“Social media marketing is not optional any more.”
“Businesses that market on social media are thriving.”
“My clients have made millions of dollars just off of Facebook.”
If you are responsible for marketing an SME on the web, or have spoken to someone from a digital agency there is a good chance that you have heard someone say one of the above-mentioned statements (or some version of the same information).
This is because when used right, social media can truly be a powerful weapon in your online marketing arsenal.
With that said, the ‘using it right’ part is where a lot of businesses find themselves struggling.
The Struggle Of Marketing On Social Media
The situation is worse for those who are trying to achieve social media success from the organic route. This is because the social media platforms want businesses to spend money on paid advertisements on their platforms. To that end, they have designed their algorithms to ensure that getting visibility organically will take a lot of time, incentivising businesses to turn to their paid advertising products.
For businesses taking the organic route, this means weeks and months of continuous and relentless efforts of improving engagement that will in turn, improve visibility (by attracting more followers).
While the organic route is more pocket friendly, it presents businesses a different kind of risk, one many businesses often identify when it’s already too late. This risk is that of losing time and making efforts that demand hard work but seldom produce results.
Since organic marketing takes weeks and sometimes months to deliver quantifiable results, sometimes businesses go on putting efforts into social media marketing for months before they realise their strategy is not working as it should.
Businesses that utilise the paid advertising products on social media platforms, on the other hand, face this risk in the form of potentially losing their investment into advertising.
In either case, if you aren’t a social media marketing expert, figuring out why your marketing efforts aren’t making the difference that they should can be confusing.
If you are struggling with a similar confusion, this article is for you. In the following sections, I will be talking about some of the most common mistakes that folks make with their social media marketing efforts.
Let’s begin by talking about possibly the most common and most grave social media marketing mistake that countless people and brands make:
Lack Of A Definitive Objective
Countless brands, individuals, and businesses are only doing social media marketing because they’ve heard someone talk about how “amazing” it is. They don’t have an objective or a goal in mind.
Out of the few that do, most don’t have definitive goals in mind.
As a result, even if they are potentially doing well, they don’t have a north star metric to measure their performance.
So what does this metric look like?
One of the most popular types of goals that are relevant to social media strategies are SMART goals.
Popularised by Hubspot, SMART is an acronym for
As you can see, having a SMART goal will give you a measurable metric that will enable you to craft strategies focused on achieving specific things and execute tasks that will help you move your marketing needle in the correct direction.
In other words, a specific goal will guide you in crafting result-oriented, relevant strategies. Being attainable and time-specific, your goals will also challenge and motivate you at the same time.
Not having a goal, on the other hand, will result in a series headless-chicken like efforts with scattered efforts.
While most social media platforms will make you choose specific goals when you run ads, you will have to determine these goals yourself if you are taking the organic route. This will ensure your consistent efforts in the coming days, weeks, and months are all contributing to the same goal, with each effort helping you inch closer to definitive and measurable success.
Not Having An Audience-Centric Approach
If your social media strategy is a chariot, it is being pulled by two horses. We discussed the first horse in the previous section and the other horse is your audience.
In fact, having an in-depth understanding of your audience is critical to ensuring you are focusing on the right goals. This means, to a large extent, your understanding of your audience should guide every single strategy, every single effort you make on social media to market your brand.
The reason behind this should be obvious.
Since you are trying to attract your audience and turn them into followers and even paying customers, your social media efforts and strategies should be executed and developed keeping their needs, apprehensions, buying behaviours, pain points, and personality traits in mind.
To this end, building buyer personas is a superb strategy to develop an understanding of who your brand is talking to, selling to, and trying to attract.
There are hundreds, if not thousands of buyer persona templates online that you can download for absolutely no cost. Some are more complex and detailed than others. However, the basic information that you need to know about your buyers is:
- Demographics: Their gender, age, geographical location (if relevant), job profile, experience, number of family members/team members (whichever is relevant)
- Behaviours: How do they research the products they are about to buy? Who do they seek advice from? Where do they consume their online content? Are they an impulse buyer? Do reviews matter to them more than recommendations from friends?
- Pain Points: What are the relevant pain points that your product/service will help them address? Are they aware about said pain points? Have they tried to address them on their own? Why haven’t they succeeded?
- Apprehensions: What apprehensions/barriers do they face with your product? How does your product and marketing messaging address these apprehensions?
Knowing these attributes of your audience will enable you to craft marketing strategies that resonate with them, create marketing messages and creatives that engage them, and talk about pain points that they are struggling with.
How do you find this information?
New brands will have to depend on assumptions and whatever market research they can get done. Eventually, you can run tests and prove or disprove your assumptions to improve your targeting capabilities. As you acquire customers, you can also pick their brains to figure out the right place and messaging for your audience.
If you have an already established brand and a sizable customer base, you can simply conduct a survey to develop a better understanding of your audience.
Only Producing And Never Engaging
A lot of brands make the mistake of going on Facebook, creating a page, and simply producing content.
These brands forget that being social is a big part of being on social media.
Sure, producing relevant, entertaining, valuable, and engaging content is one of the most important aspects of achieving success on social media. However, only doing that will not get you very far.
One of the reasons social media platforms like Facebook have worked so well for different brands is that they enable brands to show their human side.
To take advantage of the same, your brand must become social on social media. This means replying to comments on your posts, commenting on the posts of your followers or those you follow, sharing others’ content, and joining Facebook groups and engaging with the members.
The last part can drive surprising success in exchange for little effort.
Recheck Whether Facebook Is The Right Platform For Your Brand
Finally, if Facebook is not working for your brand, there might be a chance that Facebook is not the right platform for your brand.
Go back to the buyer personas you created and reflect if those people would even hang out on Facebook? For instance, if you are offering a complex enterprise solution, there is a very good chance that you will not find many customers on Facebook. Even if you do, thanks to the nature of the platform, there is also a good chance that those people will not take the conversation seriously.
In this case, marketing on LinkedIn may be more beneficial.
Being in the business of helping people find jobs and helping businesses find the right talent, their company page has over five times more followers (and better engagement) on LinkedIn than Facebook.
The point here is, your understanding of your buyers should guide your choice of social media platform for marketing.
Facebook is one of the oldest social media platforms and boasts one of the biggest user bases on the web. It is a lucrative platform for marketers and brands. However, the good things we hear about Facebook marketing are often the result of incredible research, relentless production of relevant, high quality content, and authentic engagement with a suitable posting schedule.
I hope that this article has helped you diagnose at least a part of the problem with your Facebook marketing efforts.
Got more questions? Drop them in the comment section and I’ll be sure to reach out.