"Social media just doesn't work for me." In the business world, this is a common complaint from CEO's and marketers. The fact of the matter is that social media works, despite it may not work for you.
Social media has changed the landscape of our communication. Since it's inception, it has evolved into a myriad of platforms. This has created ample opportunities for marketers and business owners. However, it can also result in frustration for someone who doesn't have the right social media strategy in place.
If you have ever doubted the efficiency of social media, then you need to figure out exactly why it's not working for you. In this article, you will discover:
- How to increase ROI without pitching your products on social media
- How to create a social media regimen that creates sustainable traffic over the long-term
- Why you need to know "who" your audience is before you figure out "where" they are hanging out
- How to create valuable content that appeals to the goals and desires of your fans
- Proven strategies to optimize your social media content for lead generation
Social Media Mistake #1 - The Social Dynamic of Social Media
Are you aware that your social media followers are most likely not your buyers? Although social media can be leveraged to convert fans into customers, it shouldn't be used as a "pitching platform." The end state goal of any marketing sequence is to generate revenue. However, you need to understand the buyer's journey doesn't take place over the course of one tweet.
If you're constantly posting about your offers, don't expect a massive return on your investment. Far too often, marketers don't understand the social dynamic of social media. Instead of selling your products, you should focus on creating thoughtful content that's valuable to your audience. Social media should be used as a medium to educate and instill trust your followers. This will entice them to take the next step in your marketing sequence. Remember, people hate to be sold...but they love to buy.
Social Media Mistake #2 - You Think You Have A Strategy, But You Don't
If you're serious about building a social media strategy that works, you can't treat it like a hobby. Posting "whenever you feel like it" is not a strategy. Unfortunately, common sense is rarely common practice. Despite most marketers know they should adhere to a social media regimen, it doesn't necessarily mean they'll do it.
Write down the specific platforms that you want to leverage in your business. Each week, create a document that lists the posting frequency of each social media website. Block off a few hours each week to schedule your posts. This regimen will keep you accountable over the long-term, which is the key component to generating traffic.
Social Media Mistake #3 - You Don't Know Who Your Audience Is
If you're constantly posting about topics that are appealing to you, then it may not resonate with your audience. Although you may be positioned as the expert, there's a good chance that your followers are novices. Your content needs to accommodate their level of knowledge, not yours. The benefits they are looking to glean might be different than what you initially thought.
So how do you figure out what they really want? ENGAGE. Creating content is only the first step of the process. Interacting with your audience will help you speak directly to their goals, fears, and frustrations. There are various ways to engage on social media. Here are some strategies that have been proven to work:
- Posting open-ended questions (Example: "What is your primary goal for this year?")
- Interacting with your followers in the comment section.
- Giving direct calls to action (Example: "Leave a comment below and let me know what your biggest obstacle is.").
When you determine who your audience is, it makes it much easier to find them on social media.
Social Media Mistake #4 - You Don't Know Where Your Audience Is
Using the right strategies on the wrong social media websites isn't going to produce results. Your audience is most likely hanging out on a handful of platforms. It's your job to figure out where they are before you start crafting your content.
Some social media websites are niche specific, while others are used on a much broader spectrum. If you are in the fitness niche, then the majority of your content will be created through video and images. Certain channels such as YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook will allow you to optimize the visual appeal of your posts. If you are an Internet Marketer, your social media strategy will most likely involve more in depth engagement. Platforms such as Twitter and Google Plus would be more conducive to your marketing sequences.
Social Media Mistake #5 - You Aren't Focused On The Right Metrics
If you want to get results, then you need to track the social media metrics that matter. In general, your strategy should be focused on converting followers into leads. As we discussed, selling directly on social media isn't an effective means to an end. Your fans won't perceive it well, and you'll most likely end up with minimal ROI. On the contrary, trying to become the next viral sensation isn't going to increase your bottom line either.
Garnering a ton of "likes" and "shares" is meaningless if you can't convert your traffic. You don't need to go viral to consistently build a database of qualified leads. Instead, you need to optimize your social media content to entice your fans to subscribe to your email list. You can do this in a variety of ways, such as:
- Post content that directs your fans to one of your personal web properties, such as your blog.
- Use direct calls to action that send your followers to a high converting landing page.
The reality is that the majority of your prospects will end up purchasing from your email autoresponder campaigns. The quality of your traffic is much more important than the overall quantity. A large volume of fans, likes, and shares doesn't automatically translate into revenue. Refrain from trying to close the sale on the first try, and focus on generating leads from your social media campaigns.
Social media is no different than any endeavor worth having in life. It takes time, effort, and patience. If you want to take your business to the next level, then you need to take an honest assessment of the effort that's required.
If you treat social media as a hobby, then you're not going to get any results. If you post consistently for a few months, you'll see some results. If you stick to a structured regimen for a year, you will see massive results. Stop looking for the shortcut, because it doesn't exist. Social media is all about persistency. Figure out who your audience is before you determine where they are hanging out. Then, create valuable content that is geared towards their needs, rather than your knowledge.
Focus on solving their problems instead of constantly pitching your products. Remember that social media is all about social engagement. Interact with your fans, and become curious about who they are and how you can help them. Demonstrate that you care and optimize your content for lead generation. Before you know it, your social media problems will suddenly become a catalyst in the growth of your business.
Have you made any of these common mistakes in your social media? If so, how did you deal with it?
Thumbnail and content image via Shutterstock
Second image via Shutterstock