Social media is an incredible asset. Used right social media can help your business be successful beyond its size, age or resources. The problem is most companies do not use it right. Having worked with many companies the reasons for failure are consistent. There are plenty of reasons why your social media isn’t working, which is good news because you can avoid them.
The first thing to realise is that social media is not free. It is going to take time and energy, and not just occasionally. It is an always on, raging river of content and conversation. The people that win are riding those waves consistently, getting noticed and being appreciated for showing up for others.
Done right this could be you. In my efforts over the coming months I am going to share with you a process and journey towards content and social media success. I will ensure that you are not lacking in any area. So in that vein, here are 10 reasons why your social media isn’t working.
Lack Of Knowledge
Quite simply none have us learnt digital marketing or social media. Even the born digital generation (post 1985) have not been taught properly. This creates a massive void in most people’s knowledge.
The good news is, that includes your competitors. It makes me laugh as much as it makes me cry what I see people doing on social media. Imagine you were at a networking event and someone burst in through the doors shouted a load of promotional nonsense, chucked some flyers in the air and left never to be seen again. Shocking? Well it happens in LinkedIn Groups every single day!
You have to take the time to learn. You have to spend time in appropriate communities. Read other people’s blogs. Attend some online webinars and buy some courses. Get a feel for what works and what does not. Only then can you competently leverage the internet for your business. BTW £50 whole day courses by someone with 12 months experience are not going to cut it.
Lack Of Focus
Getting clear about what you do and who it is for is vital. This leads on to the next point about planning but first and foremost I want you to stay focused. People are creatures of familiarity. It provides reassurance. In internet language your goal is to get people to “Know, Like and Trust you”. It is a process that leads from first finding you, to then engaging with you, and finally doing business with you. If you are talking about all manner of subjects in a random way then this is not going to give people enough reason to stay focused on you.
Lack Of A Plan
When I am working with clients the No1 reason why their social media activity is not working is that they simply do not have a plan. My process is based on three core principals and you can use them to evaluate any plan you make. They are Contacts – Content – Conversation.
If you think about any professional situation success it hinges on these three factors. You need to know who you are talking to. Where are they, how could you describe them and what are their needs. Everything should follow this.
Now you know who you want to talk to you can start to plan content that is going to attract them to you. Remember not to make it all salesy. Think of clever ways to get your message across – an interview with a happy client for example. Answer the common problems that you know your clients face and other prospects will be looking for the same answers. Finally, think of topical ways in which you can drop yourself into trending conversations. You might not be able to predict which celeb is getting divorced but you could have something generic in reserve that you just drop their name into. The weather and other seasonal events e.g. Glastonbury or the Budget, are other good topical subjects to ‘newsjack’.
With these two elements you now have everything you need to get into the conversations that are going to build relationships and lead to sales. Of course results are not that simple but that is where landing pages, lead generation, email marketing and other sales tactics play their part in the Conversation element.
Lack Of Effort
It sounds trite to say but if you are not going to put the effort in then you are not going to get the results. Give yourself a set of Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely goals (S.M.A.R.T) goals and set about achieving them. If this was grow a Twitter audience focused on healthcare by 1,000 followers in three months then that is a goal you can then plan activities to achieve. As you measure the time you spend and the results you get this will help you focus on the amount of effort it requires.
What I can say is that results do not come over night. By doing it the right way luck is often had but focus on results taking three to six months. Put in at least an hour per day and work your plan.
Lack Of Resource
A challenge in any business is having the time and / or skills to get the job done. Let’s be clear; I am not an advocate of outsourcing content and social media activities. However there are certain tasks that you could outsource and save yourself considerable time. A simple example is blog post creation. If you are not a good writer it could take you hours to write a blog post. This will improve as you do it more often but rather than stress about the optimisation and posting of it, you create the rough content and find someone who can finish it up for you. This might cost between £25 and £100 but if that is less than what you can earn per hour then it is a sound investment.
In simple terms do not try and do what someone else could do for you cheaper and to a better standard.
Lack Of Personality
If you have ever tried to have a conversation with a really dull person or maybe a brick wall you will know how challenging that can be. It baffles me how many companies social media presence though is so impersonal and written in third person. “We” are not all excitedly sat around the keyboard getting huge value from this blog post. There may be times when your company is all doing something or you want to make a group statement such as “Merry Christmas” but outside of that let your audience get to know you or your social media team.
There is nothing wrong with multiple being on the social media channels if it is managed right. After all if the MD has the most knowledge then he or she will likely be the best person to participate in a Twitter chat. That is a bigger subject but my point is, allow people to get to know your business.
I promise you “I” posts get more engagement than “we” posts. If you loved the video or think this is a “must read” then that is what you should say. And, do not be afraid to reveal who is behind the social media profiles. Put up a blog post and introduce yourself.
Lack Of Call To Action
Have you ever heard the expression “leaving money on the table”? It basically means you did not close the deal or grab the opportunity. If you are wondering why your social media efforts are not achieving any results then I often find that it starts with companies not asking or telling people what to do.
This does not mean that you can start selling in every message but you want to grow your email list, you want people to retweet you, even something as simple as getting reviews for your business on Google, then if you do not ask you will not get.
In all your planning get clear about where results will come from and build into your plans calls to action that are going to get them there.
Do a review of your current social media plan
If you have been active on social media then do a review of your activity based on these 10 reasons why your social media isn’t working. Be honest with yourself. Go and have a look at some other company’s online activities. I pretty much guarantee you will notice the ones who are lacking in these areas and the ones who are nailing it.
If you have any questions about why your social media isn’t working just pop them into the comments below.