“It’s not working!”
How many times have you heard that, said that, or thought that? In the social media world, it’s a common complaint from social media managers, marketing directors, and the C-suite.
Social media is a digital marketing strategy that’s still in its awkward adolescence. Even though social media is a fixture of everyday life, we can’t forget that it is unpredictable, erratic, and frustratingly touchy-feely.
If you’ve ever faced the it’s not working challenge, then you need to find out why it’s not working, and what to do about it. The fact is, social media does work. You just have to know how to do it.
Your social media strategy isn’t working because you don’t know what it means for it to be “working.”
Could it be that you have the wrong definition of “what’s working?” The end-all of any marketing strategy is to increase revenue. The fact is, it’s hard to tie your tweeting to a revenue uptick, no matter how hard you tweet. Instead of tracing out long term KPIs, bring your goals a little closer to home. If you’re not meeting your business goals through social media, then try targeting social media goals through social media. Improving interaction, raising CTRs, and growing a fanbase.
Your social media strategy isn’t working because you don’t have one.
It’s popular to talk about “strategy,” but far less common to actually write that strategy down. The strategy is not a posting frequency or finding the ideal time of day to post Facebook updates. To create a successful social media strategy, try pressing the reset button on your approach, and going back to square one.
Your social media strategy isn’t working because you’re not adapting to social media’s changes.
Social media changes. But are you changing with it? For example, when Facebook squashed organic reach, did you pivot? If not, you might try to be a bit more adaptive.
Your social media strategy isn’t working because you’re focusing on the wrong platform.
Where is your audience? Once upon a time, someone said that you need to be on social media sites X, Y, and Z, so you did it. But now, you’re wondering, are my fans really congregating here? You may need to do a reassessment of the best platforms for reaching your audience.
According to social media “best practice,” you must post X times a day. Says who? Says someone who doesn’t know your business and doesn’t analyze your social media metrics, that’s who. The thing about social media is, every social media audience is different. You need to understand that consistency is not a strategy. Instead of focusing on the when, try to back your consistency up with some hard-thinking about the why.
Your social media strategy isn’t working because you’re tracking the wrong metrics.
As with any marketing initiative, you want social media data. But don’t go clutching at any data. Find the data that works best for you. Be sure to analyze engagement levels and the quality of your social audience, not just the quantity of likes and fans.
Your social media strategy isn’t working because you want to go viral.
“Going viral” is a pipe dream of many starstruck social media managers. Let’s be realistic, though. Going viral is overblown and misunderstood. Your fans — both present and future — don’t need viral to stay connected. Your revenue doesn’t need viral to grow. Obsessing over someday going viral might be keeping you from doing something more effective in the meantime.
Your social media strategy isn’t working because you care about yourself too much.
If you’re constantly tweeting only your own blog posts, describing your own products, or posting pictures of your awesomeness, it might be a turn off. Social media is narcissistic enough as it is. Try a little fan love to divert the attention from yourself.
Your social media strategy isn’t working because you’re not interacting with your users.
What is social media about, really? It’s about the social. But social with who? Your users. To be effective, you’ve got to understand who they are, what they want, and how to get it to them.
Your social media strategy isn’t working because your users don’t care about your marketing.You’re interested in marketing your product or service, obviously. But maybe your users don’t really care. Maybe all they want to do is hang out, look at your cool pics, and like you posts. It’s helpful to understand that a successful strategy isn’t necessarily about pushing your products. Instead, it’s about cultivating a tribe who loves you.
Your social media strategy isn’t working because you’re too impatient.
In the reckless spontaneous world of quarterly reports and overblown goals, social media can get kicked to the curb. If it’s “not working” within two months, quit it and try something else, right? With social media, not so fast. Social media isn’t a switch that you can turn on or off. Social media is something that requires long-term commitment and careful cultivation.
Your social media strategy isn’t working because you have zero personality.
B2Bs are at risk of a social media strategy that is disembodied, ethereal, and bereft of soul. Even in the more colorful world of B2C, some social media strategies can sound strained. Try investing your social media with personality. Fans are people, and they want to connect with other people. If your brand isn’t a people, it’s going to get ignored.
Your social media strategy isn’t working because you’re not split testing.
One of the fastest ways to get more interaction from your social media is to run a split test. Why a split test? Testing your social media helps you to see which version of a given post had more interaction. Using data to advance your strategy is a surefire way not to be stupid.
Social media is addictively enjoyable, agonizingly unquantifiable, and shockingly hard to optimize.
If your social media strategy isn’t working, there are all kinds of “fixes,” but in many cases, these are band-aid solutions. One of the most valuable things you can do is study your users. Know them. Understand them. Be curious about them, and your social media strategy will start to fix itself.