Many small businesses have jumped into social media as a form of marketing and seen great success. However, there are just as many businesses that have completely written social media off as ineffective after a “failed” campaign. So what is really going on here? Simply put, social media marketing is easy to get wrong. The following are some of the more common reasons why your last social media campaign may have failed:
- Understand the Social Media Platform – This may seem obvious, but too many business owners jump into social networking websites without understanding them. Not every social networking site will work for every type of business. Understanding the various social networking platforms available will help you select the right ones for your business. Once you select which networks to use, you should familiarize yourself with all of the features. Understanding all of the features will help you develop a strategy to get the most out of the social networking site.
- Set Realistic Goals – Too many business owners set unrealistic goals in terms of social media. Social media marketing isn’t a science. You won’t see concrete results in the short term. Social media is a longterm investment. If you expect to see results in a short period of time, you may see your efforts as a failure. An effective goal for social media is to establish relationships. Social networking is called networking for a reason. Make networking and establishing relationships within your target market a goal and you’ll see success over time.
- Establish a Professional Appearance – Think of your social networking profiles like an extension of your business. They should reflect the professionalism of your company. Work with your website designer to help integrate your company’s branding into your social networking profiles. When someone interacts with you over a social media site, they should immediately be able to recognize your brand. Once you’ve established a professional appearance, you’ll also want to keep your interactions professional. Don’t be afraid to interact on a personal level, but don’t forget to be professional at the same time.
- Integrate Social Media – It is easy to set up accounts for social media sites and forget to integrate them into your existing marketing efforts such as you website and print collateral. Work with your website designer closely to integrate your social networking profiles into your website and other marketing collateral. Your goal should be to make it so your users can interact with their social networks right from your website. While there are a number of third party solutions for adding social networks to your website, your web designer will be able to make the user experience seamless.
- Follow through with the Campaign – The importance of following through with your social media campaign can’t be emphasized enough. Too many small businesses will set up accounts for a number of different social media sites, use them for a few weeks and forget about them. The key to a successful social media campaign is to develop relationships and stay engaged. Spending a few minutes on social networking throughout the day should become a part of your routine. It may seem time consuming at first, but you will gradually develop a routine. If you stick to it, you’ll build trust and develop leads.