Social media is an amazing marketing tool, but without proper care, your efforts could fall flat, or worse, backfire. Here's what not to do.
Nearly every person and every business is on social media now.
From a business standpoint, that is wonderful! How and where else could you reach nearly one-third of the earth’s population so personally, easily and at a good price? This is truly a marketer’s dream, and if you are marketing your business correctly, you can use social media to dominate your industry.
If you are already using social media and it’s not working for you, you need to figure out what the problem is. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to social media, there is always a reason that something is not working.
Here are five common reasons why many people, companies and brands fail at using social media to grow their businesses.
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You Aren’t Paying for Advertising on Facebook
According to investor.fb.com, Facebook is the largest social media site with 890 million active daily users. The network earned nearly $12.5 billion in revenue in 2014, almost exclusively from advertising on the social media site. Coinciding with this jump in revenue is the dramatic decrease in the percentage of traffic that reaches fans and followers organically, or free.
Facebook admitted that it is decreasing the “free traffic” percentage to 1 to 2 percent of all traffic. For the business owner, that means if you plan on using Facebook to sell your products to your fans, an advertising budget will be highly beneficial. While small business often want to find ways to create a web presence on the cheap, but you need to remember that even a small budget can pay off in a big way on Facebook.
You Are “Push” Marketing – and You Should Be “Pull” Marketing
Business owners often go to social media as a quick tool to blast market their products or services out to all of their friends and are shocked when they get little to no interest.
The reason why is because it’s easy for visitors to click away, block or report you as a spammer. To win as a marketer on social media, you have to attract or “pull” people towards you. People are attracted to you because of your attitude, the messages you send and the content you share on social media. Stop broadcasting sales pitches to everyone and instead focus on building relationships. Make it your goal to provide stimulating and helpful information that moves people to action.
You Are Not “Useful”
This tip follows the point above. In order to “pull” market on social media, you need to be useful to your community and followers consistently without the expectation of moving straight into sales mode.
For example, let’s say you do direct sales for a skin care company. Instead of simply encouraging Facebook followers to buy your products through repeatedly posting pictures, share a post about ways to keep your skin healthy or ways to look younger.
You aren’t directly pushing your products, but instead you are being useful and informative. That is pull marketing. People do not want to be sold to all the time. They want you to help them and teach them, but they want the decision to make a purchase from you to be their own.
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You Are Trying to Be Too Many Places
The top social media sites have over a billion unique monthly visitors. With that kind of traffic, it’s tough to not want to put your business in the midst of that action. Realistically, your business can’t have a strong presence on all of those sites unless you hire people to manage your social media efforts exclusively. It’s a lot of hard work and commitment to have your business on social media sites consistently and in a way that maximizes your sales.
Start by thinking about one or two social media that you want to see your business on. To help you make your decision, ask yourself what platform hosts the majority of your potential customers and make sure you are there. Give it your all—create better connections through posting regularly instead of sporadically.
Consider offering special deals to your fans that can only be found via your social media page. Once your business is thriving on one to two platforms, then it may be time to consider adding a third. Use your time to find, create and share high-quality content and engage with people in a consistent and meaningful manner.
You Are Not Being Authentic
Social media is full of people who are pretending to be something they aren’t. You see the posts people write implying that their lives are perfect every single day. People tend to act cool or funny or professional on social media because they think it’s what people want and that acting in that way will make others like them. However, that act is transparent. Instead, it’s better to show off your unique personality.
People want to buy from people they like, know and trust -- and authenticity is a key piece of that puzzle. Spend some time thinking about what your real interests are both personally and professionally. Then make sure you are being yourself and when you share content, do it consistently based on the things you are truly interested in.
It isn’t always easy to put yourself out there. However, humanize your business and you will have more and better engagement with people – these people will eventually become your clients.
If social media isn’t working for your business, don’t run out of patience and give up. It is the right place to be if you can figure out how to leverage each platform as a way to get your products or services out there.
The power of social media can allow you to build a reputable business through commitment to staying at the forefront of your consumer’s minds. Just know that establishing that presence won’t happen overnight, and it won’t provide instant results.
What other struggles have you encountered trying to make social media work for your business?