The world of social marketing is cut-throat.
People are jockeying to be on lists, doing everything they can to be at the top of a Google, be the first to break news - you'd think this was the world of journalism (parts are). But it's not.
Many people will enter this industry and leave just as quickly. Why? Because they set themselves up for failure without realizing it. So how does that happen?
1. Publishing low quality content.
It doesn't matter if this is on your blog or your social posts, if you do not provide quality to your community, they will leave. Stop writing fluff and give them meat.
2. Not responding. At all. To anything.
I hate it when I comment on a post anywhere and there is no response...ever. You have to be negeved with your community - you have to be present and be active. If not, they will head south like Canadian Geese.
3. It's 24/7/365 about YOU.
We've seen these posts - they are all about "me! Me! Me!" I hate to break it to you, but it's not all about you - it's about THEM - your community. Social media is a place to build relationships with your current and prospective customers, not scare them off.
4. Little or no social media or blogging activity.
Why start a blog and never publish? Why start a Twitter account and never tweet? In social marketing, you have to show up and be active. Yes, starting that Facebook page was a good idea, but unless you are going to be consistent in posting and using it, just forget about it.
5. No strategy.
Using social marketing for business is tough. You have to have a plan. This isn't anything new. Attempting to do this blindly will only lead you to disaster. You have to know why you are using social marketing and have everything you do point back to that reason.
6. No social links or social share buttons on website or blog.
I like to use the analogy, if a tree falls in the forest and no one is there, can you hear it? If you are on social media and you don't tell anyone you are there, how will they find you? By accident? Same goes for articles on your blog - set up social sharing icons so people can share your great content and let others know you are there!
7. You don't take what you are doing seriously.
Yes, social marketing can be fun, however it's also a lot of work. You have to take it serious - with all the changes that happen rapidly, you will always be on your toes. You can have fun with it, but you are doing this for your business or someone else's - it's not play time.
8. You don't keep up with the changes.
This one will get you in the rear every time. If you can't or don't keep up with the changes you'll be left behind or worse - get an account suspended. You will not be successful unless you know what is going on.
I have been in this business several years now. The majority of those who started out when I did didn't make it past year one. Don't be one of those. Here is what you can do to not fail -
- Make a goal to provide one quality article each week. We will all publish fluff at some point, but have one, good solid post a week.
- Take an active role in your community - "talk" with them, ask and answer questions, show them you care more about them than yourself. Be someone they can trust.
- Be consistent. They say long and steady wins the race and it does in social marketing. Keep at it - you will get there.
- Have a plan. Write your goals on a piece of paper and plan out how you are going to use social marketing to get there. Having a plan (strategy) will not only keep you organized, it will keep you focused.
- Continually educate yourself. This is a fast-paced industry. Subscribe to a few blogs and stay in the loop. People will follow and trust those who truly know what is going on.
I love what I do and I hate to see people fail. Doing this type of work for yourself or someone else is not always easy. You will have days that suck - trust me, I do - but keep at it and it will pay off.