Social media is the great equalizer for small business owners. It used to be that large companies always won business because they had big advertising budgets. Now, user generated content is more powerful because the nature of business has changed. The power is now in the hands of the buyers, so sellers must work harder to earn business. If you are using social media marketing, here are ten reasons why social media marketing campaigns fail.
- No Defined Goals: You must know what you are trying to accomplish with your social media marketing campaign. Are you trying to build a brand, demonstrate thought leadership, provide customer service or lay the groundwork to launch a new product? You need to know before you get started.
- Making Assumptions About Social Media Culture: A social media marketing strategy only works if you understand the tool you wish to use. Do not assume that you know the culture of any social media site. Spend time listening first. Facebook people do not want to be talked to like they are Twitter users. LinkedIn and Google+ give very different information about a potential target. You need to connect with people based on the emotional perceptions people have toward your online brand. This begins by spending time “friend-raising” first, before attempting to generate sales.
- No Niche Focus: Before you start using social media, it is imperative that you know exactly who your target audience is for your content. It should be obvious who your customer is by what you share online. Remember, niche to get rich.
- Inconsistent Activity: You must treat your social media marketing activities like a new job. Show up on time, do great work and be the last one to leave. Develop a daily social media routine. Do not start blogging if you are not going to do it consistently. Serious blogs are updated 2-3 times a week.
- Spreading Yourself Too Thin: Newsflash; you do not need to be on every social media site. Start building your online brand with the social media site that is most popular for your target customer. Focus your efforts there, until you dominate, then move on.
- Unfocused Content: All of your target customers listen to the same radio station — What’s in it for me– WII-FM you need to make sure that your content is customer focused. Use the MAGIC formula for developing content. Motivate your audience. Give them helpful action steps. Help them attain their business goals. Create incentives for them to stay in touch with you. Show commitment to your customer’s success.
- Selling Too Quickly: When it comes to social media, you need to go for the relationship first, not the sale. No one wants to hear, “Buy my stuff, buy my stuff.” Traditional selling is dead. Successful social media marketing will drive your target customer to beat a path to your door. Position your business as an invaluable resource.
- Not Knowing Your Keywords: Your keywords are the terms people use to search for your product or service on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. You should know your top 6 keywords so that you can use them in your original content and social media feed. Your keywords should be reviewed every 6-8 weeks.
- Social Media is Not a One-Way System: You cannot take the “social” out of the social media marketing campaign. Personal engagement is a key element in successful online branding. You can’t automate your account without making sure you are also fostering personal interactions several times a day. When you put out a message, encourage people to discuss that message, and then as you respond to their responses, you will build a community online. Never push out content without considering what else your audience might be responding to.
- Outsourcing Your Social Media to a Newbie: Do not hire a fresh-out-of-college employee or intern to run your company’s social media marketing accounts. People do business with people they like, know and trust. This level of rapport can’t easily be reached by young employees who can’t add any value to social media conversations due to lack of experience. You must connect and communicate to build community with contacts who can eventually be turned into commerce. Your target audience will be able to tell when a social media account is run by an uncaring/rookie employee.
Social Media Written On Chalkboard courtesy of KROMKRATHOG / www.freedigitalphotos.net
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Melinda F. Emerson, known to many as SmallBizLady is America’s #1 small business expert. As CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, Melinda educates entrepreneurs and Fortune 500 companies on subjects including small business start-up, business development and social media marketing to fulfill her mission to end small business failure. She writes a weekly column on social media for The New York Times. Forbes Magazine named her #1 woman for entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter. She hosts #SmallBizChat Wednesdays on Twitter 8-9pm ET for emerging entrepreneurs. She also publishes a resource blog http://www.succeedasyourownboss.com Melinda is also the bestselling author of Become Your Own Boss in 12 months; A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works. Her latest ebook, How To Become a Social Media Ninja; 101 Ways to Dominate Your Competition Online was released in 2012.