January 15, 2015 / Melissa Faudree

I’m sure you are familiar with the saying, “If you build it, they will come.” Could this applied to social media as a marketing strategy? While it may have worked for Kevin Costner’s character in Field of Dreams, social media does not necessarily work that way. So why isn’t your social media working as a marketing strategy? All good things take time and effort. Social media as marketing strategy is no different. It takes time to build a following, generate leads, and develop relationships on social networks.

What could you be doing wrong if you’ve spent time and effort on your social networks? The following are some possible reasons why your social media strategy is not working.

1. Lack of communication & engagement
Social media is like seed; it needs nourishment in order to grow. Social platforms are designed to build relationships and connections. How often are you engaging in conversations in your community and niche? Are you replying to new followers? Are you commenting on retweets/shares and additional comments? It is important that you communicate and engage with your audience. Lack of communication or engagement shows that you are not interested in growing as a business. Social media is a great place to share your knowledge and ideas with others. You can discuss new products or other ideas with your audience to receive feedback.

2. Poor content
Your business should create quality content on social media that motivates your audience to engage and share with others. The content you write and share on social media should also relate to your business and niche. You should always ask yourself, is this content beneficial to my audience? Make sure the content is tailored to your audience, not you. Businesses often forget that they are trying to reach an audience and potential customers. Think less about your interests and more about your audience.

It is also important to remember that not all content you share will fit the distribution channel. You should consider the type of content, imagery, titles, hashtags, and analytics for your social platforms. For example, Twitter has a limited amount of characters for tweeting (140 characters to be exact). Hashtags are a great way to spread your content with other trending topics on platforms like Twitter. However, not all social networks use hashtags. The point is every social network is different in their content and engagement. Be sure you are utilizing these platforms correctly when you post content.

Additionally, we all know that social media thrives on images and videos, so the more you use these in your posts the better. Followers are more apt to share content that includes an image or video. In fact, that’s how content becomes viral. How often do your posts include media?

3. Robotic characteristics
Is your content focused on individuals? Does your audience feel like you are speaking directly to them? Content on social media should be conversational. Try to humanize your social networks so that people want to engage with you. It should be fun so add some personality to your accounts, while still staying professional. More importantly, you should not use social media solely to advertise your business and services. When you use it only to advertise, it will turn people away. Followers don’t want to be sold something all the time. They want content that is valuable to them. What can you do for them?

4. Not understanding your target audience
Who is your audience? What do you know about your audience? Understanding your target audience is key with social media. You should know what they like and dislike. What content do they want? When are they most socially active? You should continuously research your audience on social media. Also it is important to know what social networks your audience and customers are using. It might more sense for businesses to use LinkedIn and Facebook while others would perform better using Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Do your research!

5. Inconsistency when you post
Is your social presence nonexistent? Social media requires consistency. Posting often and consistently will help increase your audience. Plus, if you create a schedule for your social media posts, your audience will expect content to be delivered. Consistency builds trust because it shows you are reliable.

Social media is a powerful marketing strategy for businesses. It is a great way to develop relationships, promote your services to potential clients, and gain credibility. Don’t be discouraged when your social media accounts don’t flourish overnight. Be patient and persistent!

Posted In: Blog, Marketing, Social Media