Ever wondered if social media is all a bunch of hogwash? Ever thought that your Tweets, LinkedIn updates and Facebook posts are useless content that get you nowhere? I’m sure you have. And at one point, we all did.
But let me tell you, social media can and has delivered ROI for many small businesses out there. Obviously, to get the results, you have to do it right.
So if you’re not seeing results from social media marketing and are wondering if you are wasting your valuable resources on it, you might be doing one (or more) of the following no-no’s:
1. Posting updates at random times
Yes, you’re busy trying to do so much, you sometimes forget if you’ve had lunch. But posting tweets whenever you get a chance is pointless. Effective marketing is based on the notion of rhythmic contact to stay top-of-mind. Build some rhythm around your posting by making reminders in your calendar to post updates or write a handful of them in advance and schedule them in bulk (via social publishing tools). Also, to increase relevance, post at the times your target audience are online.
2. Posting the same thing repeatedly
Would you like to receive the same letter from a supplier over and over again? I didn’t think so. Posting the same updates could only get you blocked from your audience’s social networks. If you have valuable content that you’d like to share more than once, rephrase it or use different angles to keep your audience interested. Remember, if your update is relevant and valuable, people will respond postively by liking, sharing or re-tweeting, essentially promoting it for you.
3. Non-targeted updates
With Twitter’s hashtags, Facebook pages and LinkedIn groups, why would you still post updates on your main page, when you could be reaching specific segments of your target audience? Conduct a brief research (perhaps based on your clients) to identify the groups your prospects join, the pages they ‘like’ and the hashtags they use. Your posts can then reach the right people.
4. Promoting your own product / service
I understand that talking about the product / service you offer is the easier way to social media success. But there is no shortcut. People aren’t thinking about your product / service if they don’t need it. After all, you wouldn’t buy a car without making sure that you needed one. Keep your updates interesting, helpful and relevant. You will draw the right people in and with a sound strategy, they will engage further.
5. Not engaging with influencers
Social media is meant to help you reach your buyers and influence them, correct? By engaging with influencers you can widen your reach, and they are more credible. Identify the influencers to engage with by first checking the number of their followers, the engagement around their posts (comments and shares) and whether the ideas they put forward align with yours. Then make sure your updates are relevant and are targeted to these influencers (see point 3).
6. Not interacting with your contacts
You may be too busy to monitor the engagement around your networks and respond to each comment, but without it, you are not using social media to its full potential. Social media was built to enable better communication after all. So to truly engage with your buyers, you must interact with them. Set time aside to monitor your mentions and comments on the social networks you’re on. Then, respond to them with a question / comment to keep the conversation going. If this succeeds, they may want to take the conversation off social media to talk to you in more detail about how you can help them.
7. No strategy guiding your social media efforts
Because social accounts are so easy to set up, some are guilty of diving in without a real plan. It’s somewhat like a baby jumping into a pool without floaties, you shouldn’t do it. You must first make sure that social media is the right channel to connect with your prospects, then determine the role social media will play in your overall strategy. Set quantifiable objectives such as number of leads, sales and revenue.
Then determine how social media fits in your end-to-end campaign – how an update should lead a reader further down the funnel. Work out the channels, types of updates, times, hashtags and influencers. This then becomes the guide and your social media strategy.
8. Not measuring or tracking any metrics
To know if social media is actually delivering results, you need to measure your efforts. Measure the number of leads and sales generated from the various channels you’ve used. Of course, use these results to make incremental improvements to your social media campaigns and generate better results over time.
So many business leaders think social media are so easy to use that they can do it on their own. You could, but your experience with social networks is based upon personal use, while social media marketing is whole other realm. It needs a lot more than what you’ve learnt from personal use of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.
Get tips and ideas, or even help, from the experts to make sure you are doing the right things to ensure social media success. Or to see if your marketing is effective, take our free marketing healthcheck.