If you feel that social media ‘just doesn’t work’ for your business, then you’re not alone.
Most business owners have, at some point, attempted to implement a social media strategy, only to find themselves posting into a vacuum. They expect results, but fail to realise them. So what’s going wrong?
The truth is, even though we’re all used to using social media on a personal level (and therefore think it should be easy), it’s a little different when you come at it from a business perspective.
There are a number of reasons why your social media strategy might not be working, from being overly promotional, to neglecting your content. Here are six signs that your social media strategy is broken – and how to go about fixing it.
You’re not getting any engagement
It’s always disappointing to find that your updates are getting zero likes, comments, or shares. Looking at your metrics, you should be able to ascertain how many people have seen your posts. If they’re being seen by plenty of people, but failing to get any engagement, then you know something’s up.
Chances are, you’re not publishing the right content – or if you are, then the audience you’re targeting could be wrong. It’s not that unheard of for ‘boring’ brands to get low engagement, but if you’re publishing dull or off-the-mark content, you’re not doing yourself any favours.
To increase engagement, try the following:
- Show some personality
- Explore industry trends
- Include images with your updates
- Give users ‘behind the scenes’ insight
- Keep updates short and sweet
- Post regularly
- Ask questions
Another great tip to get more social engagement is to connect with influencers. You can find any influencers in your niche using NinjaOutreach, an all-in-one influencer prospecting and outreach tool. After you find your influencers you can immediately start an outreach campaign to get them to promote your content for you. Connecting with social influencers allow you to get your business directly in front of your audience and it increases the chances of them engaging because they trust the influencers they follow.
Your social community is stagnant
In a time when brands can buy followers for peanuts, it’s fair to say that numbers aren’t always everything. It’s actually far more valuable to have a small group of engaged followers, than to have thousands who don’t care or know about your business.
But growth is still important, especially if you hope to foster new relationships and leads through social media. So how can you ensure that your fan base continues to flourish?
One of the most effective methods is to start fostering a sense of community through your social channels – one that will keep followers coming back and interacting not just with your brand, but with one another. Post content that is relevant, useful, and entertaining. Remember, real value should extend beyond your product offering.
You don’t interact with your followers
Social media isn’t just shouting into the abyss – although many brands treat it as such. Take a lesson from real life and treat social media as you would a two-sided conversation. No-one wants to listen to someone who talks and talks about themselves, whether online or in the real world.
If you’re currently having a one-sided conversation on social media, without bothering to actually interact with your followers, this could be where you’re going wrong. Interaction is a key part of an effective social media strategy: one that will help you to build relationships and actually start an exchange with potential customers.
Next time someone posts a response on one of your social media posts, be sure to follow up. Like their comment, leave a reply, and remember to ask questions.
You’re focusing on quantity over quality
We’re often told that a good social media strategy means posting updates on a regular basis. And yes, that is true. But regularity should not be at the expense of quality.
Don’t bulk out your updates with waffle, or your audience will stop paying attention. The truth is that every update counts. Social advertising such as Facebook ads will only get you so far – the content you’re putting out there still needs to generate engagement based on its own merit.
As with many aspects of doing business online, you have to think about the user experience. If all you do is sell and churn out links to your product pages, you’re not really adding to the community. And as discussed, fostering a community is key.
Treat social media as a community education and entertainment tool, not just a sales tool. If you do this, chances are you will experience improved traffic as a result.
Your strategy takes up too much time
Social is, of course, an important part of your digital marketing mix. Used effectively, it will create relationships, brand awareness, and potentially more revenue. But it’s not the be all and end all.
It’s easy to pour hours into social media, but unless you approach it efficiently, you may not get the best ROI. Other revenue-generating activities need attention too. If you’re spending hours of time on social media each day, then you absolutely need to cut this down.
There are various ways to manage social media in a more cost-effective way. One is to use tools such as Hootsuite or Buffer to schedule all of your updates in one go. Another is to timebox your tasks so you don’t get sucked in. Feedly and Buzzsumo are great for finding relevant content to share, without scouring the web for it yourself.
You don’t actively monitor your social channels
It’s one thing to exist on social channels, and quite another to be present. If you set up a Twitter account for your business, then in doing so, you must be willing to respond to customers who attempt to connect with you – even if that’s inconvenient.
In having a social presence, you have, in effect, opened up a new line of customer service channels. Therefore they need to be given as much attention as any other form of customer service. The problem with being online is that the world is watching you, so any negative experiences are right there for others to observe.
How to be responsive on social media:
- Respond to user DMs and mentions within 24 hours
- Set up Google alerts for your company name and relevant news
- Search using keywords to find updates you can reply to
- Keep an eye on trending topics
A social media strategy is never truly finished. It should always be changing, just like the needs of your audience. But using social media successfully isn’t the super easy task we think it should be – just like all forms of digital marketing, it’s tactical. It requires time, effort, and creativity to reap the benefits. How will you upgrade your social strategy to create more value for your business?