When Social Media Doesn’t Work

A lot of business owners think that social media is a waste of time and if it has to be done, a part time, remote employee can be used to complete the “simple” task.

I think a lot of business owners in my area of the country see the success of social media used by other successful companies and get an idea that it is a great way to drum up new business and capture leads simply by posting sales-y content to try and get people in the door, buy the product, or sign up for a membership. Posting 3–4 times a week should be as simple as snapping a photo on your phone, posting it to your business page, and watching the leads fly in… right?

Most business owners decide to hire a young person who should somehow automatically know the ins and outs of social media marketing because of their age. The company ends up giving them a month or two to start increasing sales astronomically for the company.

When these results don’t meet the expectation, the business owners get frustrated and throw out social media for “not really working”.

In my experience as an owner of a social media agency as well as the past 7 years of working in this corner of the marketing world, I have seen this first hand. It’s a matter of misunderstanding the amount of work, time, and budget needed to actually make social media marketing work for the company.

Social media is not an easy concept for most small business owners to understand.

Social Media, first and foremost, is a branding vehicle.

Social Media platforms are areas of the internet people go to feel connected, entertained, and educated.

This is not the place people go wanting to be sold to.

Think of it this way…

Would you go into a bar full of people who are laughing, dancing, sharing stories, enjoying food, drinking with friends, turn the music off and shout “HEY! YOU SHOULD HIRE ME FOR ALL OF YOUR PLUMBING, HEATING AND AIR CONDITIONING NEEDS!”?

At best you would get funny looks and probably be told to either leave or buy something.

Social Media is social.

These are platforms created to share stories, give life updates, comment on funny videos, stay up to date on what your friends are doing, laugh a little, learn a little, and be entertained.

So, if you can join in on these discussions as a business and a brand, you start to establish not only your spot in the online world, but you start to establish your brand, what you stand for, how you can HELP people. You join the community instead of shouting how great your products are to those not interested at that moment.

Now, this task is not easy and requires a lot of time and work and sometimes money over an extended period of time to become established.

My old business partner used to love saying social media is a “slow burn”. Creating a strong social media presence ultimately creates your brand online and allows you to grow an audience of loyal fans over time who feel connected enough to who you are and what you stand for to dish out money for your product or service.

The sales will come.

It may take time but you are building something that goes far beyond a quick sell. You are establishing brand loyalty in your people. This helps create lifetime customers and clients. This allows you to become the industry expert and shows your credibility. This will matter more to your potential customers over time than a quick fix of their problem, or a nice deal on one of your flagship products.

We need to shift our mindsets on what social is and what it does for our companies.

First and foremost, understand that a good social media presence is an investment.

We can no longer hire our niece or nephew who is 16 and expect them to post a few times a week to drive sales and get people in the door.

Larger companies with bigger budgets hire whole teams to run 1 social media channel. We’re talking 5–10 people running a single twitter profile, here.

ROI is important. It’s most important. But in the same way that word of mouth spreads slowly over time, you have to look at social media marketing as a slow burn that should be measured over longer periods of time. The metrics you should be focusing on are a growth in followers, a growth in reach, and a growth in engagement.

The more you can be in front of people and have those people talking about you AND/OR discussing topics alongside you on social, the more your brand awareness is spreading and the more loyal followers you will start to attract.

If you want to find success in using social media as a marketing vehicle, you have to make the investment and let that investment grow.

It is a hard concept for business owners to understand — especially small business owners who don’t have a ton of capital to throw around.

However, just like investing, it’s better to start small now and let it build over time than to wait and play catch up down the road.

Social media marketing IS a great way to drum up new business and capture leads, it just takes time and effort. The best companies in the world know and understand this. And as we become closer and closer to living our lives online (thanks, metaverse) we will need to have that presence established so people can interact with our brands as if they were a close friend.

Don’t get left behind.

Do your research, invest in your presence online, keep your head down and work, and let your online relationships grow over time. Years from now you will be glad you started when you did.

This post was created with Typeshare

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