In a world that’s becoming increasingly more digital, many individuals claim they’re experts when it comes to social media. However, not everyone is following the rules when it comes to posting engaging, award-winning content. Well, of course I am! you may be thinking. I know how to use social media; I use it all the time for personal use. That must make me an expert.
What some companies don’t realize is that engagement from posts, videos or blogs doesn’t come automatically. Inspiring meaningful conversation in your customer-base doesn’t magically happen the moment you sign up for a social network. It takes time, creativity and a dose of patience. However, if you’ve been working hard at driving interest through your social platforms for months and nothing is happening, there could be other issues at play.
Here are five major things you’re probably not doing in your business’ social strategy:
1. You’re not using social media as a two-way conversation tool
It’s sounds silly but really, it’s an easy mistake. For centuries, media outlets and marketers relied on the one-way broadcast model to get the word out in the form of newspapers, posters, billboards, mailers, you name it. It’s a bit of an understatement to say things have changed. We now live in a world where online marketing takes on the two-way conversation model as our audiences are now talking back. If you’re talking at your customers rather than with them, they will ultimately be turned off by your message. Change up your strategy by sponsoring user-submitted contests (Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube are great channels for this) or by simply asking questions of your audience on topics relating to your business.
2. You aren’t visual enough
Consider this: you’re working diligently on an informative Facebook status such as the one above and you’re about ready to hit “post”. No matter what words you choose or how witty you are, no one is going to give it a second look in their news feeds. Not even a plethora of hashtags could save this status. Why? It’s boring. It’s not eye-catching enough for a visually oriented online world. Instead, spice up your posts with links (make sure they have the thumbnail included with them), photos or videos. Online posts are more likely to be read or shared when visual material is included, like the example below:
3. You’re not taking advantage of analytics.
Your company could have great content on your social media sites right now, but all those bells and whistles won’t matter if you’re not targeting that content for the right demographics. How do you know who your audience is? Check out your analytics. Networks like YouTube and Facebook have their own built-in analytics platforms, and utilizing these tools could be the breath of fresh air your online marketing needs. For instance, do your posts generally reach more men or women? What age group interacts with your page? What time of day is your audience tuning in? The answers to all these questions could greatly help your social media strategy.
4. You don’t have a plan
Quite simply, many companies on social media don’t have followers because they don’t have a strategic plan to get those followers. If you’re blindly posting links and sharing content through a variety of social media networks, you won’t get very far. What are your social media goals? Do you plan on having any contests? Will you start a blog? How often will you advertise your page or promote your posts? What is your social media budget? What are some new and innovative ways to capture your audience? Brainstorm as much as possible and use this as the basis for your online marketing plan.
5. You’re not promoting your social networks outside the internet
Let’s imagine that you have a solid strategy for using Facebook, YouTube and Twitter and you use them exceptionally well to promote your products and services. How will your customers know about those platforms if you don’t spread the word that you even utilize them? While it’s a good idea to have social follow buttons as a part of your website header or footer, you should also have some in-person, non-internet advertising in the mix. This means putting up vinyl stickers in your storefront windows, placing signs near the registers, and putting them on your business cards. It also means integrating them as a part of your print and television advertising. Assure them that amazing content is only a click or tap away.