Being that I’m supposed to be ‘in the know’ and watching what successful companies and brands do with their own social media marketing, I follow a lot of people on my Twitter account and Facebook page.
With that, I get to see a lot of companies doing everything wrong. Here are 5 things I see brands doing that make me shake my head. Especially when I think about the budgets that go into these failed social media marketing efforts.
There is one particular company I know that is horrible in this regard. They post interesting links 1-2 times a day and when I try to engage them in a conversation about it – no response. I also have monitored other people trying to interact with this company and get no response.
What’s the point of being on a SOCIAL network if you aren’t going to be social? Imagine yourself with a client or customer – if you shared some information with them in a conversation, then stood there dumbly as they tried to engage in a conversation – you’d look like an idiot. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn – these are all just extensions of ourselves and our messages.
This concept is especially scary for brands that use social media automation. It’s easy these days to ‘set it and forget it.’ But while using an automation tool can help you save time by scheduling your posts to go out throughout the day – forgetting to stay on top of responses is something that you can’t schedule ahead of time.
If you are like me, the only person managing your company’s social media networks, invest in something like Hootsuite to help monitor all of them in one place. Or, at the very least, install the respective apps on your device so while you’re waiting in line at the store, you can be in touch with your potential clients.
I know we all meet these types of people at networking events. The “It’s All About Me” guy/gal. How much time do you really spend engaged with someone like that? My answer generally is, as little as possible. And the people who follow your brand on your social media platforms aren’t much different.
If you spend all your time talking about yourself and not spending time talking to your network, you’re going to get lost in the mix.
There are many 80/20 rules out there, but I like to follow a 80/20 rule as it pertains to talking about yourself on social media. Spend 80 percent of the time sharing important or interesting links, educating your followers or talking to/about your clients. Spend the remaining 20 percent of the time talking about you and your brand.
Be careful not to abuse that 20% either. Don’t use it all on sales, deals or talking about your products. Your followers will see right through that. Be creative about how you talk about your brand and products or services. Use case studies, portfolios or videos to share what makes your brand special.
One thing that really annoys me about email marketers is the lack of manners. If I met you and you took my email address from my business card, does that mean I opted in to your email list? No. Yet, time after time, I get signed up for random email lists that I didn’t opt-in for.
Your social media marketing shouldn’t be any different. Just because someone ‘liked’ your page – that doesn’t give you carte blanche on annoying them. Engage with your audience, don’t sell to them.
Every time you put something out on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc – imagine that you’re actually handing that information to one of your customers. Would you feel awkward repeating the same message every five minutes to a group of your customers in the store? So why do it online?
Nothing is easy these days. Social media marketing, along with other forms of internet marketing, is something that needs to be worked on consistently. You can’t have a mentality of “I’m here – now let’s be successful.” Even the most established brands and companies have to build their following patiently. There are many large companies out there today that have far fewer Facebook fans than my family’s business of Young’s Jersey Dairy. When a national brand doesn’t have the online following like a small dairy farm in central Ohio, you know it’s not just enough to show up.
Every social media outlet has their own gauge of how much you should post per day. I would suggest at least one thing per day, per network. But you have to figure that out on your own. Listen to your fans/followers. If they are hungry for more, give it to them. If you see that your Twitter followers don’t want you posting 10 times a day, scale it back a bit.
Know your audience. What do they expect from you? How often do they want to see what you have to say? These are things you’ll need to figure out on your own. There isn’t an across the board standard – it’s up to each company to establish a plan. Biggest thing? Be consistent.
Expect Massive ROI in a Short Amount of Time
It takes time to get your message out there. Every Mom & Pop, LLC is out there using up valuable online space that you should be taking advantage of. There’s a lot of competition, so you need to find your voice over time to establish yourself as someone worth following. As I mentioned before, there are a lot of very large national businesses that haven’t figured it out, so don’t expect that you’ll find overnight success either.
Social media isn’t going to replace all other forms of your marketing anytime soon. Don’t get me wrong, it’s very important, but it isn’t the end-all-be-all of marketing, yet. Set attainable goals and realistic outcomes with your social media strategy. What is one Facebook fan worth to you? If you get 50 followers on Twitter – how do you convert those followers in to business (or repeat business, if that’s what you’re after)?
Know that businesses around the globe spend billions of dollars trying to figure out how to monetize social media. Hiring full teams of ‘social media experts’ and spending massive dollars on analytics software doesn’t make a successful social media campaign. Your brand has to have a message that resonates with your current and future customers. Nail that and the ROI will come, I promise.