You wouldn’t walk up to a stranger on the street and ask them to give you a ride to the airport in the morning, would you?
Well, we hope not.
We also hope that you would not have the audacity (and dare we say stupidity) to propose to a woman you saw from across the bar before you even exchanged phone numbers and the assurance that neither of you were serial killers.
While the two above scenarios may seem preposterous, we are actually playing out similar scenes of ill-advised ‘asking’ on a very contemporary stage: social media.
But before we go into that, let’s back up a little bit. Who WOULD you ask for a ride to the airport? Your spouse, parent, a good friend? And who would be a good candidate to propose marriage to? Hopefully someone you’ve already spent a good amount of time with and know that you’re (reasonably) compatible. These are people you’ve built EQUITY with. Building equity with people means you’ve taken the time to listen to them, you’ve spent time with them, you’ve given them tons of value in the form of treating them to dinner, watching their kids, listening to them cry about losing a job and hundreds of other occurrences to show that you care. Which means, when it’s time for you to make that ‘ask’ for a lift or a lifetime of happiness, you know you can make that withdrawal from the bank because you’ve built up enough equity to do so.
Now let’s turn this scenario to social media. Every time you make an ‘ask’, you are withdrawing from your equity. What is an ‘ask’ on social media? For a realtor, an ask would be putting up your new listing and trying to get people to look at them or inviting people to come see your new open house. For a restaurant, it would be posting new menu items or specials or announcing your happy hour to encourage people to come in for a drink.
What’s familiar about all these ‘asks’?
Well, it’s pretty much all we see on social media. And let me tell you, if you haven’t built up the equity to make these types of withdrawals, you’re definitely not seeing the engagement levels you want.
In Gary Vaynerchuk’s stellar book on social media entitled Jab Jab Jab Right Hook, he refers to building your engagement equity as telling your story and states: “Your story needs to move people’s spirits and build their goodwill, so that when you finally do ask them to buy from you, they feel like you’ve given them so much it would be almost rude to refuse.” In his opinion (and ours), your ‘jabs’ need to be equity-building while your ‘right hook’ is the withdrawal.
Or, in different terms, you need to be making about four deposits into your equity bank before you can make one withdrawal.
Here’s another great resource if you want to learn more about building equity.
Dawn and Traci are highly skilled online marketers who host a regular podcast on tips, tricks and mistakes they see with their own clients. They KNOW the value of building equity, and they’re utilizing it in their thriving business every day.
So what does this look like in the real world (or, rather, on your Facebook page)? Again, going back to the example of a realtor, a week of your Facebook posts should look something like this:
Monday: Article on why our area is one of the best places to live. (DEPOSIT or JAB)
Tuesday: Interview with local boutique owner in the area of town where you have a few houses listed. (DEPOSIT or JAB)
Wednesday: Announcement of upcoming weekend events in the city. (DEPOSIT or JAB).
Thursday: Article on how the color of your door can increase or decrease the number of people who want to view your home for sale. (DEPOSIT or JAB)
Friday: List of upcoming open houses for the weekend. (WITHDRAWAL or RIGHT HOOK).
Compare this to your competitor, who spent the whole week posting pictures of new listings (withdrawals) and then asked his already weary, used and abused audience to attend HIS open houses this weekend. Which ‘ask’ do you think is going to be better received?
Building Engagement Equity is important in nearly every area of your life, and you’re subconsciously doing it every day with friends, relatives, partners and business contacts. Unfortunately, for some, it never occurs to them that this needs to be replicated on social media to really move your audience and get them to the engagement level where they’re ready to hire you (or buy from you or tell their friends about you).
So before YOU post on your social media next, ask yourself: What is MY Engagement Equity and how can I make another deposit?