Social media isn’t just for getting in touch with old high school friends. It’s how information, from news to sales to cat videos, is spread. Small businesses can use social media to attract potential leads to their websites while continuing to delight current and past customers. However, because we all use social networks as part of our everyday lives, many organizations think social media marketing is simple or frivolous – and then get frustrated when they’re not seeing the results they wanted. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest are all amazing marketing tools, but if your social media isn’t working in bringing in leads you might not be using the tools correctly.
1. You aren’t using the right platform for your demographic
Just like the Little Mermaid, you want to be where the people are. The key to a successful social media campaign is knowing exactly where your ideal client spends their time. Each platform caters to a different demographic, and while there is some crossover between them, it’s important to focus on the sites where you can have the most effective reach. Too many small business owners set up a Twitter and Facebook account and cross their fingers they’ll connect with potential leads.
- If you don’t have one already, you need a Facebook business page. Potential clients and customers will assume you don’t exist without one. This is also the ideal platform to focus on if you want to reach adults ages 35-50, especially women.
- If your target demographic is younger, you’ll want to concentrate on visually appealing posts on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
- If you’re a B2B, your target audience is more likely to be on Twitter and LinkedIn. Both of these platforms are industry-focused and where other professionals look for tips and services.
- Other platforms such as Yelp, Houzz and Google+ can help potential customers find you better. They thrive off professional knowledge and positive customer reviews. They also contribute greatly to your small business’ SEO.
- Keep in mind no one sticks to a single platform. Active mommy bloggers who post pictures of their kids on Facebook also find crafts and recipes on Pinterest. Other small business owners who want to stay in the loop will switch back and forth between Google+ and Twitter. Make sure you have a presence on multiple platforms as well.
2. You’re selling too hard
Truth time: we’re all constant consumers and we’re all tired of constantly being sold to. It’s rarely discreet and doesn’t really draw us to the sellers. On social media, in particular, selling too hard is an instant turnoff. Though the platforms are free, users often complain about seeing too many ads as it disrupts their experience. As far as they know, you’re not their friend and they didn’t ask to hear from you.
The best rule of thumb to follow is the 80/20 rule. This means only 20% of your content should be self-promotional. I know, it’s difficult but please don’t exceed that. The rest of your posts, tweets and images should be engaging, educational or entertaining.
3. You’re not posting the right content
So you know you can’t be constantly selling, but your engaging, educational or entertaining posts aren’t getting a reaction from your followers. Too frequently, business owners are speaking a completely different language than their audience, which is why their social media isn’t working. Failure to connect has a direct effect on your small business’ ability to attract new leads and delight current customers.
Instead, appeal to what your potential customers and clients would like to see, not what you want to sell. This comes with truly understanding your target demographic and what leads them to make a buying decision. Showing some personality is also a huge factor in successful social media campaigns. Facebook is not a board room and Instagram is not a stuffy PowerPoint presentation so loosen up a little and let your customers see the humans behind the company.
4. You’re being inconsistent
We are all creatures of habit. When we get used to a pattern, we begin to expect it. Inconsistent posting is one of the biggest mistakes I see in small businesses. They might make five Facebook posts one week and none for the rest of the month. This haphazard frequency is confusing and frustrating for loyal and casual audiences alike.
Keep a checklist or develop your own system to ensure you’re posting on a regular basis. You can plan your content in advance or set aside a section of time every day, but make sure you follow a pattern that works for you. Frequency and consistency matter.
5. You’re not posting at the right times
If a tweet goes out at midnight and nobody’s around to see it, does it even exist? The timing of your social media posts matters. You want to hit the right people at the right time.
Use analytics provided by each social media platform or automation provider like Hootsuite to decide which times will best reach your audience. There are some industry standards, but your specific demographic may vary. You might notice a shift in engagement the more you post, but don’t worry – this is completely normal! Your audience won’t always stay in the same place so don’t be afraid to be flexible.
6. You’re not engaging enough
It’s simply not enough to post interesting things at the right time. Social media is just that – social. It’s people connecting with people across the Internet. Neglecting to interact with your followers looks cold and disinterested, you might as well not even have a profile to begin with.
Extend your business’ reach by commenting on others’ posts. Like followers’ comments on your own posts. Thank clients for their Google reviews. Simple social media management can grant your organization a lot of goodwill.
7. You’re not representing your organization properly
Is your cover photo up-to-date with your current team? Is the address listed on Google correct? More and more potential customers are looking to Facebook and Google for your company’s information instead of your website. Imagine how confused they are when they show up at the wrong showroom and can’t find the correct number to call for directions!
Make sure every bit of information on every social media platform is accurate. Every one of your business’ profiles should have a current cover and profile picture. When applicable, list both location and hours and make sure the “About” section is fully completed. If you’ve recently changed your organization’s branding, sweep your profile of any old logos or colors. Don’t forget to have your website prominently featured to drive leads to your business.
Keeping track of your daily social media management can be difficult. Download our handy and easy-to-follow daily social media checklist to stay up-to-date and consistent.