Thursday, January 2, 2014

4 Social Media Strategies That Don't Work

Evolving social media strategies: What you need to know

Social media is everywhere. No longer is it just a trend for companies with free marketing time. Consumers are now turning to company fan pages for such things as product and company reviews, customer service inquiries, and general conversations with other fans and businesses. It's become an essential way of communication. 

Today we are going to talk about 4 social media strategies that don't work.

1. Set it and forget it
This is a pretty popular strategy among small business owners who don't have time to actively maintain their social channels daily. The problem with this strategy is that many companies are missing out on the main purpose of social media, being social. Not only is engagement key to any social media strategy, it also allows you to better understand what your fans are interested in by what topics they engage with. If you aren’t asking your fans to engage with your fan page, they most likely aren’t. 

By being active online, this allows you to react to customer service inquiries quicker, engage with your fans, and also gives you a unique opportunity to ask your fans what they like best about your business and what they want to see more of. A great insight into your sales strategy don’t you think?

Another popular strategy for many community focused businesses is sharing current events, and discussing trending topics that go viral online. Using the set it and forget it strategy, you miss out on this great opportunity to engage with your fans and obtain higher viral and organic reach by sharing trending topics. 

2. Linking your social channels
The idea of linking your social channels to each other seems like a great time saver. You post to one social channel, which in turn feeds into the rest. The problem with this strategy is that each social platform is different in its communication style. Think of a platform like Facebook, where the visual appeal works well for CTR’s and engagement. Turn now to Twitter, where you are limited to only 140 characters, and often need a pull strategy to help drive people to your website. 

All too often we see people linking their Twitter account to their Facebook fan page, where it cuts off a tweet mid-sentence, and drives fans directly to a website where they are unable to finish reading the sentence. This also takes away the ability to add hashtags, and use a short-link on Twitter to track your CRT’s. Accounts that link Twitter to Facebook fan pages are also often not monitored for customer inquiries on Twitter, don’t engage with other Twitter accounts, and don’t connect with new fans. This not only brings little value to other Twitter accounts, but brings little value to your business account as well.

3. One-sided sales funnel
At the end of the day, the main purpose for any social media strategy is ROI. For many businesses, ROI boils down to sales. The problem with using your social media as a one-sided sales funnel is that unless you are a well-known brand or company, you are essentially asking your fans to watch a 60 second video of you talking about yourself, over and over again. Hewlett Packard released a study last year about social engagement, where many fans pointed out that they often unlike or unfollow a fan page because they were too self-promotional. 

Going back to our first point about the importance of engagement, and interacting with your fans, you’re missing out on a great opportunity by just promoting products. 

4. Setting an aggressive social media plan

We’ve all done this. You get super excited about an idea that is really going to help the company take off. You launch a company Facebook page, Pinterest account, connect with a ton of people on Twitter … then get busy running your business, leaving your fan pages inactive for months at a time.
So many small businesses are struggling to find the time to maintain their own social channels, often biting off more than they can chew. Many are quickly learning that social media isn’t a 9-5 job. You need to be active online when your fans are online. 
An aggressive social media plan can be a great strategy, if you have the time to execute it properly.
Looking for a little guidance to help get your social media going again? Try our social media consulting. 

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