These days everybody is on social media, even my 75-year-old grandmother has a Facebook account for goodness sake. From a business’ stand point, the opportunity is endless and if you can reach this online population on a personal level you could be using it to dominate your market.
For most businesses though, they struggle to get social media to work for them. The following is five reasons why most businesses are failing when it comes to social media.
When it comes to social media, creating relationships with your consumers is far more important than generating leads. Businesses are currently focusing far too much on self-promotion and pushing the sale, killing off any engagement potential with their online following. Content should be designed around the concept of providing, value and engaging its audience, triggering some form of emotion. Continuous posting of this valuable content will resonate with your consumer, promoting brand loyalty and priming them for when the time comes to make that sale. So what’s the secret? Give, give, give, give…. Then ask. In such a turbulent marketplace, consumers aren’t just going to give you their business, give and you shall receive.
The problem with the content most businesses are putting out is that they haven’t fully grasped the concept of native content, something I discussed in detail here. Each social media platform speaks its own native language and just like you wouldn’t speak Italian to a French man; you shouldn’t be posting content which is irrelevant to that particular platform. Since most of the content we do see on social media is basically low-quality noise, this is where the opportunity lies. The only way to be heard is to produce creative and engaging content which stands out.
Communicating with followers or consumers in the platform’s unique language is pivotal to ensuring your story is being heard. This means that something that worked well for one person isn’t always going to work for the other. There’s a reason that so many of us were drawn to particular social media platforms in the first place – the native content that the platform offers. Facebook offers large high-quality images, Twitter provides a platform for short form text, Instagram offers real and authentic feeling images whereas Pinterest prefers high-end professional style content. The differences don’t just stop there either. Facebook users prefer short, entertaining videos; YouTube viewers prefer more in-depth educational content; those posting on Tumblr love GIFs; while the majority of other platforms prefer still images.
However you look at it, one thing is clear. You can produce some of the best content, but if that content ignores the context of the platform you’re posting to, most of the time it will fall flat. Learning to share content in the correct context will see your consumer engagement sky rocket.
When it comes to content businesses need to revaluate their thinking. Instead of seeing content as merely content, we need to see it as small snippets of information, comedy or education. They need to see it as micro-content.
When it comes down to it, we have around two or three seconds to grab a user’s attention. Most people using social media sit on their smart phones, frantically scrolling through their news feed at a hundred miles an hour, stopping only for content which grabs their attention and forces them to slow down and take a closer look.
The way to get these consumers to stop and take a closer look is to create micro-content which stands out and offers only brief text which is easy viewing on the go. Ford has done this beautifully in the above Instagram post. The oversized white heart strategically stands out on your Instagram stream, prompting you to pause for a moment and take a closer look.
When it comes to social media, less is always more. Keep your long videos and text heavy posts to your website or YouTube account and make your content micro.
Far too many businesses and brands see social media the same way they see email direct marketing (EDM) or promotional flyers, and this is where they have it all wrong. Social media shouldn’t be used purely as a distribution channel; somewhere you self-promote and bore people to death with mind-numbing content. Instead, social media should be used for the purpose in which it has been designed. Share content which is creative, engaging and strikes a chord with your audience.
I know when I log into social media I’m not there to buy a new car or enrol in an online business management course. I’m there for the stories, the funny videos and the late night alcohol fuelled candid snaps of a friend’s weekend – the sort of content that trigger me to want to engage, post a comment, share a link or tag a friend. Consumers aren’t on social media to buy stuff; they’re on there for the value.
Sharing content that encourages engagement sparks conversation and hits an emotional cord generates brand loyalty. Continuous posting of salesy material will quickly get you ignored and forgotten.
With so many businesses struggling to grasp the importance of standing out in a rapidly growing and flooded market, the importance of great social media strategy is paramount. Surf Pacific specialize in transforming the way your business approaches social media and can show you how to revolutionize the way you do business. To find out more on how we can transform your content marketing campaign and grow your business, download our E-Book here.