Social media can enrich or bankrupt a business. The monetary factor lies in making it work effectively for you and your audience. Here we discuss both the organic and paid routes of using social media as a digital marketing strategy.
Organic Social Media Marketing Fail
If your social media channels are on life support, here’s what happened:
First, you tried to carve out a presence on too many platforms, or went at one channel like a bull in a China shop, and ran out of energy. Net result? No presence or impact anywhere. You failed to connect with genuine prospects of your business.
Next, you neglected to track organic social media metrics and make swift, strategic corrections based on the signals of the people who were seeing what you had to say. Net result? You don’t know what works and what doesn’t. You failed to connect with genuine prospects of your business.
Because you tried to be everywhere or all consuming (and didn’t track results), you marketed to the wrong demographic and neglected engagement. Throw some hard-selling techniques into the mix (you know you did – everyone tries to ‘sell, sell, sell!’), and you have a recipe for failure.
Paid Social Media Marketing Fail
Let me start by asking you a question?
On ANY level, do you log onto Facebook to buy something? I guess not.
OK, do you actively search for things to buy while on Facebook? Most likely no to that too.
Almost every person that uses Facebook is using it for an entirely different reason to what your business has to offer. People are posting things about their day, catching up with friends, seeing what they’ve missed, and what might be entertaining.
This being the case, so many businesses try to sell on Facebook with relentless ads that are disruptive and annoying. They rarely work.
Social Media Marketing Fail (In General)
The long and short of it is that most businesses fail to take the time to truly understand human and consumer behavior in relation to what they offer.
They take a sledgehammer to crack a nut, and Facebook is not the place.
While we all know that consumers buy from those they trust, understanding this is far removed from successfully executing a social media marketing strategy. Why? Because we see it every day. Facebook is full of ads that are pure ‘buy me!’ and posts that are utter preening. There is a massive disconnect here.
It is important for business owners to develop a social media strategy that allows people to actually get to know them before any sales or marketing pitch takes place.
But what about Facebook ads? They are all over my Facebook feed. If they are so popular they must work, right?
Of course they work, but only those ads that target the right (custom) audience, and understand how to market to these people effectively, on Facebook.
Remember, the native Facebook experience is personal, meaning unless an ad touches a personal perspective or touch point, it has no chance of being acted upon.
Just because you put an ad or post up, it does not mean you’ll see a frenzy of likes, shares – or better still, people coming to your door to buy a product or service.
But enough with what went wrong. Here’s how to fix it.
4 Really Simple Rules Of Social Media Marketing Success
Social media marketing is really quite simple. There is no magic formula, no fancy tactics. You just need to:
1. Market To Your Audience
Twitter is a mighty marketing machine, but if your target demographic uses Instagram, tweeting misses the mark. The same applies on every channel. You don’t need a presence on every social media platform.
Instead, identify your customers and their preferred social outlets. Focus on those sites. Period. This maximizes time and effort, and puts your marketing message in front of the right audience.
2. Embrace Engagement
It’s important to know who your true prospects are. It’s also profitable to know what type of social media message resonates best with them. Do they like images and memes, or do they prefer human interest stories?
Keep your audience coming back for more by using the right media at the right time and with the right call to action / pull on the heart strings.
3. Call To Action Really Matters
Engagement only works if you give people a clear next step. i.e. What do you want them to do based on what they see on your Facebook ad or post?
For example, using image rich content – pictures, quotes and infographics – attracts attention and is great for generating shares, likes and retweets. Highlighting achievements in your company, industry or organization can spark positive emotional responses. Using interactive content – video, animation, quizzes and polls – spurs engagement.
Use one or all these methods and you’ll avoid the overselling trap as well.
Okay, your marketing plan is workable again. So, what’s next?
4. Evaluate & Recalculate
Which media sites give the biggest bang for your buck? As mentioned earlier, targeted efforts give the best return on investment.
Here’s three recommendations for measuring metrics:
- Track your content productivity. Add updated content consistently. Do you depend on content to drive engagement and attract new followers? If so, mix it up with podcasts, white papers, or educational information. Tantalize your audience with fresh, interesting materials.
- Are your fans and followers growing consistently? Do you have peaks and valleys in your engagement rates? Aim for a constant growth percentage each week. Adding thousands of fans one week and then having a dry spell for a month or so is dangerous. Consistency is key in successful social media marketing campaigns.
- Are you tracking your competitor’s social media efforts? Are they growing fans and followers faster than you are? How do they market better than you on social media? Decide whether a similar strategy would help or hinder your marketing efforts.
So off you go, with one final gut check… How can you tweak your social media strategy to produce better results?
To keep your social media marketing plan producing the outcomes you want, consistently over time, you should:
- Target relevant social platforms
- Track and evaluate metrics regularly
- Interact with your audience in a people-friendly manner
- Offer value and exceptional customer service
- Keep it going
It really is that simple.