Are you using social media only to find that the leads aren’t pouring in like you anticipated? The fact is, there are a myriad of factors that could be at play. While social media is a great communications tool for businesses, it can’t cure a bad website, poor business operations or misguided marketing.
Social media should always be viewed as one piece of the bigger picture in terms of your business. If the bigger picture is bad, a great social media presence won’t make it much better. But if you have a sound business, a great social media presence can be the ultimate difference-maker in terms of reaching new audiences.
After having my own social media business for a few years now, I’m finding that success with social media starts with a mindset about what social media is and what it can really do for your business. So if you are trying social media and struggling, here are three reasons why social media might not be working for you!
1. You lack clarity around the ‘why’ of social media. Are you engaging in social media for the sake of jumping on the bandwagon? If so, you’re doing it wrong! The ‘why’ is vital to success. A social media plan that lacks clear goals and sense of direction is doomed from the start. Your plan may evolve and change, but the initial why is so critical to your success.
When you simply “do” social media with no clear goal, you lack the motivation behind the work – and likely treat it like the #2 reason listed below. Equally troubling are businesses that try to do it all and spin their wheels on tasks that aren’t really bringing them closer to their goals.
Establish the “why” and revisit it regularly. For example, your “why” could be to offer better customer service, inform your customers and prospects of new and exciting happenings in your business or simply creating a stronger personal brand. Once you have a “why,” it will aid your strategy for achieving and maintaining your goals.
2. You treat social media like your gym membership. Do you pay your gym membership while your Nikes collect dust in the closet? Just like lacing up those sneaks and actually going to the gym will get you beach-ready, a social media plan needs consistent work in order to see viable results. We see this a lot with folks, primarily because they get impatient and want immediate results. I see a lot of start-and-stop, as people create a flurry of posts when the mood strikes them. Truth be told: A plan that lacks consistency will lack gains.
Team member, friend and Internet Marketing Strategist, John Webster, sums it up best:
In my experience, most business owners will not put the effort into making these ‘free’ resources pay off for them. For some reason, business owners and overweight couch potatoes are very similar – each wants a bit of magic that will allow them to do the same amount of activity and see different results. To win at the content game and make social pay off, you have to play the game consistently over a long period of time.
3. You’re boring. Does your blog read more like a white paper than something relevant and inspiring – and worthy of taking action? Strong content needs to establish a connection – and the best way to do to that is to incorporate the human element. Social media is about people, relationships, and common bonds. We crave human interaction, which is what makes social media so popular.
One way I’ve found to help add life to your content is to tell a personal story. In fact, of the hundreds of blogs I’ve posted over the years, the most popular post was a story I told of a car accident in 2000. To date, this blog has received nearly 10,000 reads – and it did so because it resonated with others.
Show your personality, share some things about yourself and tell others what makes you and your business unique. You’ll connect with people and help to accelerate the know/like/trust factor that leads to sales.
Have you established the right mindset to make social media work for your business?
Great article and so true. To be successful a company or a person must create a voice (the why) and consistently stick with it. Otherwise customers will not know why they exist and what they have to offer. This in my opinion the biggest mistake people commit when they launch a business, not having a voice.
Interesting, Mark, I never thought to call it a voice but funny - we should since it it 'social' media!
One of the other major pitfalls for new businesses adding social media marketing to the mix is the problem of the proverbial round peg in a square hole. Companies need to resist cutting and pasting traditional marketing content and message points into social media channels. A blog is not another new, shiny bucket to place your direct product promotions and sales sheets. A call to action is not your contact information coupled with a nice request to "call me anytime for more information." Social media doesn't replace traditional marketing; it compliments and enhances it.
Well said, Joel. Social isn't 'transferable' - it's co-existing.