21 Oct 14
Are you posting madly on social media but not getting results? This could be why.
Social media is accessible and cost-effective but, when used as a marketing platform, it’s also deceptively complex. If you are banging your head against the computer screen wondering why your social media efforts aren’t being rewarded, this could be why.
1. You don’t have a social media strategy.
A social media strategy sets the framework for your social media marketing. It enables you to make educated decisions about:
• Why to post
• Where to post
• What to post
• How frequently to post, and
• Who to post to.
The social media strategies I develop for clients look at everything from business objectives and audience through to communication tactics, content strategy and communication management (and everything in between!).
2. You don’t have a content plan.
Anyone can set up a profile and start posting, but it’s not sustainable. Your engagement needs to have a strategy and a purpose driving your content. What are your business objectives and value proposition? How can your social media efforts support those objectives?
I see a lot of businesses offering social media management but the content they provide is often haphazard. They merely Google a whole lot of information, schedule it to post for their client, and send an invoice. A solid content plan that looks at not only the content you post but also the time you post it, expiration dates, relevant imagery and links, engagement strategies and the forum in which you post it, will have a far greater impact on your business.
3. You post about yourself – constantly.
4. You are using an automatic feed to post to multiple channels.
There are tools that facilitate automatic feeds to numerous forums from the one post, but more doesn’t automatically equate to better! I see a lot of businesses re-hashing their Instagram posts to Facebook or vice-versa, or populating their Twitter feed via Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+. This ignores the fact that every forum is different – each network is its own community. We tend to speak of social media as a one-size-fits-all marketing solution, but this ignores the fact that every forum is different. Not only do you have different audiences on each channel, but they also have their own set of rules and best practices. Your content and conversations need to be tailored to meet the requirements of not only your audience and objective, but also the platform itself.
5. You rely on a scheduling tool.
Scheduling tools can be fantastic when used well, but a nightmare if you have a ‘set and forget’ mentality. The biggest mistake with these tools is engagement – because you may be scheduling a week’s worth of posts in advance, it’s easy to overlook monitoring the posts. Social media relies on conversations – if you schedule but don’t respond to any questions or replies, your engagement ceases to be interactive and fans/followers will quickly lose interest. And because social media is often driven by trends, scheduling means that you can miss the boat completely! Interestingly, a number of fellow copywriters have come to the same conclusion with testing and measuring social media – scheduled posts consistently receive less engagement than real-time posts. How do we know this? Well…
6. You don’t utilise reporting feedback to your advantage.
There are all kinds of myths such as ‘you get the greatest response time at 11am and at 3pm’ (fantastic if your audience is school children!). The reality is that the makeup of every audience is different and their engagement habits are, too. Reporting information varies between channels, but sites such as Facebook consistently provide detailed information that you can use to your advantage.
• Do you get a greater engagement when you ask questions?
• How does your audience respond to imagery?
• How do you maximise your click-through rate?
• What are your fan’s content preferences?
• What kind of posts generates the most shares?
The moral of the story? More is not always better.
More fans don’t equal better reach – it can actually limit it. If you have ‘junk fans’ that come from click farms (paid ‘likes’), then algorithms such as Facebook’s EdgeRank will damage your content visibility.
More communities don’t deliver better results. If you are communicating on autopilot to multiple channels, or desperately trying to create and manage conversations in multiple platforms, the volume of your results won’t necessarily translate. A higher engagement will come from being more selective on both your posts and your communication forums.
Social media is very much about what you can contribute, not what you can gain. As copyblogger articulated so beautifully, it’s not our job to tell our audience where we live. It’s to grow communities where they live. What is your experience with social media? Do you use different channels for different purposes? If so, what are they?
Article written by Melinda Leyshon from WriteCopy