You’re ‘doing’ social media, but it isn’t delivering results. We found there are 8 common reasons why this happens. Read on to find out if you’re making any of the same mistakes.
Failure #1. You don’t have a plan
Even if you don’t have the time nor passion to write a full-blown strategy, at the very least do these six things well, and develop a simple plan:
1. Understand who your target market is, and where they are most likely to be found on social media.
2. Match up your desired audience with the most appropriate social platform that you know you can handle.
3. Study your audience, what is it that they are interested in, and what do they want to know.
4. Research your competitors on social media.
5. Design a basic strategy to hold yourself accountable. Will you post content daily, weekly? And how will you manage your engagement?
6. Select quality monitoring and analysis tools.
Failure #2. You think social media is free
You need to consider the cost of resource investment for content creation and engagement, and an advertising and boosting budget (this will vary according to your plan, and the platform you select). Advertising and boosting are the best ways to grow your social media footprint fast with a target market. Click here to learn how to boost your Facebook posts.
Failure #3. You think anyone can do social media
Social media marketing should not be delegated to Bob from accounts because he has his own Facebook page, nor to the 20 something iGen marketing co-ordinator because they ‘get it’. If they also have a marketing degree or experience in corporate public affairs then it might be OK, but the best result is achieved when the person managing social media has some training or background in communications. Social media is not a technology challenge requiring a technologist solution, it is a communication challenge requiring a communicator solution.
Failure #4. You haven’t gotten your website in order before you start
The first thing we do as consultants is to investigate a potential clients’ website in excruciating detail because the key advantage of social media is to drive people to the website, so make sure it is up to scratch, and fully operational. Don’t have a website? You can easily build one using platforms such as Wix, or try your hand at a WordPress website.
Failure #5. Set and forget
The lights are on but no one is home. Social media is just that – social – and success is most likely to be achieved if you engage with your audience. Lets face it, we are all busy and there is a place for scheduling posts, but time needs to be allocated to social media profiles to make them feel ‘alive’ and real. Social media is about networking, and relationships have the ability to turn into revenue. Social media is also a brilliant customer service or investor relations tool. Social media takes time, and you need to recognise this fact up front. It also requires you to be listening and watching what your audience is saying so you can spot opportunities to jump in and add something of value. Relevance and timeliness are silver bullets for social media success.
Failure #6. Too much sales slick
There is the 80:20 rule in social media. 80% of information of interest to the group and 20% about you. Don’t sell, sell, sell on social media – people will stop listening.
Failure #7. Not using hashtags, links or images
To achieve a business outcome, you need to make sure your tweets or posts are ‘loaded’. By that we mean giving your messages the very best chance for viral success.
1. Hashtags will leverage your message up into a collective conversation and this is how you will attract more followers, shares, likes and retweets. Do some homework on hashtags – it’s worth it. Use websites such as social mention to find your most relevant hashtags.
2. Tweets and posts with links deliver 13 x more retweets, shares and likes.
3. Images deliver up to 19 x more retweets, shares and likes than messages with no image.
Failure #8. You don’t have quality monitoring and analytics in place
Every platform provides some analytics on activity but very few offer information on sentiment, impact and influence. There are lots of quality monitoring tools on the market, some are easy to drive and others virtually require a PhD to understand how to use them. It’s well worth seeking support from a social media consultancy, who have monitoring and analytics packages that give clients access to a suite of tools. Comprehensive and finely tuned reports offer valuable insight and evidence of your social media impact. Make sure your monitoring can turn stats into reliable facts and insights.
Whether you’re a small start-up, or big business, it’s important to take social media seriously, as just like your website, your social media profile is another extension of your profile. Avoid the common failures and you will be well on your way to a successful social media profile!