I get asked all the time why social media programs don’t produce the desired results. With so many parts moving at the same time, it’s tough to give a “one size fits all” answer to that question. But essentially it boils down to a these points:
I’ll coin these bullet points the 3 C’s of social media mediocrity. Should I copyright it?! jk.
Let’s dive into each category to figure out where people go wrong and how to fix it:
Let’s be honest. Without content there’s nothing to be social about. How do you gain rapport with someone you don’t know? You find commonalities to connect on a deeper level. In an online environment, people create communities around specific themes like sports, knitting, and business.
First and foremost, people don’t go to social networks to look at the latest promotion or special in their feeds. Counter to some studies that say this is true, it simply is not. It might be a secondary effect, but it is not a primary reason for community participation.
With this said, content is what binds communities together in social. If companies don’t have a content strategy for each social network presence, they simply will not succeed.
Here’s how to fix it: Survey your audience on what content types (i.e. pictures, video, articles) and subjects they want to learn more about. Ask what makes them tick both from an emotional and intellectual level. If they have the time to drill down even further, ask them what types and subjects of content they would like to see on each specific channel (i.e. Facebook vs. Twitter vs. Pinterest).
Why be on a social network if your potential or actual customers aren’t there to engage? This is like going to a bar that is totally not your scene, and you have nothing in common with the people that regularly hang out there. Yet, you can keep on going there trying to find subjects to talk about, and people just aren’t having any of it. Wouldn’t you want to go to a place where you are a better fit?
Here’s how to fix it: Before diving in, ask your customers where they hang out and where their friends hang out. From a business to business viewpoint, you will want to ask what social networks professionals go to find like minded professionals and to learn more about their craft.
Ok, so let’s say you’ve found the perfect bar to hang out. You make a couple of friends and get to know the bartenders. All of the sudden, you take a 3 month break. You decide to come back but realize people have kind of forgotten about you, and you have to start the rapport building process all over again. It looks there is new staff, so you will need to get to know them as well.
This is even worse in social media, since the volume of people fluctuates rapidly, and you could be missing out on creating new relationships. Not to mention people could have forgotten about you.
Here’s how to fix it: Create an editorial calendar and stick to it religiously. Constantly monitor what days of the week and times of day perform the best when it comes to interaction. Tweak and repeat.
So there you have it. My take on why social media doesn’t succeed. I might add that all of this takes human resources and coordination, which is a managerial issue in its own. If you’re interested in learning more about how to staff a social media program, I would suggest you reach out to Jay Baer. There’s no one better qualified to help you in that arena.
image credit: Top Rank