Social Media is the thing that every marketer tells you that you NEED to focus on, but there are a few things that they always fail to mention when toting how great it all is.
1. It Isn’t Completely Free
The actual platforms are completely free, that is true. However, the amount of time you put in to building your profiles and updating the content as much as you should, is not free. Also, social media apps tend not to spread your message quite as far and wide as you think, unless you are paying for ads. Don’t let that deter you from diving in to the wonderful world of social media. It is a great tool to use to reach your audience, and hey, what in this world IS perfect?
2. Patterns are Different for Each Business
Every business is unique. Each place has a certain demographic they are targeting and a specific set of competitors fighting for the same customers. You can’t ask someone in a completely different field what their data or demographics look like; it won’t be the same as yours. One strategy does not fit all – so be sure to take a long hard look at what you are trying to achieve, and create a plan around that. Looking to build a younger fan base? Find the social platform they are currently using and put your efforts into building it out with great content that they will enjoy, and better yet, SHARE! Every decision you make needs to make sense, not just doing it for the sake of checking off a box.
3. Data Can’t Tell You Everything
You can find out the percentage of males versus females who view your brand, but data isn’t everything. Data won’t tell you how those people feel about your brand or product, or if they’ve had a terrible interaction with someone in your organization or one of your products. Data also won’t help you generate new ideas to enhance your brand or product. If you know what questions to ask, data is your best friend, but without any indication or insight, the data that comes from social media and analytics is worthless. So, go ahead with compiling your data, but make sure that you know what you’re looking for.
4. Social Media is Better with More Followers
This is one of those instances where more IS better. No matter how hard you try to get your message out there, if you don’t have a lot of followers, not many people will see it. When you are just starting out, your ROI is going to be terrible; you will put out all this great stuff and your reach will be dismally small. Don’t fret. Just keep doing you and your followers will grow from likes and shares of friends and you will eventually see your ROI increase. Just don’t fool yourself that it will happen just because you create a social media page.
5. You Don’t Have to be on EVERY Social Media Platform
Just because it is out there doesn’t mean that you must do it all. Remember secret number one? It all takes time; time to create your profile; time to update content; time to come up with original ideas. Only use platforms that will get you closer to the demographic you’re going after. Choose your social media forms with an eye aimed towards getting more exposure for yourself, while also being able to create meaningful content on a regular basis. Your efforts will fail if you don’t put the time in to keep content updated, interesting, and geared are your target market. Be choosy!
6. You Will Fail…a Lot
This is just a fact of life. You will forget to put hashtags on posts, or forget to create a special hashtag for an entire event or campaign. You will see a competitor have an amazing campaign that you wish you would have thought of first. You will want to bash your head against the wall when algorithms change (or maybe that is just me). Unfortunately, that is all part of the evolution of social media and figuring out that you will never be perfect is the only way to survive and thrive. Get out there and try things; if it doesn’t work, you can adjust and learn from your mistakes to create better content in the future.
There will always be a lot of hurdles to whatever you are doing when trying to reach customers. The most important thing is to have a plan. If you know what direction your business wants to go, then you can use social media to get there. Targeting the “sweet spot” in YOUR market is what you’re trying to accomplish, after all.