The truth is, most business owners don’t know squat about social media. And that’s ok. The problem is they’re too stubborn and proud to admit it.
For every social media success story there are hundreds of businesses struggling to establish any type of online presence. Here are four reasons your company is failing at social media.
Social is the wild wild west and success means out-of-the-box thinking and a whole lot of throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks. It will be extremely difficult to be successful when you’re being scrutinized every step of the way. It’s so important that social becomes a part of your companies culture, starting at the top. If your leadership hasn’t drank the social media kool-aid you might as well stop reading this post right now. Success is far from guaranteed and even further when you don’t have the full support of your organization.
Lets be clear on something. Reading "The Thank You Economy" does not make you a social media expert. Attending Digital East does not make you a social media guru. Like any other industry, there's a learning curve. The lack of education amongst business owners and executives is causing two major problems.
First is their inability to understand the complexities of implementing a social media strategic plan. This lack of understanding leads to the second mistake; tasking the wrong employee or hiring the wrong firm.
Social Media is NOT a one size fits all solution. Yellowbook, Splash Media, and the like don’t understand this. The only social networks they will support your business on are: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, and a company blog. That’s it. No location based services. No niche social networks (ie activerain for real estate agents, forrst for graphic designers or sprouter for entrepreneurs ). No other options. Your company doesn’t need to be on the biggest networks. It needs to be on the networks where your customers are spending their time.
Please stop blasting the same message across the web. I’m begging you. It gives me no reason to visit, follow, like, tumble, etc any of your other social media handles. Facebook is not Twitter. Take the time to educate yourself and your team on the different styles of communication used on each site. The example I give to my customers is this:
Facebook is similar to throwing a party. Invite people to your page and invoke conversation. Then allow those responding to run the show. Let them create the dialogue. Now you’re the platform they depend on for advice and conversation. You wouldn’t stand on top of your coffee table and scream at your friends. So stop doing it online. Be a gracious and giving host and your community will adore you for it.
Twitter is great for building one-on-one, more personal relationships. Find your customers on twitter and see what interests they have other than your services. Talk to them about similar hobbies you might share or sports teams you both support. You’re bridging the gap between professional and personal relationships. The bond and friendships that form will catapult your business to new heights.
Now it’s your turn. Tell us in the comments what struggles your business is having adopting and implementing its social media strategy.