A lot of marketers are using social media marketing.
But many of those are expressing frustration with social media.
In one study, 78% of marketers said they use social media in some way for their business. But only 34% of those people say they see positive return on their investment…at least as far as they can tell.
In another study, 87% of marketers surveyed said they had some common issues, frustrations and problems with social media. That study found that there is optimism around social media and you could look at it as marketers looking to learn more because they see the potential.
But let’s look at some of the most common problems businesses face with social media and how to get those fixed.
1. Too Many Social Networks
I really think the biggest problem or mistake companies make with social media is trying to do too much. The biggest way is by trying to be involved with too many social networks.
It’s one thing to automate your efforts like sharing blog posts or company videos and podcasts with a tool like Buffer on five different channels.
It’s another to try and manually manage those five accounts and keep them updated all the time especially with the resources most companies invest in social media, which is usually one part-time person.
The better strategy is to pick the one social network that is best for your business and leave the others. You can save your handles or URLs for those channels to perhaps invest in later, but pick one and go all in on that channel.
You’re much more likely to have success.
I’d say in general it’s:
- Facebook for B2C
- LinkedIn for B2B
- Twitter for B2B
2. Wrong Type Of Content
The next problem I see that causes frustration for businesses on social media is that they’re sharing the wrong type of content.
I like to think of social media in the context of an industry event or conference.
Let’s say your business sets up a booth. The people that come up to your booth asking questions specifically about your service or product are about in the middle of the sales funnel. They would be most interested in your homepage on your website or perhaps your services page or even your about page.
Now move into the happy hour event at the conference. You’re meeting new people and chit chatting a little bit. People are asking questions about the industry and you’re answering and asking your own questions.
That is what social media is. It’s a top-of-the-funnel style of marketing where you’re making contacts, building rapport and building trust.
But too many companies share nonstop information about themselves on social media and it might work once or twice, but if you really want engagement you have to treat it like a happy hour networking event.
While slipping in a few mentions of what you do and how you help customers.
3. Wrong Frequency
By frequency I mean the number of times you’re sharing. And this gets back to spreading yourself too thin across too many social media channels.
You’re much better off sharing five times a day on one network than sharing once on five networks.
In general, I would say that businesses could share more on social media. If you’re looking to get engaged with the people that use social media all the time then they are likely checking their feeds many times each day. Chances of your one update each day showing up on their feed are pretty small.
And if you are sharing things that your followers want to see like tips, fun articles, questions, etc. they’re going to want more and more of it.
There is obviously a balance for every business, but in general you should be sharing multiple times each day; at least 5-10 times on the one network you choose to focus on.
4. Not Enough Allocated Resources
This has really kind of bled into a few areas earlier.
I think a big area where companies have issues with social media is that they try to take someone they have on staff and give them social media as maybe 20% of their job.
Does that describe your company?
You’re not alone.
Then the issue gets compounded when they want to be on five different networks.
Being on one network can almost be more than a full-time job. Five is pretty crazy if you really want to dive into things and get it working like you want.
If you really want to have success with social media give someone enough time to research, test and work at it. It might not be a full-time person for your small business, but it’s probably more of a resource investment than you think.
5. Wrong Measurement
Finally, the problem is your expectations and measurement with social media.
Go back to the idea of being at happy hour making contacts.
When you walk about from those events you would love to walk away with a new client, but how often does that happen? You have to be a really good salesperson to work through the entire sales process at a happy hour event.
You’re much more likely, however, to make some really good contacts. The more people you meet and the more you earn their interest and trust the better the odds are that they’ll followup with you or listen when you followup with some sales talk later on.
Look at social media in that way and measure the metrics related to making contacts and you’ll be measuring the right things.
Followers, shares, engagement – all that stuff is like making good contacts at events.
If you’re having problems with social media you’re not alone. There are many businesses struggling with social media. They see the potential in it and they’ve probably invested some good time and energy into the effort, but things could still be frustrating.
Hopefully you’re experiencing one of the issues listed above. They’re common and the good thing is that they’re fixable. Follow the steps above in regards to your social media efforts and you’ll be in good shape for turning things around and seeing some return.