4 Secrets for Social Media Failure

How to fail at social media marketing, 4 helpful tips

Failure isn’t “rocket surgery”.

Any person or organization can handle its social media posting without a huge commitment of time or money. It is quite likely that by doing it right, you, and your organization, will achieve at least some level of measurable success. And while success is never guaranteed, there are several different ways to guarantee failure. Here are some of my favourites.

  1. Post nothing but link spam:

    This is probably the number one rookie mistake. You’ve taken the plunge into social media marketing, you’ve chose a realistic and measurable goal (driving more traffic to your website), and you begin your tweeting and posting. Three times a day, five days a week, you post something along the lines of.
    we have the prices in Toronto for silver plated widgets! Click Here to buy some.
    Ask yourself how often you’ve clicked on a link like that? Probably not too often. How much value does a post like that add? Is there anything worthwhile to be learned from it?There is a saying from the early days of the Web that’s as relevant today as it was twenty years ago, “content is king“. Every post should provide something of interest or value to your stakeholders, even the posts with links back to your blog or website.

  2. Spread yourself too thin:

    If you are a full-time social media professional working for a larger organization, this may not apply to the same extent, though it still matters. If you are a self-employed professional, or working for small volunteer-staffed organization, it is all too easy to sign up for accounts on every social media platform that you happen upon, in the hope that by being everywhere, you can get your message across to everyone. Unless you actually are a social media professional, you’re soon going to learn that if you post everything to every platform, you’re not going to have enough time to actually accomplish the core tasks of your organization. Or, you’ll spend so much time working on promoting your work, that you don’t have time to actually do any work! Or (most likely) you’ll just give up completely on social media and just walk away. Choose a couple platforms that are right for you and/or your organization, and work them consistently.

  3. Choose the wrong platform:

    Not every platform, not even all of the “big three” (Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn) may be right for your project, business, or organization. Eventually most organizations are going to bump up against their limits of time and monetary resources. Like any other important project, it’s important to concentrate your social media efforts where they are most likely to yield your desired results. A retail business selling gourmet chocolate products will probably get great bang for their marketing efforts by investing time and money in its Facebook Page. LinkedIn would likely be much less effective for a retail business like this. On the other hand, the exact opposite would be the case for a professional who offers business to business services. In a previous post I offered some helpful advice on choosing the best platforms.

  4. Become too busy, too lazy, or too complacent to post:

    .…And of course the absolute best way to fail at social media marketing is to not do any.Back when I was a teenager just starting to go out to restaurants and bars on my own, my buddies and I couldn’t figure out why our waiter would not return to our table after we bought our first round. I finally screwed up enough courage to go up to him and ask. This was his response:”a horse can’t do no work if you don’t give it no hay

    Simple, and to the point. If you don’t put in any effort, you will not reap any rewards. By avoiding to the three previous failure “tips”, it becomes much easier to avoid this last one too. All it takes is a few minutes, once or twice a day, and the self-discipline and task prioritization needed to make those few minutes available every day.

Now go forth and post my friends. Go forth and tweet! The world is waiting for you.

But I don’t know what to write!

What will you write? You have decided that having a blog for your business or professional practice is a good idea. That’s perfect. Your considering hiring someone to build your blog and get you started. Very good. But… You are reluctant to actually get started because you have no idea what you’d post on your blog once it’s up. That’s a problem.

Don’t worry, you are not alone!
It is easier than you think it is to start blogging.

The reason that blogging is going to be easier than you might have thought is that you already have a head start. How can that be? Your head start is that you already know more than anybody else in the entire world about something. That’s your business. All you need to do is find a way to share that knowledge. And, to make that a bit easier, here are a few tips to get you started.

Blogging Idea Tips:

  1. Answer a question
    It could be a question that a customer actually asked you, or it could be a question that you’d like a customer to ask you. Either way, you have the answer. Share it in a blog post.
  2. Tell a story
    You’ve probably seen this tip before. But what everyone else seems to leave out, are actual story ideas. Here are a couple to get you started. The story of how your business started. A story about a satisfied client. A story about a problem that you solved. A story about how you overcame a hardship. A story about why you love what you do. You get the idea, right?
  3. Ask a question
    We don’t always need to know the answer. Asking a question can be a great way to get feedback from your stakeholders, it’s a great way to open a dialogue with customers, it can deepen your relationships, and hey; you might even get the answer you’re looking for!
  4. Post what you sell
    Whether you sell a product or a service, your blog provides an endless opportunity to describe what you offer, and how it can benefit for clients and customers. This tip comes with a gentle warning though. Be careful not to appear “spammy”. Remember that (just like you) your customers are being bombarded with sales pitches online. Most of those pitches are probably annoying to them. Your goal is always to offer them something of value, never to annoy or alienate them. A sales post should always offer something much more than a sales pitch. It could be a detailed description of a product feature, or a unique (really unique!) buying opportunity, like an annual clearance sale, a product clear-out, or a new product or service.
  5. Post Links and Snippets
    Even with the tips I’ve offered above, it can be difficult to come up with blogging ideas. Chances are good that your customers share some of the same interests that you do. You’re probably on the Web checking out some of those interests every day anyway. Why not post a snippet (a sentence or two, maybe a picture or a paragraph) of an interesting article that you have come across. When you do this, ALWAYS post a link back to the original article on the original website. By doing this you accomplish several things at once. You provide interesting content to your own readers. You also promote the author and website that you linked back to. Done properly this builds their credibility, enhances your own reputation, and makes you a valuable resource and a good “netizen“.

Final Notes:

Blog posting really is pretty straightforward. It can feel a bit intimidating before your fingers hit the keyboard, but once you make those first few keystrokes you’ll be on your way. And remember, don’t forget to promote those blog posts on your social media accounts. Tweet a link on Twitter. Share a link on Facebook and LinkedIn.

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