“It’s a scam!” “It doesn’t work! I’ve been doing it for months now and haven’t made a single sale!” “I spent a bunch of money on this social media agency and they didn’t do anything for me…I’m done!”
I’ve heard these statements and variations of them over and over again, and I can totally understand where they’re coming from. Sometimes, I get angry right along with them - especially when they really have been ripped off! When I ask people what they’re spending on their social media person, I get anywhere from $250 a month on up. And yet when I ask what the person/agency is doing for them, I either get a blank stare, a vague answer, or an earful about how much they’re not getting. Over and over. Every time. This is a problem!
With all the information out there on this subject, I’m kind of amazed that people still get taken in by those who call themselves “social media experts” but don’t know the first thing about digital marketing and fail to produce any kind of demonstrable results. But many times the very people who need to read posts like this aren’t on the internet! They’re either nervous around technology or they’ve put their technology needs into someone else’s hands - trusting that the people they’re paying know what they’re doing.
Unfortunately, as I see time and again, this isn’t always true, and the result is that people lose money they can’t really afford. Worse, they lose trust in a powerful marketing technique - one that just keeps growing every year (and will continue to do so…Technology won’t go backwards!).
So, what are the 5 reasons your social media is failing?
1. You haven’t fully and completely found your target audience.
This is big. It’s the starting point for everything you do in your business: the products and services you sell, your location, and your marketing. How in the world will you know what to say and do if you don’t know who you’re saying and doing it for? This may be common sense, but it’s one of the most common mistakes I see. And it’s devastating for your bottom line! The first thing I ask a new client is: Who’s your target audience? The worst possible answer (and one I hear often) is: Everyone! Here’s the truth: your target market is NEVER everyone. Not ever. Even Amazon, when they were starting out, was very specific - they sold books, so their target market was people who bought books. If you don’t know your audience, how do you know whether you’re on the right social sites?
2. You haven’t got a plan.
Surfing Facebook and other social channels for fun things to share is addictive and entertaining - but trying to operate your business by doing the same thing isn’t going to work. Sure, you’ll get a few “likes” and follows, and people will share your stuff once in awhile, but I can pretty much guarantee you won’t be selling much of anything. Why? Because businesses that treat their business page like they do their personal profile are unfocused and it shows. If you don’t have a specific goal for every post, why are you posting it? Once you know your audience and then make a plan for your social marketing, you’re well on your way to getting some results.
3. You aren’t measuring your results.
When you’re in business, everything you do should be able to be measured for effectiveness - with social media it’s dead simple, so why aren’t more people doing it? Businesses often don’t have time to do everything themselves - they’re a one-person show, or family run, or have one to two employees that are swamped. People who are more likely to hire others to do their social media for them often don’t know the right questions to ask, and so they might hire someone who either has the knowledge to measure results and doesn’t (I can’t even imagine this!) or someone who doesn’t know how (too often the case). Either way, if you’re not measuring the results of every single post, how can you tell what’s working and what’s not?
4. You aren’t creating content.
Social media marketing done well is time-consuming. That’s the reason it’s so expensive to hire an agency to do your social marketing. After you’ve specifically targeted your audience, set up all of your profiles, planned your posts, and set up ways to measure your results, you need to actually create some content. What kind of content depends entirely on your audience, but the most important thing to remember is not to always be posting promotional content - that will lose your audience quickly! Think about your audience and what would be most useful for them: answer a question, resolve a problem, give them a cheat sheet or some other kind of handout. When your audience sees that you’re willing to give them value and help them, they’ll be much more likely to spend their money with you when they’re ready to buy.
5. You’re not monitoring your channels and engaging with your audience.
This is another mistake I see over and over and over. A business will post something. People will take their time to post a comment and……cyber crickets. The business does nothing! No return comment…not even a like! Please! For the love of all that is good upon the earth: LIKE the comments your audience takes the time to make! Not only is it just rude not to, it’s sending a very loud message that you don’t care about them. Here’s the bottom line, in a nutshell: if you can’t be bothered to engage your audience, perhaps marketing via social media really isn’t for you.
I tend to be blunt, and I hope I didn’t offend anyone, but social media marketing is a very serious and powerful way for businesses to connect with their market. Done well, it can propel your business forward and open up new sources of revenue. Done poorly, it can drain your business and, sometimes even destroy it.