Contrary to popular belief, social media is not an instant fix solution for every brand under the sun. Social marketing takes time and with that come certain milestones that need to take place prior to the launch of your campaign.
In this article, I will cover seven reasons why your brand might not be ready for social media and what you can do about it. If you’re on the fence about jumping into the game, do a quick assessment based on these reasons and determine whether or not you’re ready for prime time.
1. You don’t have a plan
Believe it or not, social media campaigns take time even before your first 140 characters are ever tweeted. You need to analyze your targeted audience, see what they want and then devise a way to deliver it in a meaningful and engaging way. If you haven’t done the research, you’ll be shooting in the dark. This is probably the number one reason I’ve seen campaigns fail or never reach their potential.
2. You don’t have enough content
Some folks would debate this point, but in my opinion, social media is a second-stage marketing effort. In other words, when you’re just starting a business, it would be best to build up a body of work first and then start promoting that work in your social circles. Of course you should get your profiles set up as soon as possible in order to secure your brand name, but it just makes sense that if you have nothing to talk about, social media will only make that problem worse.
3. You don’t have proper goals
If your social media marketing goals only revolve around getting more likes or follows, then something is wrong. While likes and follows are important, they shouldn’t be the focus of your efforts, but rather a pleasant effect of a job well done. Your real goals should focus on things such as the overall engagement level with specific pieces of content. You want to get people talking about your brand and sharing your brand rather than merely liking and following your brand.
4. You misunderstand the value of social engagement
You can often spot a bad social media campaign by noticing how one-sided it is. In other words, all of the content is coming from one source and being blasted out to the audience. There is no sign of engagement, no questions are being asked and any comments that are received do not even get a response from the brand. This is social media done wrong. In order for your campaign to be successful, you need to understand that the value of social media is not in what you say, but in what others say about what you share and how your react to that in real time.
5. You’re too eager to sell something
This point is simple. Social media is not a direct sales tool. If you try to sell something again and again through a social channel, you’ll get unfollowed or unliked more often than not. It’s okay to ask for the sale down the road, once you’ve built some rapport with your audience, but this takes time. If you’re unsure whether or not you’re acting too much like a salesperson, analyze your content from the perspective of your audience. Would you want stuff like this showing up in your news feed everyday?
6. You aren’t ready to make the daily commitment
Here I’m talking about the old “set it and forget it” approach to social media. This is where folks set up their profiles and churn out a small amount of content, but then everything slows down or comes to a halt. If I visit your Twitter profile and notice that your last update was from 2009, this doesn’t look good for your brand. Make sure you’re in it for the long haul and can devote the time needed to keep your content fresh and relevant before you begin your campaign.
7. You’re looking for a quick fix
Do you need to make sales and make them quick? Do you need to bring awareness to an issue and you only have a few days? Social media will not solve these problems. There is no quick fix. Social media takes time, effort and darn good content. A lot of this advice ties into the previous point about making a daily commitment. You won’t see results right away. Sometimes this can be discouraging, but if you put in the time, you’ll almost always see positive results after a while, as long as you are delivering something of value to your audience.
I hope you’ve found these points useful as you assess your readiness for social media marketing or reevaluate your existing marketing strategy. As always, feel free to add your own advice in the comments sections below and let me know what you think.