Let’s admit it – with the constant changes to social media platforms and their algorithms – you are just over it! It may feel overwhelming and that it requires just too much effort, and the results are not “wow-ing” you and your team. Right?!? You may wonder “why even keep going?”, “Is it really that important?”. And, you are probably comparing your brands’ online presence to similar ones and feeling like you just want to give up! We get it! And, we certainly don’t want you to give up! Growing a social community and getting your audience to engage with your brand is very important. However, You need to have an adaptable and multi-pronged effort that works to capture people’s attention, while also advertising to them in a value-based way. That is how you can capture the power of social media.
That’s why today we wanted to help you get to the bottom of what’s going on and why your social media strategies and efforts are not working the way you may have hoped.
- Expecting viral growth overnight: Does this sound familiar? You just started working on your social media strategy within the past few days or weeks. You probably started with no followers, or maybe you already had a few hundred from previous efforts. You spend hours each day posting, searching hashtags, liking other peoples content and more. And then, you want to give up! Why? Because after a few days or a few weeks of this you only had one or two new orders or service requests. Now, you think it’s just a waste of time. We can’t express how damaging this way of thinking can be to your brand! While some businesses may have some unusual luck and go viral because of a post or video – it does not happen to everyone! AUTHENTIC audience growth takes time, and as long as you keep posting quality content for your audience, the rest will come later. Don’t quit on your social media just because your sales didn’t go through the roof in the first month or two. You need to give your audience time to get to know you and trust your brand. It’s just like starting a new diet and exercise plan – lasting results take time. If you are expecting sudden results, you will be disappointed! It will also get in the way of how you take on social media and sabotage your future attempts to grow your brand socially. Have PATIENCE. You need to realize that everything you do takes time and that you must assess the amount of time you’ll sink into an activity versus what it’ll give you. Good ‘Ol ROI.
- You aren’t advertising: We all love the fact that social media is an excellent free tool for both individuals and business to market themselves. However, as you may have noticed the social media platforms have made it harder to reach larger audiences without investing in your marketing. It is crucial to make sure you are placing ads on social media if you really want to be seen! This does not mean that you have to spend thousands. Start off with placing a few $5 or $10 ads on platforms like Facebook and Instagram. Make sure your boosted content is eye-catching and something that will drive customers to your website. Get very specific in your ad targeting demographics. If one ad doesn’t take off and work for you, don’t give up. Make sure you are testing your ad content until you find what works! Just remember – advertising on social media is a MUST if you want to really grow. If you are not paying to play- you will not maximize your potential on social media.
- Acting like the “big brands”: You have an amazing beverage company that is taking off and your community raves about it. However, you are marketing and acting like you are Coca-Cola. This doesn’t work. The big brands like Coke-a-Cola have built brand equity over decades, And they have enormous marketing budgets! Chances are, as a newer start-up (even if you have been in the “game” for a few years) you probably don’t have their marketing budget. If you are using or borrowing ideas from them – they likely won’t work. Small to mid-market businesses have to work extra hard (and smart) to cut through the noise on social media. Never assume that people simply know you and that they’ll automatically understand what you’re trying to accomplish. Be realistic, be humble and go to market with a smaller yet smart plan to build your brand every day. Remember – they have (sometimes, hundreds of) YEARS of branding behind them that you can’t just “skip”. With time, your brand will grow.
- Ignoring the data: If you can’t measure, analyze and react to the data created by your social activities, you’re essentially flying blind. Take some time to learn and understand analytics and data that is available to you (free) on all of your platforms! If you don’t take the time to understand the data behind how your audience shops, you may misinterpret the effectiveness of your campaigns. Get familiar with Instagram Insights, Facebook Insights, Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics, so you fully understand exactly what your efforts are producing.
- Laser-focus on your “follower count”: This one relates immensely with #4, “ignoring the data” because you need to really understand this: success with social media marketing isn’t only about Likes, engagements, and shares! In fact, your follower count is largely irrelevant to your broader business goals. Having 10.5k followers will mean nothing if they are not interested or engaged and sharing your content! Take time to build a loyal following. Also, social media platforms are focusing on giving more “reach” to businesses and posts that receive more engagement – therefore, authentically engaging with 100 active followers regularly can actually benefit your brand much better than having 27 comments and 11k followers. Stop obsessing on the numbers and start engaging with the followers you already have. Keep in mind that they will also help you grow your audience and think of your brand when a friend of theirs is looking for your products or services. This doesn’t mean you should not engage outside of your following. If you take time to leave thoughtful comments on other posts and threads daily – your audience WILL grow. And – as always – please remember: NEVER buy followers! Ever!
Can you relate to any of the points above? Take a few moments to review your current strategy and see if you are possibly making any of these mistakes and come up with a plan to turn it around. Remember – growth takes time. Improving your marketing strategy will indeed produce results. Slow and steady wins the race!
If you are still feeling a bit overwhelmed and would like to find someone else to manage your social media for you, give us a call!