another simple compliment)
Statement – Yep, have been to Restaurant ABC before, though I think they are more on the luxury fine dining side. (Another simple, neutral statement. The topic that we bounced off the Facebook Fan was ‘Restaurant ABC’)
Reflection – We’re more commonly known for having birthday parties and hosting family dinners thanks to the convenient location here. (Fusing the topic of Restaurant ABC with one of our Mastery Topics, in this case, we chose family-esque atmosphere. We could potentially go on and reflect even more by sharing a story of how a family event happened at the restaurant to engage even further.)
Question – How was your experience here at Fullhouse? (A question to elicit more investment into the conversation)
With the R-S-R-Q model, you would practically have no excuses to say “I don’t know what to reply to this guy” anymore. Now take this and apply it into action!
(Photo Credit – sharkbait@Flickr)
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