Social media strategy is one of the major frontiers in modern marketing. It represents one of the most distilled versions of the costumer experience possible. So, why do so many companies fail so miserably trying to implement social media for business? Let's take a look at why most social media campaigns fail.
Implementing a social media strategy can be deceptively simple. Post a couple times to Facebook, make a few tweets on Twitter and maybe throw a few pics on Instagram. Voila! Success! Right?Wrong. Doing social media as a “just because” thing is a terrible idea. In fact, poorly implemented, social media for business can be a net negative. A lacklustre approach to social media will make your company look unresponsive and apathetic. That's why it is important to find an experienced company that can help you focus your social media efforts.
Social media, by definition, requires that you be social. That means when a customer posts something, someone needs to take the opportunity and respond. Social media is a great opportunity to build relationships with customers. But, like any relationship, your social media relationship requires maintenance. Ignoring customers is worse than having no social media presence at all.
If social media is about building relationships, then it is important to realise that a relationship goes two ways. If your entire social media strategy amounts to saying, “Here’s our new product,” then you should stop right there. That's what your traditional informative website is built to do. Social media is about interacting with consumers. You need to be able to offer the occasional item of interest to your users beyond product announcements. For example, Pepsi uses its social media presence to offer live streams of popular concerts for free through Facebook. Needless to say, free concert streams are very popular. You may not have the resources to stream a major concert. But, that doesn't mean you can't offer the occasional link to something besides a product announcement.
At the opposite end of the scale are social media presences that are too cozy. There's a difference between being social and being too casual. Casual is fine if you're handling the social media presence for a small town pub. Feel free to be funny, maybe even a bit off-color. But, casual can seriously backfire in a more corporate context. It is important to maintain a level of decorum appropriate to the nature of the relationship between your business and its customers.
A post should be purposeful. It should be concise. It should either be responding to an issue with a customer, or it should be calling a customer to action. Posting for the simple sake of posting is weak. If your company is that lacking in fresh content to post, perhaps you should cast about for some better ideas. It's also important to appreciate that your social media posts are not a substitute for other forms of advertising. Selling a product or service is fine. But, social media often works better to handle established customers. It is great for monitoring and handling complaints. It provides an opportunity to reflect upon suggestions. When you do need to make a sales pitch, it is better to make a quick post with a link to the company website or blog. It is poor design to post over and over with pitches for products. Link the announcement and return to your regularly scheduled relationship building. With a bit of focus, you can provide value through your social media presence.