Image via Intersection Consulting
I’ve been to many conferences, and look forward to attending a few more this year.
A common refrain I hear over and over again: ”Does Social Media Marketing really work?” Then I hear yes if you are a huge company like Coke, Pepsi or some other fortune 500… but what about Joes Pizza Shack and Bill’s Car Wash and the other “SMALL Guys”. To some this may be a no brainer but to others they struggle with this question. Well I hate to say it so bluntly but yet Social Media Marketing Really Works!
Many years ago advertisers lost control of the media when the Internet gave all the target audiences the power to choose what was marketed to them. So traditional advertising can be asked the same question, “Does it really work” , however with Social Media there is clear misunderstanding of what Social Media really is and how to make it work for you. I have gathered from the internet and other bloggers some of the reasons why most Social Media marketing campaigns fail.
Lack of Clear Goals:
If you’re sharing content on social media networks without a clearly defined end goal, then your efforts are going to be in vain point blank and simple. Social media—or any marketing that you do for your business—you need to choose an intended outcome. Do you want to increase website traffic? Encourage people to sign up for your mailing list? Get exposure for your book? Improve brand recognition? Your goals become the target that you aim for. No goal equals no real way to measure success.
Treat it as an Obligation:
If social media is just another item you feel you have to do each day and you resent it, that’s going to come across with your audience. The people and companies that are doing well with social media are the ones who embrace it and enjoy it. Imagine if you treated your clients like they were simply an obligation—they would certainly notice. Find a way to see the value and the fun in social media and allow that to shine through.
Blogging is the heart and soul of every solid social media strategy without it you have no heartbeat. You need great content to share, and a reason to bring people back to your site to read more and engage with you. Ideally you should update your blog a minimum of two to three times per week, and then share each new post with your networks.
If you aren’t responding to your audience, appreciating them, and responding to their questions, then they will go elsewhere. Also, it’s not just about broadcasting your message. You will see far more results when you like and share other people’s content, mention them in your posts, and even recommend their products and services. Its kind of like follow friday on Twitter if do not know what that is Google it then blog about it.
Failure to Build Your Audience:
With social media, you have to actively recruit followers and fans. For Twitter, I believe in following back the people who follow you. This is good social etiquette, while also letting your audience know that you’re paying attention to them too. For Facebook, you can invest in ads to help get more “Likes” on your page. For LinkedIn, import contacts from your database and proactively send connection requests to people you know. For G+, add people to your circles. The point is that you need to be proactive in building your audience and not just sit back and wait for them to find you.
One of the biggest complaints ever about social media is that it takes too much time, which leaves people either ignoring it or trying to work it into their schedules when convenient. But an inconsistent effort leads to inconsistent results and inconsistent results leaves you with you know nothing to show for you work. If you commit to engaging with your social media networks on a consistent basis, you could discover a tremendous return on your time investment, and you’d realize it should be a top priority.
Take this information and go be successful, go out swinging or aim for bleachers and all the other cliches that people say. Now go be social and stop reading this.