“Why am I am not getting results on social media?” “Why don’t I have any followers?” Why doesn’t my business page get likes?” “Why don’t people like my posts?” “How come my tweets don’t get retweeted?” “How can I get people to engage?”
There’s about a million different versions of these questions we hear from companies, usually accompanied by a healthy level of frustration. If you’ve thought some of the same things—or vocalized them—this is the post for you. While we can’t give you a specific reason social media isn’t working for you, (not without looking at your specific profiles, just ask us) we can give you some of the most common reasons businesses are not getting the results they set out to achieve on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snap Chat, and Pinterest.
You’re not where they are
One of the most common mistakes we see is from company owners and managers that choose a social media channel that they have personal profiles on—but not their customers. Or they try to choose the biggest fish in social media, so they can try to reach as many people as possible; in reality, very few people in their target audience is on that social media site. The result is a social media page targeted at customers but followed by friends and colleagues with minimal engagement.
The resolution: know who you want to reach, and research social media sites to find out what social media site has the demographics that fit with your target audience.
You don’t have a strategy
Too many companies jump on social media without a goal. They’re on social media because everyone else is, or because it’s free. The result is a mishmash of posts, little engagement, and a generic tone that doesn’t sound real and authentic.
The resolution: before you jump on social media, or as you make an evaluation of your marketing efforts, set a goal for your efforts and define the audience you want to reach. You can set different goals for each of your social media channels and sub-goals for each of your marketing campaigns. If you’re outsourcing your social media efforts, give input so you and your marketing team is all on the same page.
You don’t communicate with your social media marketing team
“There,” you think, “They can take care of my social media. They know it better than me. I don’t have to do anything!” You’re partially correct; an expert social media team can manage your social media page and use their expertise to reach your audience. However, they can’t do so without a key ingredient: personalization. That’s what’s going to make your business stand out among all the choices they have to make.
The resolution: make an effort to meet or communicate with your in-house or outsourced social media marketing team on a regular basis. Connect them with your sales or retail team so they understand what your customers want to know (frequently asked questions), the solutions to those problems, and your sales cycle.
You take the feast-or-famine approach
This issue is pretty easy to diagnose. Look at your social media activity. Do you post whenever you have time? Is there regular activity on your social media account, followed by weeks of nothing? Or do you post on one social media channel, while your other social media sites are a barren wasteland?
The resolution: when you set your strategy, select a manageable amount of social media sites. You don’t have to be on every social media site to get results; choose the sites that fit the demographic of the audience you’re trying to reach. Create a calendar of regular social media posts and content marketing that fit with your sales cycle—and stick to it. The key to a solid social media strategy is regular and relevant posts.
One of the biggest turn-offs of a business social media page is overselling. Every post, every tweet, every interaction is about you, your products, and how they should buy from you. Would you want a salesman screaming “buy, buy, buy!” at you over and over again?
The resolution: your business name may be on the social media page, but the page should not be about you. Focus on your audience. What do they want to know? What makes them laugh (when appropriate)? What can you do to help them? If you need assistance with creating a customer-focused social media page, consult with social media experts who can help you decide who your target audience is, how you can attract them to your page, what kind of content they are interested in, and what times is best for posting. Then, use the 80/20 rule as a guideline: 80% relevant content, 20% selling content.
You’re posting “stuff” they don’t care about
Blah, blah, blah. If you’re posting boring content on your social media page, your followers are going to find someone else who posts what they want. Know your audience, and what interests them. One way to find this out is to listen to customers when they come in the store—or to talk to employees who interact with them on a regular basis.
The resolution: before you post, ask yourself, “does this content matter to me, or to my audience?” Find relevant content that matters to your audience, and watch your pages to find out what resonates with your audience—and what doesn’t it. Or create it by including content marketing as part of your online marketing plan.
You’re using sub-par images
Grainy images. Boring pictures. Social media is full of sub-par images that don’t resonate with their audience. At the same time, statistics have shown that posts and tweets with images repeatedly get more engagement.
The resolution: find someone on your staff that can take excellent photos with their camera or mobile device (tablet, phone, etc.) or buy stock images that coordinate with your posts. Another option is to outsource your efforts to an online marketing agency that has a wide variety of photos just for that purpose.
You bought followers
This is the equivalent of a ‘get rich quick’ scheme on social media, and a ploy that a lot of businesses fall for. Just buy social media followers, and suddenly you have a huge social media following! Poof! You’re set for the long-run.
The resolution: buying followers is a short-term effort that won’t help you reach your marketing goal. Instead, try to build a strong targeted social media audience by spreading the word about your social media efforts through in-person and electronic interactions with customers (i.e. e-mails, e-newsletters, sales interactions, phone calls, etc.)
You’re not posting when they’re on
You post whenever you think of it, or whenever you have time.
The resolution: don’t just know what social media site your customers are on, but when they are on. You can use insights on Facebook, measurement tools that monitor your followers’ activity, and testing on your own to determine when they are on and engaging with your brand. If you don’t have the time to post when your followers are on, use scheduling tools like Hootsuite and Buffer.
You have unrealistic expectations
Everyone wants to get on social media and BOOM! one of your posts goes viral. The heavens pour down with followers willing to buy your product and services. Sounds great, doesn’t it? That’s what most business owners and managers seem to expect from marketing on social media. Unfortunately, that’s not how social media works (most of the time)—and often the followers you get are not interested in purchasing.
The resolution: take every measure possible to get results, but understand that social media is a marathon—not a sprint. Set realistic goals for social media, such as messages that result in sales or a reasonable growth pattern that is in line with brand awareness.
You’re not responsive
Unanswered messages. Comments with no response. Every comment, message, tweet….it’s all an opportunity to engage with your customers and colleagues. Don’t pass up these missed opportunities to build customer loyalty and show you care. Your customers expect you to respond, and respond quickly.
The resolution: social media is supposed to be about conversations, so make sure you converse with your colleagues and customers. Take our advice on dealing with negativity, and respond to every message and comment with a real voice so they know they are talking to a real person. Even if you outsource your social media marketing, make sure you pay attention and respond quickly to inquiries (find more rules for excellent online customer service).
You’ve mixed business and anger
You’re angry about a customer reaction, so you post on social media how peeved you are. A political situation leaves you seething, and all your social media followers know—and don’t like it. Knee-jerk reactions may make you feel better, but a rash reaction to a comment or current event is not going to gain you followers on social media.
The resolution: there are two R’s to follow in social media marketing, and ranting is not one of them. Be professional and real (you can be both) in all your social media interactions, and think through everything you post or comment BEFORE you take action. Respond quickly, however, as customers respond a fast reaction. If you have any questions, consult with the professionals before you post.