Why Social Media Fails to Deliver

You’d have to have been living under a rock for the past two years to not know just how much buzz there is around Social Media. Everywhere you turn businesses are talking about this new route to market and how platforms like Facebook, twitter and Linked-In can help find new customers and generate sales. Turn on the TV and count how many adverts now invite you to engage with large brands through their Facebook page.

However…

There’s also a backlash; some companies have dipped their toe in the Social Media waters and given time and resources to setting up accounts in the hope that floods of new business will miraculously arrive at their door, cash in hand, only to find that results have been less than inspiring. Perhaps your business is one of these?

Everywhere you turn someone is offering advice or training on Social Media; so who do you listen to and what advice do you follow? With two Facebook Developers in our Digital Team we’re very fortunate; we get to know about updates and changes in strategy in advance and let me tell you, there are some amazing changes coming to Facebook in the next few months. In fact, if you’re one of these people who loses the plot every time Facebook moves something on your page, you’re probably going to want to take a very long holiday and preferably somewhere with no broadband connection!

So if you’re finding that your current approach to Social Media isn’t earning it’s keep and if you’re still searching for a strategy with matching tactics that makes sense to you, then here are my THREE golden rules that will improve your results fast:

  1. Be Social – it amazes me just how many businesses completely miss the fact that the clue is in the name – Social Media is about engagement… on both sides.  Every day I get requests from businesses who want to be my ‘friend’ but for some reason they seem to forget that the best friends keep in touch and show a genuine interest in what I’m doing as well. Facebook, for example, is not just a distribution tool. Keep sending me invites and offers without engaging me and you can be sure that I’ll be deleting you from my own personal cyberspace forever.
  2. If you must try to sell to me through Social Media then give me a compelling offer. If you’re selling products that’s much easier. Some of the best Facebook campaigns have been centred on gifts and deals that make it easy for us to say ‘yes’. If you’re selling a service, then consider how to create a product from this and present a direct offer or deal (if you want to know how to do this read my earlier blog)
  3. Apply solid sales and marketing tactics; don’t be blasé about creating engagement and harvesting data; some of the most successful Social Media campaigns use simple tactics to engage viewers and invite them to give data – like their email address – in return for some simple benefit. Social Media integrated with Email Marketing makes for a killer strategy. So use personalised pages that can capture data and incentivise your visitors to engage.

As with most things in life there’s an easy way and there’s a hard way. There are no prizes in business for making it hard work – if you’re serious about tapping into the power of Social Media the very best place to start is look at other businesses (ideally in the same industry as your own) and seek out those who have used tactics to create engagement. Then go beyond this, look at a range of different business models and see how they have taken a fresh approach – to get you started I’m going to give you a pointer and suggest that you look at the fast-food industry, the pizza companies, as one example, have really identified how to get their friends excited and involved.

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