Let’s start with the premise that you or your business are online because, well, somebody said, “you should be on social media!” And off you went. As I always do when I get a call from an existing or potential client, I ask “Why?”
Unfortunately, for many folks, they don’t ever ask that question and as a result, their efforts miss the mark.
In honor of my son’s 9th birthday today, I’m going to offer nine reasons (yes, it’s a list-focused blog post) why this could be happening to you.
1. I’ve already given you the first one: You neglected to ask “WHY?” Why do you want to be on Facebook; why a blog; why Google +? If you’re not able to answer that question in a way that makes sense to you and supports your business, then we have a little discussion. If you can, then we’re off to the races.
2. You’re using social media like an advertising platform, rather than an engagement platform. Sure, lots of us are on here to sell. I’m selling right now. BUT, I’m engaging first. Make your relationships happen so that when you have something to say, you have an audience that wants to listen.
3. You don’t understand what ‘engage‘ means. It means paying attention when questions are asked. It means saying ‘thank you’ when someone shares a post or likes something you’ve said. It’ means reciprocating when those nice things have been done to you or your business – remember the Golden Rule? It means being authentic (gracious, that’s overused, but it’s TRUE). And most important of all, it means that you refrain from making it all about YOU and instead make it all about your audience.
4. You’re hanging out on the wrong platform! You’re on Twitter. In reality, your clients are NOT. I’ve discouraged more than a few clients from jumping into Twitter lately, simply because it’s not a fit for them. Horrors. I said it out loud. It’s not for everyone. Go where your clients are, not where all of your colleagues hang out. I equate that to going to a networking event of all marketing or PR professionals. Sure, it’s a ton of fun, but they’re not my target clients.
5. You’ve misunderstood how your time is spent and with whom you’ve spent it. Let’s explore that. Should you avoid hanging out on certain platforms because your colleagues are there? Absolutely not. I’ve gotten excellent referrals as a result of my time on Twitter and relationships built with my colleagues. However, I fully understand that time spent there equates to time spent building referrals and future partnerships. Time spent on Facebook and my blog, equates to time spent building leads for new clients. I’ve tracked it, so I know.
6. You forgot to track it! I’m avoiding using the M word, but you know what I mean. Your efforts could be missing the mark because you haven’t bothered to check in to see how you’re really doing. You feel like you’re doing well because you’re chatting it up all day and getting loads of comments on posts. But, are you checking to see how many people are visiting your Services page? How many people are scooting over to your Contact page and then using it? Don’t forget this part. It’s important.
7. What? It takes THIS much time? Yep, it can take quite a bit of time to “do” social media the right way. However, it can also be focused time and yield just as many results as the unfocused time, only better – you might make money off of it. Budgeting your time and understanding where to spend it are critical for hitting your targets in business. The same applies to time spent on social media.
8. You forgot your passwords to the 9 accounts you signed up for and they’ve gone dormant due to inactivity. Dust bunnies the size of a small dog have taken them over and NOBODY visits anymore. Avoid spreading yourself too thin. If it’s just you managing ‘social’ for your company, then perhaps one social media platform, in addition to your blog is enough. Even if you’ve been tasked with nothing BUT social media, I’d caution you to still avoid spreading yourself too thin. Go for quality here.
9. You forgot that social media is actually part of the larger plan. It works with the offline efforts, the ads, the media relations, the customer service, the on the ground or over the phone relationships. Operating in a vacuum isn’t going to be a sustainable plan. Operating in the context of an integrated marketing plan is.
Happy Birthday, Henry! I’m sure you’re thrilled that I’ve written a blog post instead of making your chocolate chip cookie cake. I’ll have it waiting on you after school!
Tell me. What did I miss?
Birthday candle image via Flickr.