Social Media is the king of the Internet. It’s the genesis point of every viral video, meme, every failure and every win witnessed online. It’s where people go to vent frustration, share the joy and brag. It’s a very human thing – even though the human element seems masked behind a digital wall.
It’s hard to believe that in the age of social, so many are lagging behind or not even trying. What are the tell-tale signs that you need to give your Social Media presence some more love?
I couldn’t do this post without mentioning the “Social Media isn’t for us” myth. “We’re not really a Social Media business” is one of the most common things I hear or read. It seems like everyone would rather leave it all to brands like Coca-Cola.
Someone tell me – what’s so exciting about fizzy black water? Nothing! All that hype and buzz, all those “open happy!” ads (where people too good looking to be addicted to Coke are swilling the stuff and giggling in slow motion) – that’s what makes it exciting. Global brand or not, the purveyors of ambiguously flavored black water are Social Media fiends. It’s a sign of the power it holds.
Now think about your industry. Are you too boring for Social Media? Are you actually so unhappy with your business that you don’t want to let any of the approximately 2 billion social network users in the world know who you are?
Of course not.
It’s time for all business owners to acknowledge the truth; social is here to stay – and it gets bigger and better every day. With super accurate targeting, it’s even more useful than ever too.
So – what are the signs that you should be investing more in your social endeavors?
1. You Don’t Know What A Tweet Or A Pinterest Pin Is
Okay so maybe not YOU – but maybe your boss. If this is the case then your organization probably doesn’t have accounts on any social platforms either. Maybe the best investment here is sometimes – time to explore, learn and educate people in your organization on the many platforms out there, how they work and what benefits they can bring.
Social isn’t just going to blow over because it’s new (and all new things are fads according to my dad). Convincing the people in charge to take on Social Media projects and allocate time to it is all about education. Don’t be shy – learn what you need to, then strut your stuff.
2. You Have One Very Stressed Out Social Media Executive
Imagine you are the Social Media Executive at your company. You have 7 social accounts to manage. Complaints are coming through Twitter. There’s a ton of content to schedule. There are a million customer questions to respond to on Facebook. One of your campaigns isn’t going too well and your manager wants a few solutions before the end of the day or the company might pull its budget. That budget includes your pay. Welcome to STRESS CITY.
That’s no way to live and sooner or later, you’re going to lose that employee. In the meantime, the whole campaign and Internet-facing side of the company suffer when the only person running the show is a little stressed out. Typos, lack of care and off-brand ranting may ensue. So make sure your Social Media Executives are treated as well as your PR people. Make sure you have enough staff and that workload is planned and shared appropriately.
3. You Can’t Respond To Engagement Quick Enough
This links in well with the above point, but imagine in this scenario, there is no Social Media Executive – only you. In addition, on top of emails, taking care of customers and sorting out your finances, the last thing you want to do is have a back and forth social update session with a customer on Twitter.
This is where a Social Media management agency might fit your needs better than an in-house executive. You won’t get the same round the clock, 24/7 approach, but you’ll get some very cool content and ideas thrown your way to help encourage success where it matters.
What’s more, it’s all off your hands and you don’t have to worry about answering questions and inquiries by yourself – you’ve got it covered and can concentrate on doing what you do best.
4. You Have Next To No Engagement
That post of a cute cat got one like – from your mum. And her friend who uses Facebook every once in a while commented “lol”. Your tweets NEVER get retweeted. What’s going on?
This can be a sign that you’re spreading yourself too thin, or that your content isn’t resonating with the right audience. If cat pictures get the engagement – then great. But even if it does, you’re not going to get too far with that unless you’re an animal charity, a veterinary clinic or some other cat related organization.
Your content is the most important part of the deal here – but timing, understanding events, and your niche’s social calendar is equally important too.
5. You Post Once a Week
Another killer to any social account is a very clear lack of posts, with vast voids of time between each one. Even a day is too long to leave it in some cases. If you’re worried about annoying your audience, maybe you should think about your content. If it’s going to annoy people, it’s probably not very good.
This can be hard because you need lots of good content available to be able to share often. With time, this will get easier because you can repurpose old content and take advantage of annual events. But in the beginning, you’ll need to plan well and prep in advance before you get started.
The key isn’t how often you post, but what you post. You also need a certain frequency to make it valuable and to measure impact. Try following other accounts you admire or are interested in and get a feel for how often they post.
6. Facebook Is The Only Platform You Use
If so far you think I’ve only been talking about Facebook, then you may have another problem. Facebook isn’t the only place to achieve a social following and get your name out there. It might not even be the best. Twitter is fast and furious, Pinterest is engaging and stimulating, Instagram, YouTube, Vine – they all have their own advantages. Tumblr is a vast ecosystem all of its own that is insanely popular and easy to start communities within too.
There’s so much more to Social Media than Facebook, but everyone seems to have their default Social Media mentality set to it. I’m not saying this is wrong – I’m just saying there’s so much more. Not every platform will work for you. If you’re not doing B2B or professional services, LinkedIn might not be your bag, but you should still have a profile ready to use if anything were to come up. You never know.
Diversity is important. Yeah sure it’s time-consuming, but you can automate! Right?!
7. You’ve Automated EVERYTHING
Automation is awesome. Let the ‘bot do the legwork. With IFTTT, Buffer, and Feedly, you can make an endless stream of content that gets tweeted, posted and spread all over the land.
Wrong. It’s so obvious. People can see right through this tactic. It can be done well and I’ve seen some excellent examples of this kind of automation. But things get messy when you try employing sentiment matching (which can’t detect sarcasm it would seem), automatic replies and do the whole inbox blasting thing (thanks for your follow!) that was rife on Twitter for a while.
I’m all for making your job easier and automating the bits that require no human interaction. But when you have humans talking to a (very, very stupid) machine, they get annoyed. Those automated phone lines that tell you to “press one for billing, press two for new accounts” and so on? Nobody has ever got off of one of those calls and thought “that was nice. What a lovely machine.”
People are what make social work, so invest in them. Invest in a team and real people to do the talking. Yes, technology is excellent. But only a fool trusts their livelihood to a machine.