Your business is all over the social media scene. You’ve got more videos on your YouTube channel than the Kardashian’s have tabloid photos. You can Tweet like a canary and your Facebook page is updated more often than Jenny Lee Burton’s face. But it’s not working. Something is terribly wrong. You have few, if any, fans or worse yet, they are fleeing like rats from a sinking ship. Your social media marketing has gone very wrong, and you’re left wondering what happened. Let’s sit down and take a good long look at what can go wrong with social media marketing, and why.
- Failure to plan – Social media marketing is just that, marketing, and a failure to plan your social media marketing is a plan to fail. You wouldn’t undertake a major marketing effort without some sort of plan, calendar or schedule, road map, destination or desired result. Why do you think you can just jump into social media marketing efforts without one?
- Too much marketing – Social media marketing is all about the SOCIAL aspect. The marketing happens through the relationships you build with your customers. The marketing should not be, in fact cannot be, the focus of your social media efforts. Constantly bombarding your fans and readers with sales messages is a surefire way to turn them off.
- Too much personal junk – No one likes the guy who is always airing his dirty laundry. Business owners who whine about poor sales, rude customers or their lazy employees often find themselves talking to an empty room. No one really wants to hear about your kids, your girlfriend or your dog. All. The. Time. There is such a thing as TMI in social media marketing. A little bit of personal stuff every now and then makes you human. Too much makes you that weird guy on Facebook. It also makes you look very unprofessional and immature.
- Not enough interaction – Social media marketing is a two way street. You can get to know your customers and they can get to know you and your products or services. However, if you can’t or don’t offer timely and sage advice for posted problems, or you can’t or don’t acknowledge a legitimate complaint, or if you let the customer do all the listening and none of the talking, you’re history. No one likes to be talked at or ignored. No one.
- Not knowing your audience – Granted, we can’t all get it right all the time, but if you post too much stuff that’s just out of touch with your customer base, you soon won’t have a customer base to worry about. The occasional post may make you seem offensive or irrelevant or disconnected to a few. That’s to be expected. You can’t please everyone, ever. But if you get to know who your fans are, and connect with them as best as possible, you’ll have better success.
- Not knowing your platform – Certain types of posts work better than others, depending on your platform. LinkedIn, for example, is more business-like, more professional. Facebook and Google+ are more for a general audience, and handle photos, text and videos equally well. YouTube, of course, is all about the video, you have to post enough text with it to make viewers understand what it, and you, are all about.
Social media marketing isn’t the minefield that it might seem, nor is it the goldmine that many expect it to be. But used effectively, it can be a source of new sales, increased sales and a great way to gain exposure for you and your brand. Just use it wisely, avoid mistakes, and reap the benefits it has to offer.