As a Social Media Strategist, I continue to hear CEOs, owners, employees and individuals devalue the importance of having a presence online and in social media. There is continued discussion whether or not it provides value, a return, a good investment, lead generation and/or sales. Since social media continues to be perceived as an “easy” task, this mindset couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, in order receive the benefits of social media, it’s crucial to view understand how it fits into your overall marketing strategy and everything that needs to be determined before jumping in blindly and expecting results.
After working consulting many friends and businesses, it seems that there is a lack understanding of how much time needs to be invested and all the homework necessary to be done ahead of time.
Here are the Top 5 reasons I’ve found why Social Media IS NOT working for you or your company:
- NO STRATEGY – I still consult many companies that tell me they have started a FB page, Twitter, Linkedin, etc but have no idea why they are there or what to post. Most of the time, they didn’t bother to analyze which sites were best targeted for their business or customer. Often, there are important sites left out completely. Strategy involves more than determining which social media sites – where do you want your followers to ultimately land, you website? Blog? If so, is it a robust enough site to keep your visitors? If not, this is one of the first things that should be evaluated before expecting a return from your social media efforts.
- NO VALUE – Are you providing, tweeting, writing, and posting good content? Or are you constantly pitching your company? No matter what you post, you should still create most of your content centered around being human, touching emotions, and providing value for your audience. If it doesn’t do one of these things, reconsider what you are posting.
- NO ORIGINALITY – Are you a thought leader? Do you have a niche? The best way to establish this is by writing original content. We all see some of the same things shared over and over on our sites and that’s not what makes us unique. To attract followers, and quality leads you must be a leader by creating images, writing blog posts, and sharing what will keep your audience coming back for more.
- THE WRONG AUDIENCE – Are you posting content to the wrong people? We all can’t have perfect audiences but targeting the right followers is one of the most important things you can do. I’ve seen Twitter and Google+ accounts with thousands of followers with absolutely no engagement and then hear, “These sites aren’t working for me.” Most of the time I will analyze who a company or individual is following (and their followers) and it becomes clear. It doesn’t hurt to grow your audience as large as possible but you must target the right people through email marketing, newsletters, business cards, hashtag research and an abundance of social media tools available on the web.
- NO MEASUREMENT – There is no excuse for not being able to measure your social media efforts. If you have a website or blog, you should be using Google Analytics and in addition, the major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin) have their own built in analytics which are very useful.
My passion has always been to help individuals streamline their sites so that they can enjoy and receive as much benefit as possible from being active on social media. It pains me to hear complaints from people and then finding out it’s simply because they aren’t doing it right or at the very least, investing in the right expertise to make it work for them. Not everything is perfect in the online world, but people get used to doing the same thing every day and forget why it may not be working for them. It’s time to perhaps start all over from the beginning.