You’ve done it. Your business has finally taken the leap into the social landscape and started a Facebook page, Twitter account or Instagram profile. You’re now ready to engage with your customers and share exciting updates from your company.
Fast forward three months. After a few weeks of posting, your social accounts lay desolate – no recent posts, very few followers and little activity. While you started off strong, you soon struggled to share updates and had difficulty deciding what you should post. Eventually you stopped posting altogether. Despite your initial enthusiastic intentions, your social accounts now give the impression that your business either no longer exists or isn’t capable of engaging on the digital scene.
We’ve seen this happen to countless companies. When social media is mentioned to prospective clients, many respond with a “we’ve tried it, it’s not for us” mentality. But in today’s digital world, every company from any industry can benefit from some form of social media presence.
So why do so many companies fail so soon after they begin and what are the main ingredients of success?
No method behind the madness
Many businesses decide to start using social networks on a whim. But like any other marketing tool, a strong, developed strategy must be created and implemented for success. The first steps in creating a successful social strategy is research and planning. Before you even create a social profile, you should first ask yourself the following questions:
– Why does my company want to use social media?
– How does social media fit into our comprehensive marketing plan?
– On which social networks does our audience spend most of its time, and how do we effectively reach them?
– What content will we share and how often will we share it?
– Who will be in charge of managing/posting to our social accounts?
As you complete your research and start developing a strategy, be sure to set benchmarks to measure your social success. These objectives should impact your overall marketing goals, and should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time bound (S.M.A.R.T). Make sure to use analytics tools that will help you identify whether or not the objectives you’ve set are being achieved. Having a well-established process that will help you build the foundation of a robust social media strategy while keeping up with the several moving parts of the social media world is the main key to success.
Having a well-established process that will help you build the foundation of a robust social media strategy while keeping up with the several moving parts of the social media world is the main key to success.
There’s gasoline but no fire
Even when companies take the time to map out a strategy to drive their social endeavors, they often leave one crucial element out: content. Social media marketing doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It is part of a larger content strategy; in particular, it should be used as a tool to share the content you are creating to generate leads and build brand awareness – content like blogs, white papers, videos, etc. Many companies never develop these resources, and often resort to sharing static website pages, external articles and miscellaneous photos to their social accounts; content that has a short shelf time.
The key to successful posting on a regular basis is the creation of promotable content just as frequently. Developing a content calendar will help successfully organize, manage and schedule the content that needs to be created. Using a content calendar can keep your team accountable for creating the resources needed for social sharing and prevent periods of little to no posting on your accounts.
As you develop content, don’t spend all of your content efforts puffing up your company or promoting your products (no one likes a Facebook friend that constantly posts about themselves). Instead, make an effort to frequently create content that educates and genuinely interests your target audience.
There you have it. Avoid these mistakes and follow the above strategies and you’re well on your way to developing a glowing social reputation for your business.
At dgs we work with many of our clients to develop successful social media strategies and digital content. If you are interested, you can see some of the recent results from our work.