Social media marketing is without a doubt one of the strongest tools you have in your arsenal to reach innumerable new or existing customers and maximize conversions. According to research group Statista, there are over three billion people active across social media platforms world-wide, with greater than 22 million of those users right here in Canada. With numbers that high and growing daily, you can’t afford for your business NOT to have an active social media presence… or can you? As with any powerful tool, if it is not used properly, social media marketing can destroy your company’s online reputation and drive people away. Read on to learn seven reasons why your company must stop, drop and roll your Social Media strategy.
1- You have FAILED to establish Measurable Goals for your Social Media Efforts
Benjamin Franklin is noted for the quote, “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail,” and this couldn’t be truer of your social media marketing efforts. While the ultimate goals for any type of marketing are obviously to attract new customers and increase sales, the steps required to do this successfully on social media are not as straightforward as other methods. In fact, in order to be successful with social, you have to “humanize” your business and make it relatable so people take notice before you’ll reap the benefits of increased sales. Here are a few suggested goals to get you started:
- Increasing brand awareness- In order to reach your target audience, they have to be aware your brand is out there. The more people recognize your brand, the greater your reach will become.
- Building community engagement- Increasing the amount of positive interaction between your business and your audience results in greater loyalty, trust and CONVERSIONS!
- Drive traffic to your website- Your website is a critical component of the buyer’s journey. Increasing the traffic means greater potential for increased revenues.
The most important factors to consider are to ensure your goals are realistic, you have a plan for how to reach them and you have a way to measure their success. Otherwise, plan instead to delete your company’s social accounts.
2- You have no Idea WHERE to find your Best Prospects
During the advent of social media, creating a Facebook page and working it diligently brought great results. Today however, the social landscape has changed immensely and while Facebook remains a front-runner for the most widely-used platform, the demographic you’re targeting may not be spending much time there. For example, according to a Pew Research Center survey, 68-percent of adults now have Facebook profiles, but younger adults in the age range of 18-to-24 spend far more time on Snapchat and Instagram.
While a non-traditional form of social media, YouTube numbers are surpassing Facebook with nearly 75-percent of all adults using the platform but again, 94-percent of younger adults are active. This particular survey did not touch on Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn, but the results are similar; user numbers are growing and they each have a demographic they appeal to most. The bottom line is you need to understand the basic culture of each social media platform and learn where your best prospects are spending the most of their time, or you’re wasting yours.
3- Ignorance is NOT Bliss
Creating content that will engage your audience on social media is not the same as posting on your personal platforms. While the idea is to humanize your business somewhat so people can relate to it and build trust in its products or services, there’s a fine line that quickly leads to over-sharing and that will kill your brand FAST. It’s critical to post content that will enhance your audience’s lives; be it useful, interesting or even humorous. Keep it industry-specific so they learn to count on your business to deliver what they want or need. To personalize your business, make roughly 35-percent of your posts specific to your company’s information, such as event updates, employee culture, milestones, etc. Don’t let ignorance in how social media functions, cause you to oversell, bore your audience or worse, damage your company’s reputation.
4- Dropping the Ball on COMMUNICATION
Too often, businesses start up social media profiles and within a short time, stop posting frequent updates and don’t bother to respond to people who are interacting with them. This is THE cardinal rule to social media: BE SOCIAL. Just as you wouldn’t go to a social event in public and ignore everyone there, don’t open up social media accounts for your business and drop the ball on communication. If people feel ignored or see that you don’t care to update them regularly, you’ll drive them to your competition.
5-Profiles that are INCOMPLETE or Poorly Executed
Your company profile is your one shot to impress potential new customers in the realm of social media. That’s where they will go to get a vision of your company, find out what your business has to offer and where you are located. Missing information, poor-quality images and plagiarized content all scream to potential customers that your business doesn’t think they’re worth the effort to show your brand in its best light.
6- Trying to Get Social on the CHEAP
The days of organic reach on social media platforms are long past. Algorithms are changed more frequently than most status updates in an effort to cut down the noise and drive more relevant information to social media users, so to get your business to the forefront, you have to “pay-to-play.” Going all the way back to item #1- the goals you set for your social media marketing will help you determine the investment you need to make. If you’re not willing to invest in growth, go ahead and cancel social as part of your strategy rather than causing harm to your brand.
7- Not Bothering to MEASURE your Success (or Failure)
Without measuring the success of the goals you set out when you started on social media marketing, you’ll have no idea if your business is benefitting from your efforts, or if you’re causing more harm than good. Like ALL digital marketing, you have to measure your progress, review your practices to see where improvements can be made and keep pushing forward to maximize your return on investment. If you’re not going to dig into your analytics to see how you’re doing, there’s no point to wasting your time on social media.
This is a big list and it only touches on the most salient points when it comes to social media marketing for your business. To do social well, you need to plan for success and invest the time and money into what it takes to reach your goals. If you don’t feel you can make such a commitment, you’re better off to delete your company’s social media profiles and look at other marketing strategies so you don’t damage your brand. Of course, there’s also another solution for those who don’t have the time to learn all of the ins and outs to leveraging social media: contact WSI eStrategies in Ottawa and we’ll put our expertise to work for you!
Download our Social Media Marketing Kit to help your business get started on the right foot.