Thousands of social media accounts are created daily, many of which are from business owners who joined the social media bandwagon after repeatedly hearing stories of how it’s an excellent way to generate awareness and attract more customers for their business.
Sadly, many of these new account owners seem to be going nowhere with their social media marketing strategy. They thought they could build a profile, post a couple of messages and videos and that will be enough to attract visitors to their page, who will eventually buy their products. The “If you build it, they will come” mindset just isn’t enough in a competitive market.
If you’ve been at it for a while and haven’t seen results, see if you can identify with the reasons below.
Culprits of a Failed Social Media Marketing Strategy
1. Wrong Expectations
Social media tends to drive less traffic to websites and capture people at an earlier stage of the buying cycle than SEO or PPC. That does not necessarily make it less effective but you may be happier using social to build your brand, engage customers and get them to sign up for your email list rather than expecting the exact same amount of bottom of the funnel leads you are getting from SEO, PPC or email marketing.
Like SEO and content marketing, it will take time for you to notice the results of your social media marketing strategy. Two to three months of posting status updates aren’t enough to grow a following and generate sales. You need to be consistent in posting great content and interacting with your followers to increase the engagement in your accounts.
If you try one strategy and it doesn’t work, don’t just abandon it and declare your efforts a waste. For instance, posting a tweet multiple times is a well-known strategy to increase the shares and re-tweets for a post. If that approach doesn’t work for you, try moving the posting time one hour ahead to see if that would make a difference. If it still doesn’t work, try re-writing the tweet. There’s no such thing as a one-size fits all social media strategy, so a little experimentation goes a long way.
2. Wrong Channels
You’ve heard of Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, but are you familiar with StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, Quora, Snapchat, and Delicious? Dozens of social media networks exist, so it’s easy to get overwhelmed if you’re not sure which platform is right for your business.
Opening an account on every social media website available is a waste of time, as it would be impossible to maintain all of them and not all of them will bring you good leads anyway. It’s better to focus your limited time and resources on the social network your customers visit. For instance, B2B companies might do well on LinkedIn and SildeShare but not on Snapchat and Pinterest.
3. You Hired the Wrong Person
Thousands of social media analysts, strategists, and managers exist today because companies big and small are hiring them to grow their brand’s social media following. Marketing and creative agencies also hire them to outsource work for their clients. Unfortunately, many of these social media managers know next to nothing about your industry, much less the ins and outs of your products and services. Some of them also work with three or more clients simultaneously, so it’s impossible for them to dedicate as much time to your needs.
Social media management services don’t come cheap, so you might as well hire someone with experience working with other products or services similar to yours. If you can’t find someone with that knowledge, at least spend some time training your social media manager on the different aspects of your business, so they know how to represent your brand online.
The money and time you invest in a knowledgeable social media manager will pay off, especially if you take the time to work with them in brainstorming the posts and marketing strategies for your social accounts.
4. You’re Just a Sounding Board
If you think sharing what a popular writer in your industry tweeted on your social feed is enough, think again. It’s not enough to be a curator of articles and interesting studies, you need to add your thoughts on these articles as well. That’s how you become a useful resource for your audience, and how you get the attention of influencers or thought leaders in your industry.
— Dorie Clark (@dorieclark) July 20, 2017
In the example above, Dorie Clark could’ve just shared the Forbes article with the advice from Michael Port but instead, she took the time to highlight which part of the article resonated with her.
5. Posting about Dogs, Tacos, and Sunsets too Often
You’ve seen pictures of cute dogs, tacos, and mesmerizing sunsets with tons of likes on social media. And you wonder, maybe you should start posting dog pictures and sunsets, too? I know I’ve seen a couple of social accounts fall into this trap. Yes, you will get lots of likes if you post cute dog pictures. But those likes won’t amount to anything in the long run because the people who liked or shared those pictures are most likely not interested in your business. As a lawyer, you might get fewer likes posting about divorce trivia or some other topic related to your practice, but the people who engage with those posts are more likely to be your clients in the long run. Spend a few hours thinking about your business and personal interests, and then list the interests of your target audience. Compare the two lists to see what they have in common then focus your efforts on publishing content that meets the criteria.
6. Your Profile Has no ‘Voice’ or Identity
What’s your first reaction when you see a social profile with no picture and only one or two posts? I suspect you’ll think it’s a fake account or the owner is rarely active in maintaining their profile. Either way, I’m sure you won’t be eager to like or follow that profile. While social media is a good way to build a business, don’t forget it’s still a social platform. Users are expected to connect with others personally, and it’s impossible to do that hiding behind a default avatar picture or corporate logo. Besides, your customers want to connect with someone personable, not a chatbot. This is also the reason why social media accounts of brands where the social media manager has a sense of humor tend to go viral. Charmin, the toilet paper company, owns their brand with good bathroom humor in the post below.
— Charmin (@Charmin) October 7, 2015
7. Pay to Play
Facebook has drastically decreased the reach of organic posts since it went public. A study from Edgerank Checker showed that the organic reach decreased from 16.5% to a mere 6.5% for posts published on Facebook pages from 2012 to 2014. This means the number of people your post will reach has decreased, so the number of followers in your business page won’t matter much unless you spend for advertising.
Not a Popularity Contest
Despite what some people might think, social media isn’t a popularity contest. Your numbers mean nothing if your followers aren’t responding to your posts.
Since it’s almost the end of another year, I urge you to start reviewing your social media marketing strategy. Find out what’s working and what isn’t. Maybe the social media marketing strategy you’re using is already outdated, or perhaps you need to concentrate on a different social media platform to build real authority.