Editor’s Note: This guest post is by Alexis Thompson, She is an alumna from Martin College Australia, a former Mountain Backpacker and a 26 year old mother of 2 daughters, Sophie and Rhian. She is into almost all types of Music especially The Fray and Hillsong. She also has a passion in Singing and Scrap Booking. Follow her escapades on Twitter.
Since its inception, social media has been a huge boon for everyone. It provides people with a great way to stay connected to friends and family, to share information, and to create new networks. Whether it is through Facebook, Twitter, or something else, social media has become a staple in the life of every man.
This is what many businesses have begun to capitalize on. Many companies’ sales pitches seem to include the phrases, “Like us on Facebook!” or “Follow us on Twitter!” nowadays. This is because many firms have discovered the next great thing about social media—it’s a great marketing tool. Social media marketing helps you to get more up close and personal with customers and gain their trust by posting pictures of company activities or new products and services. It is also inexpensive—social media accounts cost nothing to create, saving a lot of cost from direct marketing and making it a big help to small businesses. It can also be very effective, as social media marketing opens up new networks of people to you for exploration.
Yes, social media can be a huge advantage. But it needs time, commitment, and effort in order to deliver the best results. While there are many businesses engaging in social media marketing, not many of those reap any benefits. Here are 8 reasons why:
Lack of planning
Many companies jump onto the social media bandwagon without thinking. They fail to consider details like the business’s goals and objectives, the number of resources that can be allocated to maintaining this area of marketing, the kind of media that should be used, the kind of content that should be featured, the guidelines that should be set and the kind of check and balance that should be done before a post or a tweet makes it onto the Net. There are many horror stories of companies gaining bad online reputations due to the improper use of their social media tools—with sensible planning, this can be avoided. Treat your social media campaign the same way you would any serious business venture, set a good foundation for it, and it will succeed.
Lack of understanding of how much social media can affect business
Something many companies are starting to grasp is how their own employees can affect their online reputation. Social media’s “say anything you want whenever you want” feature enables users to unload at any time, with lasting consequences that often not even dismissal can fix because the Internet does not forget. Thus, any company wanting to get into social media should educate its employees on the company initiative. Company workers should be made aware of the weight of your social media marketing efforts, and how chaos can ensue if they aren’t careful. Integrate the idea of social media culture into the company culture, and develop a habit of encouraging employees to participate in the company’s via their own personal social media.
Inability to measure success
Another way social media marketing suffers is because a company was unable to see short-term results and deemed the strategy ineffective. What companies need to understand is that social media marketing works over time, and that its effectiveness is measures by user engagement rather than financial boom. User engagement is how visitors go from potential clients to actual customers. It involves forming a relationship with every visitor by giving them reasons to stay connected.
Lack of understanding of the technology
Especially in small businesses, company heads/owners often have a problem with being too hands-on with regard to their business involvement. As a result, a company leader may, despite his lack of technological know-how, choose to take on social media market himself—resulting in unwise campaigns and neglected accounts. This is why it is important for companies to put a social media-savvy person in charge of social media marketing. A person who knows social media knows how to maximize it, knows what language needs to be used, what slant should be used to be capture to social media market.
Now people don’t like being told what to do or what to like. Unfortunately, it’s the slant some companies chose to take in their social media campaign. Facebook pages and accounts talk only about the company’s product, and they become serious, static, and boring. Social media is popular because it’s fun—this is something that you should remember. Have a good time with your social media marketing by interacting with customers and giving the air of excitement and spontaneity.
Inability to keep the audience hooked
Many firms tend to underestimate their audience on the social network. They limit the users of social media to kids, teenagers, young adults—often failing to realize that all kinds of people engage in social media. Thus, many companies do not maximize the audience potential by providing the right kind of content. The right kind of content is informative, clearly shows the capabilities of the products of services being promoted, and is always fresh and updated. This is why you need to keep a constant eye on the movement of the market in social media marketing. Keep giving your audience a reason to check you out whenever they open Facebook or Twitter by offering new promos, discounts, company updates, products or services.
Lack of commitment
After the social media accounts are up and running, many companies sadly end up abandoning them. Keeping track of the movements of the campaign, updating content, and promoting customer interaction has become too cumbersome. The thing about social media marketing is that it requires commitment in order to flourish. Diligence in keeping the campaign going is extremely valuable when pursuing this kind of marketing strategy in order to reap its benefits.
Failure to interact with customers
Social media was made for people to interact. Therefore, the most important part of social media marketing is customer interaction. This is your chance to get up close and personal with your clients, so take the time to ask or tweet questions on your page. Respond to questions or comments in a timely, courteous, and comprehensive manner. Many people will take to social media to make complaints about you, so take the opportunity to show your professionalism by taking responsibility for any problems. Dealing with customers head on in social media can be daunting, but in the end, it’s what will best show the world what your business is all about.
Social media can be your most powerful marketing tool, if you use it well. So do!