You’ve set up your social media platforms.
The picture you’ve used in your bio is one that even your mother would be proud of. And, you’re sending out regular tweets and posts.
But, despite all of your efforts – you feel like you’re talking to an empty room as the response you’re receiving from your ‘tribe’ is practically zilch.
“What am I doing wrong?” I hear you cry!
Sorry to break this news to you, but it’s not social media that’s the problem. It’s what you’re doing (or not doing) in your use of social media that’s affecting your results.
If you’re about ready to give up and join the throngs of people who believe ‘social media doesn’t work,’ then read on.
Here are 5 reasons why your social media efforts are NOT generating the results you were hoping for. Recognise any?
1. You’re confusing social media marketing with traditional marketing
Traditional marketing (also known as interruption marketing) does just that. It interrupts and (tries) to grab someone’s attention by bombarding them with promotional messages.
Guess what? We’re not listening.
While that approach may have worked in the past, we’ve become so immune to the constant barrage of advertising messages that we’ve switched off.
Social media marketing (networking) is about building relationships; it’s about engaging with your tribe through interacting with one another. It encourages two-way communication.
If you’re confusing social media marketing with traditional marketing and are only blasting out self-promoting messages – STOP!
Not only will you lose any chance of building relationships with your community – you’ll probably also find people will unfollow and/or block you.
Unlike traditional marketing, we can control the messages we listen to/read. And, we can choose the people we want to hang out with too.
Keep spamming me and I’ll unfollow you. Period!
2. Your information is BORING
Even though the products and services you offer may be exactly what I need to help me overcome my problems – if your articles and information you share are boring, average and uninspiring – I’m not going to click through to your website to find out more about you.
Here are some things to transform your average content into awesome information I want to read and share!
- Build a strong brand and core brand message that is relevant to your prospects’ needs and therefore immediately grabs their attention.
- Use irresistible headlines and phrases that are so compelling people just have to click through to read the rest of your article.
- Make sure your articles are written in a conversational tone. Avoid industry jargon and phrases that can be confusing and complicated.
3. You’re targeting the wrong crowd
Have you ever shared a joke with a group of people, only to find you’re the only one cackling your head off at the punch line?
It can be the exact same situation with the groups of people you associate with online. Are the messages you are sharing applicable and relevant to them? Or are the responses you’re receiving – pretty dismal and you’re left thinking “Ok that was pretty awkward – moving on…”
If it’s the latter – I’d suggest that the group you’re targeting is the wrong crowd.
Find yourself a crowd (of your ideal clients) that are interested in what you’re saying and are therefore more likely to participate in your conversation as well as share your content with their extended community.
- How well do you know the needs and desires of your ideal client and what they are struggling with?
- Do you know where they are hanging out; the words they use to describe their issues; and the solutions they’re looking for?
- Are you measuring and tracking everything you are doing so that you can see which social media platforms are providing you with the best traction so that you can concentrate on using the platforms that are giving you the best return on your time and efforts?
4. You’re making it impossible for people to engage with you and share your information
Last week I read a fantastic blog post and couldn’t wait to scroll down to the comments section to reach out to the author and congratulate them on such a well written, thought-provoking post.
Guest what? Their comments section was closed. What the?
The author may very well have had their reasons why they weren’t providing an opportunity for their community to comment. However to me it felt like a ‘talk-to-the-hand’ moment – you know that situation when you’re trying to respond to someone but they immediately hold up their hand (in the stop motion) as if to say: “I’m not interested.”
Are you creating an environment in which people can engage with you?
What about social media share buttons so that I can share your post with my community – are you using these too?
There are numerous free share widgets and plugins available if you’re using WordPress that will take you only a few minutes to set up.
Make it easy for your readers to share your content. After all, you’ve spent hours creating your post – wouldn’t you like to get as much exposure as you can?
5. You’re unfamiliar with social media etiquette
While there are no strict social media rules or a group of social media police monitoring the World Wide Web ready to arrest you if you overstep your boundaries, there are expectations that you should be aware of.
Remember, social media is not all about ‘you’. While you may think you’re the most interesting person in the world with the best products and services to help your clients – sorry to be the one to break this to you, but other people don’t. Well, not yet anyway.
It takes time to build trust and respect – two very important elements that you’ll want to build with your community and prospective clients. People do business with people they know, like and trust. Be sure you’re not offending people or standing on their toes because you’re not familiar with social media etiquette and expectations and end up enraging (not engaging) your community.
Building your online profile, your community and relationships through social media takes time and therefore should be part of your daily marketing, networking and business-building activities.
Posting a few times and expecting to sit back and listen out for the ‘ka-ching’ of your sales register as the sales come pouring in, is unwise.
As I’ve mentioned in my article on “Social Media Etiquette – Are You Developing or Destroying Your Online Reputation and Relationships:”
- Be a relationship builder and show me that you care
- Be respectful of others’ opinions even if you don’t agree with them
- Be on-brand and mindful of the online footprint you’re creating
- Be a ‘giver’ and not only a ‘taker’
- Be honest in all of your business dealings
What about you? Have you seen other people doing any of these things?
Or perhaps you’ve seen (or been at the receiving end) of an inappropriate use of social media that prompted you to block that person. Please share it because you never know – someone who is doing that may just stumble across your comment and realise they’re not building relationships – but tarnishing them.
Hope this was helpful and as always, stay inspired!
What an amazingly written article, loved the pointed humor (ie, What the? and the keeled over twitter bird, lol!) But seriously, I’m a Gynecologist using Twitter/FB as a fun way to share information/dispell myths in the area of Women’s Health. I’m putting alot of effort into creating useful posts, mixed with the occasional personal note. Just want to keep it interesting for the readers.
Thanks for the recommendations 🙂
Hi Dr Suzy – thanks for stopping by.
What you are doing with your articles and posts are spot on. Doing this allows people to get to know, like and trust you, which is important when building relationships with your prospects. Yes, it’s very important to keep it interesting – and, when the opportunity arises, to include some humor. 🙂
Terrific post, and quite timely. I believe in today’s world, unless we’re tapping all 5 of the items you list above, the desired effect of social media cannot be attained.
For our younger friends, this is not as difficult. But they are not usually the business owner at this stage.
People of my age and older, are easily prone to miss the mark on at least one…or more of the 5 due to previous education and social conditioning.
I’ll surely share your post elsewhere — your phrasings are perfect for the ears/eyes that need to see!
Thanks Keri – I am constantly surprised (and disappointed) at the way some people use social media. In fact, in the last two days alone, I have had to delete promotional posts off my wall, from people I didn’t really have any relationship with – yet. Not a good way to build rapport with someone you don’t yet know very well.
Thanks for sharing and commenting – I really appreciate it! And, for all the great work you’re doing in the social media space too!
Thanks for your post Anne. It is worth reading for. I will bookmarked it to some of my favorite bookmarking sites.
Social media is indeed a powerful tool to acquire potential costumers and increase your website traffic plus the fact that it is the newest marketing tool.
Hi Belinda, thanks for stopping by and leaving your comment. I really appreciate it and am so pleased you found the article helpful.
Yes, social media is very powerful and I believe should be integrated in every businesses marketing strategies. Building a strong online brand and your connections is vital for any business and there are many social media tools that will allow them to do just that.
My pleasure Anne!
Keep up the good works and hope to read more helpful post from you.
I’m certainly guilty of most of these mistakes in the past. I used to take a marketing approach when I should’ve have focused on the relationship aspect. When I made that shift I noticed a monumental impact on traffic to one of my sites. I’ve even been able to foster a few long term partnerships just by working social media in the appropriate way. I wish I read this post when i was first starting out!
Hi Geoff, I think this article is a great reminder for us all to put relationships first. Great to hear that you were able to see such great results in traffic and partnerships – just by changing your approach. A great success story and proof that this really is important and DOES work. Thanks for sharing!
Annemarie, as always you hit the nail on the head. Sometimes people do make it frustrating, impossible to interact.
I always love reading your posts, keep up the great work!
Thanks Knikkolette – really appreciated! Hopefully some of those people that are making it difficult for their visitors to interact and share will stumble across this article too and quickly change their approach.
Excellent points, Annemarie! Couldn’t agree more with your point #4 about people closing off Comments. What’s that about? It screams out: ” Listen to me, I’m brilliant, but don’t have any opinions to share because I really don’t care to hear them.” Lousy customer experience. Talk about chasing potential customers away.
Thanks for stopping by Terri! Exactly my thoughts too about the closed comments. Glad I’m not the only one that thinks that.
One of the greatest compliments you can get is having someone share a comment on your blog. A great way to build relationships AND someone may not stumble across your article until a few months or so down the track. Even so, give them the opportunity to reach out and say ‘hello’. Best,
Some bloggers seem to think that social media is just not the thing for them but now I can see why they think this way. Social media is a powerful marketing tool but it all depends on how you use these sites. The ideas you have shared on this post are great.
Having a strategy and using the right tools in the best way is very important. And, consistency and constancy is important as well. If it’s not working, then go back to the strategy and see what can be improved/changed. Very important. Thanks Jesse.
Great post Annemarie! I think it is about time someone assembled and uploaded a comprehensive Social Media Etiquette for everyone to read. It should be the rule book everyone who wants to have an account must read. If there was a book or booklet like that I would surely require my children and all their friends to read it before they get permission to use the internet. All the points you made at the ed of the post are valid and should be regarded when communicating online. The business aspect is also important for us, we need to attract our clients not put them off by aggressive advertizing and pushing the information in their faces – we all know there is an ignore button, and it should be our worst enemy. Once you get on someone’s ignore list, there is little chance you’ll make it back. I wish you all the best, Leonard
Thanks for the post Anne. It’s totally worth reading! I’ve bookmarked it.
Social media is indeed a strong tool to acquire possible costumers and increase your site traffic.