What Spider-Man Can Teach Business Owners About Social Media

If things aren’t working out for you and your business on social media, it might be time to step back and ask yourself an important question… 

Who are you without the suit?

What do I mean by this? 

Let me back up so I can explain my obsession with Spider-Man.

(There’s a point to this, I promise.)

In Spider-Man: Homecoming (starring Tom Holland and Robert Downey Jr.) Peter Parker (also known as Spider-Man) has a meltdown trying to prove his worth to Tony Stark (also known as Iron Man).

When Peter fails dismally, Tony has a “tough parent” moment and decides Peter is just not ready for the responsibility and gravitas that comes with being a superhero. An argument follows and Tony demands Peter return the superhero suit he built for him.

The suit is tech-heavy and loaded with flashy features that fill Peter with confidence and a connection to something bigger than himself. When Tony demands he return the suit, Peter has an existential crisis and begs for a second chance. 

“I’m nothing without the suit,” pleads Peter.

To which Tony stoically responds with, “If you’re nothing without the suit, you shouldn’t have it”.

Peter leaves the discussion disgraced, weighed down in teenaged angst, no longer wearing the very cool super-suit and instead wearing a humiliating “I survived my trip to NYC” t-shirt.

This — in my opinion — is the greatest moment and the heaviest lesson brought up in any Spider-Man movie ever. 

(That’s right, I said EVER!)

It applies to so much in life, but let’s look at how it relates to business and social media. 

When promoting your business on social media, it’s natural to feel under-whelmed when you’re not getting the type of response and engagement you expect.

It takes time and consistency — as well as regular posting and a willingness to change things up and see what sticks — before gathering any real traction.

Even with lots of engagement (likes, shares, comments, and follows) you might still not be seeing the amount of conversion you’d like to see (i.e. how much of this engagement is bringing you business dollars?)

At this point, it’s easy to throw your hands up in the air and declare, “social media just doesn’t work for our business.”

That’s what some business owners do. Others will try to shake things up on social media. Throw some money into ads. Cheat the algorithm with the latest hack. Post more often. Do more stories. Use less hashtags. No wait, MORE hashtags!

If this is you, I’m not saying you’re wrong to want to switch things up but… before you try to fix something that isn’t necessarily broken, ask yourself this tough question…

Who are you without the suit?

The suit is social media.

You (the business) are Peter Parker without the suit.

Peter Parker is Spider-Man. The suit is NOT Spider-Man.

In other words, are you really lacking in your social media marketing efforts (the suit) or are you (Peter Parker) not yet cutting it as Spider-Man on your own?

Because remember, the suit doesn’t make Spider-Man. Peter Parker makes Spider-Man. 

The suit just enhances what’s already there. If you’re not getting results, don’t be too quick to blame the suit. Because it might be something else entirely.

Here are 3 things to revisit if you’re not getting your desired response on social media…

Is your product or service something people actually want?

Are you offering something people on social media actually want to purchase? 

You’ve likely done all the necessary market research and know that your product or service is something that people want or need. But if it isn’t selling on social media, your product or service might need a tweak.

That doesn’t mean you have to completely change your offer, you just have to figure out what might be absent from your offer. 

Audiences on social media are a little different from audiences elsewhere… you might have to consider their point of view more.

Don’t panic — it often doesn’t take much to turn a good offer into a great offer.

For instance, maybe you are selling a course, but it’s not selling because people are afraid they will need support while taking your course and they feel like you’ll desert them once they make their purchase. 

If this is the case, you could consider creating a private Facebook support group where you can answer questions and engage with all the people who have bought your course and they can engage with each other as well. 

Very often, having access to a community is the thing that sells an otherwise fantastic course.

And , it’s very likely that your social media audience will be very keen to join a Facebook group, because they’re already on Facebook.

So in this case, adding a Facebook group can be a part of your product, and something that could also be promoted on social media.

How’s your content?

At the core of your social media strategy is your content.

You can post all day and every day, but if your content is bad, it won’t make a difference.

Your content includes your blog posts, videos, podcasts, webinars, memes, micro-content… EVERYTHING. 

Great content adds value. It advises, entertains, or strikes an emotional chord.

Your content has to do any or all these things and be well-produced.

And most importantly, it needs to be targeted at a specific audience.

If you try to make your content appealing to everyone, it will come across and bland and vague. In order to create content that is targeted, you must know your market niche extremely well.

If you don’t have a clear idea on who your audience is and what they need to hear from you, you need to back things up and re-examine your brand.

Your brand is your business’s reputation. It’s how your message is received. If there is a disconnect between what you are putting out and the intended result, this is where your problem lies.

How’s your overall strategy?

Are you relying too much on social media, or is social media a piece of your bigger overall strategy?

Keep in mind that even if your content successfully qualifies leads, and your social media posts drive those leads from social media to your website, it is your website that needs to convert those leads.

If your website drops the ball, you will lose those leads.

A lead magnet on your website can help you engage any traffic from social media and build an email list so that you can revisit these leads.

A lead magnet is a free downloadable ebook or piece of digital content that you can give away for free in exchange for an email address.

Once you start building an email list, you should send out an email newsletter every few weeks so you can again touch base with your qualified audience.

Your email should be packed with valuable content and remind your list about your service or product.

Eventually, these leads will turn into sales.

So you see, it’s not enough to just have a strong social media presence.

You can’t depend on the suit like it’s the only thing that can build your business. The suit is an integral part of a bigger picture.

You need to start with a product or service that is in demand on social media. You need content that speaks to the right audience and adds value. You also need an effective website, a valuable lead magnet, and a consistent email campaign.

Peter Parker had to go back to fighting crime in his unglamorous homemade mask and sweat shirt, but he eventually figured out how to be Spider-Man without the Stark suit.

He was back in the Stark suit soon enough, but he had the added knowledge that with or without it, he was and always will be Spider-Man.

You — yes, YOU, the entrepreneur reading this — are more than the suit. You’re Spider-Man.

Remember that.

If you’re ready to take your business blog to the next level…