Can social media marketing help to drive a business on to more success?
The answer is yes, of course it can. However, success will only come after a lot of hard work and effort. But what about those businesses who try and fail with social media? They may have put in the hard yards, but they still come up short. What are they doing wrong?
Well, they may be making one of the following social media marketing mistakes:
Trying to establish a presence on every social media platform.
Whilst it’s understandable that businesses would like to have a presence on every social media platform, the fact is, unless you can afford to pay for dedicated staff to work on each of these individual channels you are likely to fall short. Expecting to have an effective presence on every platform is unrealistic unless you are prepared to spend big. No-one individual is capable of giving 100% to every platform at the same time as running a business: all you’ll manage to do is overstretch yourself and fail on both counts.
So what’s the solution? Well, when you first dip your toe into social media it’s probably best to concentrate on just the one platform and to give everything to building your presence on that.
Which platform should you concentrate on – Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?
Well, that depends entirely on where the majority of your customers reside. Find out which platform the majority of your market frequents and concentrate all your efforts there. Once you have built a serious presence there, then you can start adding additional platforms. Ignore the assertions that you have to have a presence on a particular platform because it’s trendy or in vogue; stick to the basics and go where your customers go.
Concentrating on the hard-sell and failing to engage.
What’s the one thing that puts readers off? It’s a business that concentrates solely on selling and selling alone. No one wants to read sales pitch after sales pitch on their newsfeeds. The purpose of social media is to build relationships: the clue is in the title – it’s a social thing. What businesses need to be doing is reaching out to followers and engaging. What’s important is your audience. So get to know them. Ask them questions, talk to them; show them you care and that you’re interested in them, not just yourself. If you can build strong relationships with your audience, the sales will follow on naturally.
How often should your business be posting on social media platforms? Well, the answer depends on what you read and who you believe. Everyone has different advice, so it’s wise to treat all of it with a pinch of salt. If there’s one piece of advice that does remain constant, however, it’s this: don’t over-post. If you do get carried away on Facebook or Twitter and post far too frequently, you’ll soon find that your followers drop off rapidly.
So what should you be doing? How often should you be posting? Well, the general recommendation would be 1 to 2 posts a day on Facebook, and up to 5/6 a day on Twitter. Any more and you’ll have your followers reaching for the unlike button.
Trying to be all things to all people.
It’s just isn’t possible to run a successful business and spend all day on social media. Well, even if it is, it’s the exception rather than the rule. All that will happen is that something will give, and generally that will be the business and no-one wants that. The only real solution to the problem is to get someone to look after the social media side of the business. Let them concentrate on building and maintaining a strong social media presence, whilst you concentrate on doing what you do best. If you’re a manufacturer you should concentrate on manufacturing, not scheduling Facebook posts or Twitter streams. The important thing is not to overstretch yourself; it’s not good for you, and it’s not good for your business.