I encourage many (not all) small business owners to use social media as ONE of their marketing strategies but I must say… Some of their strategies suck!
How do you know if yours is on that list? Ask yourself if you are doing one or more of the following things…
- It’s all about meeeee! Everything you say, post and do is all about you. Ok, we get that you have a fabulous business, you are living a fabulous life and doing fabulous things but ummmm…. How does that help me? How does that make me want to buy your product/service? Yeah, I may want to be your online “friend” but is that enough to make me give you MY money for your fabulous life?
- What’s your name? I get trying to be clever but in the world of social media, it’s better to be concise. Most people don’t have any intentions of investigating the name of your business/product/service or trying to decipher your code. I know that all of those exotic spellings are cute but consider sticking with your business name which will help you rank higher in search engines. If your name is taken, consider adding a number at the end, preferably one of significance that can be a part of your marketing story.
- You’ve been tricked! Yeah, so about all of the “special opportunities” and adding me to your list (without permission) if I attend one of your events… I think that it’s great that you want to build your list but why not do it the old-fashioned way by providing good content that people want to receive. If your offer is so great, why can’t you just tell me about it instead of making me click some unknown link that could be a computer virus. If you are providing such great information, then add a sign up button and let me decide if I want to receive your daily emails. (see more with #4)
- The numbers game. I know that we like the idea of having thousands of followers/friends/subscribers BUT are they customers? If you are trying to use your social network to build your business, you need to have a focus on the quality of people you are trying to engage. Does your community respond to your call to action? One way to find out is by checking your Klout score. Although I’m not sure of the algorithms used to calculate this number, I like to look at the data they provide which shows the reach of your posts and tweets. Are you generating content that people are responding to?
- If I build it, they will come! Yeah, ok BUT who is coming? Many people that I speak to talk about the difficulties that they have getting business from their social network. Ultimately find that is because they are preaching to the choir. This can be attributed to several factors (a) you’ve built a network filled with people like you, your peers will support you but they probably won’t buy from you (b) your network is filled with unqualified leads, people who think your fabulous is really cool but they have no need or money for your product/service (c) you haven’t given them a reason to buy from you. Your messaging about your product/service should be to establish a need that your prospect has and to position your brand as the only one who can fill that need. Social networking allows you to craft brief stories that remind them of their situation and then to present a call to action such as download this free ebook, sign up for my teleseminar… Most people go straight to pitch (download this, come to that, etc) without establishing the need.
- Timing… When developing a social media strategy, you should have some application that controls the timing of your messages. One of the most frustrating things for me is to see ten messages in succession from one person. I get that we are all working with limited time but applications like HootSuite allow you to schedule posts to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and WordPress sites so that you can space out your messages. Consider this, if all of your messages come through between 10:00a and 10:15a but I log on at 11:00a, I have missed you. However, spreading them out throughout the day will give you a greater probability of being heard/seen by a greater percentage of your network. Don’t forget to schedule some to post overnight if you want an international audience (some countries are just getting up when we are going to sleep).
- You’re not very friendly 😦 Just because you have a lot of friends/followers doesn’t make you friendly. I can gauge your friendly-meter by how you interact with your audience. You post, they respond, then nothing… Helllooooo, I’m talking to YOU and you can’t respond but I should buy what you’re selling?? Really? I know some people think its cute to have 15,000 followers and they only follow 248… That tells me that you don’t really care to hear what I have to say, you don’t really care what’s going on with me… You want to say what you want to say and I should just take it and go on about my business. If you don’t have time to adequately manage your social media then hire someone or get out of the game but many people don’t realize that they are hurting their brand by not being responsive to their prospects.
I really hope that your social media strategy doesn’t suck (really, I do…) but if it does and you need some help creating a winning plan; contact me for a complimentary consultation.