In recent years, agencies and companies alike have attempted to connect with intended audiences over social channels. The problem is that some small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are usually disheartened by the lack of traction they get when their accounts go live.
Their disappointment is not surprising when there’s no shortage of public examples of social media success from larger corporations such as Starbucks, JetBlue , Nike, and Charmin. These accounts are known for having authentic connections with their audience, dedicated followers (i.e ample product mentions and use of corporate hashtags), and content that fans and followers want to share across other social channels.
There’s a lot of competition for your brand to be heard, since all levels of businesses have caught on to the benefits of an online presence. Keep in mind the old saying “Competition breeds excellence.” If you’re not seeing the results you want on your SMB’s social channels, ask yourself if you’re committing these fatal errors:
1. Little to no engagement. Comments, retweets, likes, and shares are indicators that your audience is “listening” to your brand, and if you’re not getting this then there needs to be some tweaking.
Find out what your audience wants to know or see. It can be as simple as asking, if not, then time to do your homework!
2. Treating all social channels the same. As much as we like to lump Instagram, Facebook, Youtube, and Twitter under “social media,” each platform has unique features. You probably already have some demographics on your customers, so check out what they prefer to use.
3. Failing to set goals. Social content without strategy is just fluff. Sit down and figure out your objectives: Do you want to grow your followers? Increase brand awareness? Goals for your social accounts should seamlessly tie in with your brand’s values and messaging.
4. Using robotic language. Be human and speak to your audience like people. Take a gander at some of the social accounts that you admire for inspiration in finding your brand voice.
5. Ignoring the competition. Do some social listening and create Google Alerts on what people are saying about similar brands. Facebook’s Pages to Watch feature is a useful tool for seeing how your page stacks up.
Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and even Instagram (promoted posting is now in beta with select fashion brands) are not hiding that they’re optimized to encourage companies to spend (the secret is out!). If you have a new product or other big announcement, think about carving out room in your budget for promoted posts.
Social is not as easy as it looks on the surface, so it’s hard to avoid a couple missteps. Keep monitoring and interacting with your audience and build up from there.
Does your SMB need crafting a social strategy? APEX has the expertise.
(Photo by Jason Howie/Flickr)