Social media is a time investment and time is money. Spending resources maintaining a presence online is an ongoing task but it can be quite beneficial, particularly for small business. It’s so easy to put in a lot of hours and hard work to get your platform working for you but what happens if your hard work isn’t paying off? You can do everything right – source great content, post consistently, respond where appropriate, but what if you just aren’t getting the reach, engagement or ROI you were hoping for?
The last few years have seen enormous changes on platforms – from advertising and the algorithm introduction to live video and simply the introduction of page fans. The following tips should identify some places to start looking for weak spots so you can turn these weaknesses into opportunities to get social working for you again.
Weak Spot 1: A Lack of Marketing Integration
If you have a special running, you will promote it to gain customers. If you have a competition running, you promote it to gain entrants. If you have social media channels, you should be promoting them to gain an audience. Just being on the social channels isn’t enough, your business needs to direct people to where they want them to be.
Your marketing channels work in synergy with one another, each channel should ideally prompt a consumer to another action, assisting them through a funnel and towards a conversion. If you have identified Social Media as a part of your sales funnel and are investing resources in running it, it makes sense that you’re directing people to provide them with the information they need to make an informed purchase decision.
Some great ways to integrate Social Media into your marketing process:
Offline – include on flyers, business cards, brick and mortar stores, OOH media, any promotional material and any advertisements run either on signage, radio or TV.
Online – Include your social handles on your email signature, the header of your website and cross promote on your other social platforms.
Weak Spot 2: Your Content Sucks
Think about what you’re posting. Does it reflect your brand’s values? Does it resonate with your audience? Every time you post something, your brand’s credibility is on the line. Make your posts count!
Give your audience something of value, show that you understand them and how your brand can assist in some way. Everyone loves a cute dog photo but it means that you’re missing an opportunity to demonstrate your value to your customers in most instances. Share content from both your site and others to prove your credibility and professionalism while still supporting the community and don’t forget to include a call to action.
Weak Spot 3: ‘Social Media is Free Advertising’ Mindset
Facebook launched Page Fans in 2007, allowing businesses, public figures and organisations to create a ‘profile’ for themselves for the first time. Marketers were over the moon – they had the ability to market their organisation, club or business for free and it would reach every single person who had expressed an interest. Fast forward five years to 2012 where there was a noticeable shift in organic reach, page admins noticing a decline to just 16% of page fans on average. A study from Social Bakers shows that between the period of February 2012 and March 2014, there was a steep decline in the organic reach of all pages – from 16% to just 6.5% on average.
What does all this mean? You have people who have expressed an interest in your brand but have not yet been interested enough to hand over their contact details to you. This is the perfect time for you to prove your worth and demonstrate your value however due to Facebook’s organic reach limitations, you can’t. How do you overcome this? With paid advertising.
Paid advertising can be really overwhelming but it’s such a powerful tool. With so many options, it’s a very cost effective way to reach leads for your business.
Week Spot 4: You’re Taking but You’re not Giving
Showing support to those who have supported you is an important part of building a community. This is the ‘networking’ element of social networking that often business forget about! Has someone shown your business support? Support them back by returning the favour by liking or engaging with the page or post in some way.
Some users ask for people and businesses to share their page to show support. Don’t feel obliged to do so if it doesn’t support the values of your brand. Your brand and the messages it delivers to your audience should be your first priority and considered in every action you take. By sharing content from someone else, your brand is endorsing them, indicating that you have a strong belief that this person is great to do business with or show support for. Your audience will also believe that you think this information is relevant to them and if it’s not, you run the risk of losing page fans – your audience.
I have recently been asked by an electrician what is the best way for him to market himself on social media. My advice was to build relationships and get involved with people you want to be involved with, whether that be potential customers, influencers within your industry or potential referral partners. Social media is about connecting but to do that, the support has go both ways.