“We do this in-house. Thanks.” -Says business owners everywhere. Brands will often manage their social media themselves; whether they have a designated person for it or assign it to a random employee. While the basics of social media — like how to post on a platform — are simple, in truth, successfully leveraging social media as a tool to help your business grow is far more complicated. Posting on your platforms and engaging with your followers just barely scratch the surface.
At any given point, there are 100 other factors to consider, like your insights and metrics, competitor research, conversion rates, finding warm leads, using social media to grow your email list, and directing the traffic back to your site.
But we’re probably getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s start with these five common mistakes businesses make on social media:
1. Making Popularity Their #1 Goal
If we had a penny for every time a business told us they wanted to have a ton of followers, we’d probably have a dollar. (That’s a lot of pennies, you guys.) So often, the focus is almost entirely on getting thousands of Facebook page likes or Instagram followers; when in reality, this has very little to do with how successful your profile is as a whole, and if it’s really doing its job.
What is the goal of your Facebook page, for instance? It’s likely one of two things (or maybe both):
Send traffic back to your website
Get people to buy things right on Facebook
You don’t need thousands of followers for this. In fact, if you do have a ton of followers — maybe you acquired them through advertising — and you don’t have the post engagement to match; Facebook will see this, and they will very likely penalize you for it, possibly by suppressing your organic traffic. For instance, if you have 10,000 page followers/likes but your posts get one or two likes, something is off.
On the contrary, a page could have 500 followers/likes and totally be kicking butt. Weird, right?
Look, we all want to be popular online. The truth is, though, it’s not vital to the growth of your business. Focus on posting quality content and genuinely engaging with people, and your social media will reward you with lots of sweet, sweet growth.
2. Not Running Ads
For some reason, a lot of people think getting engagement through paid ads is cheating. Actually, these days, with how saturated Instagram and Facebook are, you almost have to run ads if you want anybody to see you — on Facebook, in particular.
How tough is it to get a solid organic reach? Pretty darn tough. In a blog written by Hubspot, they said between February of 2012 and March of 2014, organic reach for the average business page dropped from 16% to 6.5%. In other words, it went from already low to really dang low. And if your page has more than 500,000, it might be as low as 2%.
This hurts our feelings.
The goal of running ads is simple: to better reach your target audience. It can be a highly effective way of creating leads, driving conversions, and improving the performance of your page as a whole. And, you can also boost posts (such as a blog), which basically turns that content in to a paid ad.
Now, don’t just go and throw up any old ad. There’s an art to this. A science. It takes time and research. Or you could just, you know, hire a digital marketing agency to do it for you.
3. Expecting Linear Growth
Have you ever woken up to notice you lost three Instagram followers overnight? You explode into a fit of rage, pound your fists into the wall, and then furiously go through your followers list trying to figure out who’s missing so you can unfollow them back. That’ll really show ’em.
We hate to break it to you, but losing followers is totally, completely, 110% normal. Growth is not linear.
One more time for the people in the back!
Growth. Is. Not. Linear.
These numbers — follower count, page likes, post likes, engagement, reach, impressions—will fluctuate hour to hour, day to day. They’ll go up. They’ll go down. Don’t look for steady growth every single day, because it probably won’t happen. Instead look at a time span of about a month. Did you grow overall across that month? Mission accomplished. Don’t worry about the small dips that happened within it.
4. Not Measuring Results
How do you know if your social media efforts are paying off? You measure your results!
Huh…What does that mean?
Well, it goes back to what we discussed earlier about the goal of your social media. First, let’s review the goal of your business: to provide an amazing product/service and make money, correct?
Correct. So, your social media should do something to encourage that; whether it be helping you sell products online, or send people back to your website to complete a specific call to action.
Thus, if you’ve been nurturing your social media for months and it’s helping to do one or both of those things, hooray! It’s working. If a good deal of time has passed and all you hear are crickets, something might be wrong.
At any given point, you should have a general answer to a few basic questions:
How much traffic is your website getting from social?
How much money do you make from social/what’s your ROI?
How is your social driving conversions?
If you don’t know these things, you might be a little out of touch with your social media data. If you’re not tracking results to figure out what works and what doesn’t, your social media efforts are largely pointless. Dive into those insights and get a better feel. Most platforms offer some sort of analytics dashboard for you to use. However, using these dashboards are not necessarily simple to understand.
By using a digital marketing agency that has experienced individuals who are adept and skillful when it comes to understanding and measuring analytics (both on Google and on social media platforms) your company is able to show tangible and meaningful results when it comes to conversions and growth.
5. Making It All About Them
We don’t mean to sound harsh, but your social media isn’t about you.
When someone visits your page — or considers visiting your page — they’ve got one thought on their mind: What’s in it for me? Sound selfish? Well, that’s kind of the point. After all, a business lives to serve its customers.
This means your social media profiles should function in order to do something for them, not you. Day to day, you need to convey why they should care about you, why they need you, why they want you. Otherwise, they’re going to leave and never come back.
Take this blog, for instance. It isn’t about us. It’s about helping businesses understand common mistakes they might be making online. This is what you need to be doing on your social media. Examples of posts like this might include:
Amazing blog content where you provide lots of helpful (and free!) information to your followers. This is also known as organic content
Entertaining videos related to your industry. For example, if you are in a service industry, you might want to do a DIY video that is quick and simple for consumers to understand
Notice a pattern here? Ideally, you want your posts to educate, entertain, or both. If they aren’t, keep working at it.
Whew! We know we just threw a lot at you, but this is just barely the tip of the iceberg. Overwhelming? Totally. We get it. We’re here to ease the burden. Contact LSM today so we can talk about the future of your business on social media.