Facebook has 1.23 billion monthly active users and Twitter has 241 million of them. These figures are reason enough for every brand to make a beeline for the various social media platforms to market their products and services. But in their rush to leverage social media, many brands are not thinking their strategies through and end up making critical tactical errors.
If your business’s social media marketing is not delivering desirable results, in all probability you may have driven head first into it without working out a strategy to optimize its potential. In this case, it’s time you revised your strategies.
Here are 5 reasons why you need to rework them:
1. Chose Wrong Channels
If you pick the wrong social network, you’ll either end up on a platform where your customers are not present or discussions surrounding your domain do not happen. Active presence on such channels will do you no good.
The time and effort that you spend on these channels can be better used elsewhere on the right channels.
So how do you pick the right social media channel for your business? You can do so by answering the following questions
- Who is your customer? – Look at your customer demographics and figure out what platforms they spend their time on and which social channels are likely to influence their buying behavior.
- What industry are you in? – Some industries have specific social networks for e.g. iShade caters to accounting professionals, Architizer is for the architecture domain and so on and so forth
- Where are your competitors present? – If they are all on a particular platform, in all likelihood you can find your audience there.
2. Inability to Come Up With New Engaging Content Regularly
Creating unique and engaging content on a regular basis is a herculean task for any business. If creating posts regularly that will trigger engagement from your social media audience is difficult, don’t worry. Not everybody can come up with useful engaging content every single time. So choose the next best option. Find some brilliant third party content that is pertinent to your industry, which you think your audience will find engaging and share it. To quickly find such shareable content that has not gone mainstream yet, use tools like Flipboard and Feedly.
3. Not Interacting With Fans/Followers
Social media is not simply a broadcast tool, but a platform to start and carry two-way conversations. If you are not interacting with your fans/followers on these online platforms, you are missing the opportunity to build relationships with them.
To actively engage with your followers:
- Ensure you share interesting and informative posts with your fans/followers to start interacting with them. For e.g.: Monster Energy shares a lot of interactive content and apps that help engage fans.
- Engage with your customers to know what they like and dislike about your brand. If you listen to your customers online, you can learn how to improve or even expand your products or services. For e.g.: Skype is using Facebook to ask users for ideas about any new features they’d like to see on the platform.
- Respond to most of the comments/ tweets. For e.g.: Dove has a passionate social following. The reason is Dove’s page admins are doing a great job of responding to most comments.
- Give people in your target market incentives to connect with you online, socially. For e.g.: Starbucks ‘Tweet-a-coffee’ campaign allows people to send a Starbucks gift card to their friends via Twitter.
4. Using Social Media Platforms Only As a Branding Tool
Social media is a tool for conversation and not just pushing your brand message. Treating your social media page purely as an advertising channel for your products or services will turn off your fans/followers. What you must do is build an online audience with your social presence; and the key to doing this is treating your fans/followers as real people. Social media feeds full of promotional posts are a bad idea and will certainly not help build a loyal audience.
The ideal use of social media is to develop long-term relationships and build a reputation. This approach will create loyalty and advocacy. The result is long-term sales, and ironically this stems from avoiding hard-selling.
For e.g.: Intel Facebook page is especially engaging. The reason it’s so engaging is the company follows 70/20/10 rule. The majority (70%) of content Intel puts up is domain centric, meaning information that is useful to their followers. Content shared from other sources makes up 20% and the remaining 10% is self-promotional.
If this approach works for Intel, it will work for you.
5. Not Responding to Customer Queries
Consumers are now using social media to receive faster responses for their queries. If you are not responding to those questions fast enough you are missing out on an opportunity to improve customer service.
Many big brands now have social media profiles specially dedicated to customer support. For e.g.: @MicrosoftHelps is Microsoft’s twitter handle solely dedicated towards helping customers.
Responding and interacting with your fans/followers to solve their issues or concerns will not only help boost engagement, but also show you’re human and care for their opinions and questions. For e.g.: Dutch airline KLM pays significant attention to customer service. It offers live customer service via Twitter, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It also displays live wait time on its Twitter account.
Monitoring tools like Radian6, Beevolve help keep track of your industry and competitors. They also help identify social media channels that attract the most and least interaction, which topics drove conversations and also the tone of these conversations. Reviewing and revising your social media marketing strategies with such monitoring tools will help keep your social media marketing efforts on track and avoid the mistakes that you otherwise might end up making.
If you have questions about how to correct any of these areas, or other suggestions for businesses, please leave a comment below. And if you’re looking for help getting your social media marketing back on tract, contact us for a free consultation.