You’re jazzed about using social media for your business, but what’s up with the low engagement percentages or the lack of engagement your audience seems to have when you post an update? How can you get social media to work for your business?
First, take a look at the following reasons why social media may not be working for you. They are (relatively) easy fixes!
1.You don’t understand the channels
You may use social media on a personal level, but do you understand what percentage of your audience is on each channel? Do you know the best ways to tailor Facebook, Pinterest or Twitter to your needs (and the needs of your audience?) Not all social media platforms are created equal. In order to be successful you must:
- Know the basics of how each channel works
- Know how/when/where/why your target audience uses social media
2. Too much push marketing
How many times do you see sales pitches appear in your Facebook newsfeed or think, “huh, the only time I ever see this person tweet is when he/she has something to sell?” Social media channels weren’t initially intended for brands to push out their agendas; they’re tools to make connections. So how do we get away from pushing our agendas and engaging with our audiences?
- Tailor your messages to your audience — it’s about them, not you.
- Use the 80/20 rule — only 20% of your content should be sales focused.
- If you would be annoyed with seeing a message appear in your newsfeed, it’s probably not going to resonate with your audience, either. Put yourself in their shoes.
3. You’re not listening
Earlier this year, I worked on a rather large digital marketing campaign for a client that had fabulous numbers on their Facebook page. However, no matter how much great content was produced or how many times followers commented/shared/liked specific updates, there continued to be a lack of follow-up by the brand.
Your audience expects conversation. If they ask a question or make a comment, you need to respond. The less you respond, the more likely your audience is to ignore your content next time or provide negative feedback. In fact, 42% of consumers who complain on social media (and let’s face it, social media is the mecca for customer complaints) expect a response within one hour. Listening has to be a priority in order to be successful on social media.
4. Measurement is not a priority
If you’re new to measurement, it can be easy to become overwhelmed with metrics. Measurement is a priority and there are several things you should look at for measuring success. However, don’t become wrapped up in too many measurements, especially if you’re just starting out. The main elements you want to consider:
- Are your social media channels driving traffic to your website?
- Are you generating leads through social media content?
- If you stopped using social media, what would it do to your bottom line, website visits, sales, brand awareness, etc.?
5. Goals? What goals?
Don’t produce content for the sake of content. And similarly, don’t jump on every social media channel just because you can. Take a close look at what your overall business goals are and how you can support those goals through the use of content on social media. Some goals to consider:
- Increased website traffic
- Brand awareness
- Increased database subscribers
- Outreach to media/new PR possibilities
- Creating brand ambassadors
Now what? 3 social media content tips
Once you’ve cleaned up the issues above, it’s time to brush up on your content. In a world where we are inundated with content, how can your social media content prove effective? How do you engage your audiences in order to drive traffic to your website and, ultimately, create sales? Start with these 3 tips and grow from there:
1. Provide education
You live and breathe your industry on a daily basis while your followers do not. Take time to explain the issues they need to be concerned about or why your products/services can be beneficial to them. However, tap into the 80/20 rule I mentioned above. Eighty percent of the time, make your content about others and curate/share information from other trusted sources (your additional content channels can be included in this mix) and the other 20 percent of the time focus on the sale. We are learners by nature; feed those inquisitive minds with the expertise you have. Some ideas:
- Make it easy for your audience to find the information they’re looking for on your blog, website and social media channels. Use SEO and keywords to your advantage to tap into organic search patterns.
- Ask the people on the front lines (your sales team, client relations team, etc.) what questions they hear most from customers/clients and provide content that includes the answers to those top FAQs.
- Implement an “ask a question” feature on your website, Twitter chats, Facebook feed, etc.
2. Prove value
Your audience comes to you because you have something they want. Prove it. Don’t be afraid to give away “free” content and showcase why you are a trusted brand/leader/service in your industry. Show your audience that you’re not afraid to provide them with valuable content that will help them grow their businesses. Suggestions:
- white papers
- video demonstrations
- how-to articles
- blog posts that break down complicated topics
- free trials
3. Show personality
Social media is just that — social. Don’t be afraid to show a little personality on your social sites. People don’t develop relationships with brands, they develop them with the people behind the brand. Your audience wants to hear your stories and personal experiences. They want to see fun pictures and behind-the-scenes footage. Use your social media platforms as a way to share these intimate situations and engage with your audience on a more personal level.
If you’re looking for additional ways to boost your social media use, check out some of our recent publications or contact us to schedule a customized webinar or social media audit. Let us help you move your social media to the next level.