Social media – it’s not working
You’ve set up your social media presence, you tweet regularly (well, at least it feels like it), you update your Facebook wall, and you post updates to your LinkedIn profile. You even have a comprehensive content strategy which includes writing regularly on your blog, and – nothing. No comments, no mentions, no responses. What’s going wrong with your social media marketing and why isn’t it working?
The answer could be that you’ve fallen into the vanilla trap. Your content could be so bland that it does nothing. It doesn’t spark debate and may even struggle to spark interest. Or perhaps you’ve fallen into the even worse trap of broadcasting – the equivalent of walking into a party and telling anyone who’ll listen all about YOU. You’ve become one of the “scroll straight past” brigade. Nobody’s interested.
Get more followers on Twitter
People keep following me so I must be doing something right…. right?
Are they talking to you – and if they’re not, are you talking to them about their choice of subject? Yes, people will follow you just so you follow them back. Big deal. They probably don’t even look at your feed, because, for them, it’s a numbers game. For true organic growth and to inspire communication and a relationship on Twitter that can be translated into something meaningful for your business in the longer term, you want them to read your content because it is interesting and shareable.
There’s the key – if it inspires conversation, provokes debate or is a subject that happens to be relevant and interesting at that point in time, there’s a good chance that other people will get involved and that they will share with their followers. And so it goes – if you’ve been intelligent and focused on your social media strategy, you’ll know who you want to see your content and your conversations on Twitter will lead to increased visibility in front of those prospects.
This approach stands a better chance of you have an opinion. Not necessarily a controversial or aggressive approach, but one where you are transparently you – one where you let your beliefs, morals, values inform the tone of what you say on the social media platforms. You’ll make some friends – and you’ll alienate others, but isn’t that the way of life anyway? If your marketing is connected across all activity, both online and offline, you’ll know the sort of beliefs and values that your prospect has and you’ll therefore know whether they are your target market. You’ll adjust your content accordingly – if you get it right, you’ll prompt discussion and, maybe even, considered argument, so don’t be afraid or unhappy to see dissent in your stream. It means you’ve engaged! We have a name for this – we encourage all our clients for whom we work in a marketing capacity to stand for something – we ask them to have an opinion and we’re not afraid to tell them – Don’t be vanilla. We know it works.
Connections on LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a business platform primarily and so you need to adopt a tone that will work for people whilst they’re on this social media platform. That doesn’t mean to say you can’t embue your business with some personality.
LinkedIn is an ideal place to position your company values and to talk about how you do things. How you really do things – that way you’ll attract prospects and connections who like what you do and are not surprised when you eventually get to meet in person. There needs to be an integration between what you say on the social media platforms and the experience the customer receives when they do business with you. A disconnect between the two will not help here at all in terms of long term business.
We don’t advocate connecting with other business people on LinkedIn just to build connections. It’s important that you can see a value to a connection. It just might not be obvious in the first instance. By that, I mean it’s clear what value connecting with people who might buy what you offer has to your business. However, an out and out sales pitch in this environment rarely works in my experience. I am actively turned off by people who connect with me and then bombard me with sales messages which have also gone out in a blanket message to all their connections. That’s no better than LinkedIn spam.
Using LinkedIn Company Pages
We’ll be writing more blogs on how to use LinkedIn to build a credible and meaningful profile, but here’s a starter for 10. Next time you’re on LinkedIn, post a company page update which is a short case study video on a customer you’ve just worked with. Tell us what their pain was (the problem), how you solved it, and even better, let the customer tell us how good your service was in their own words. Two things here that I can hear you saying… number 1. What’s a company page? If you haven’t got one, set one up today (or call us and we’ll do it for you) . It’ll take you 30 minutes. It’s easy and it’ll prove invaluable if you’re in the B2B sector. And number 2. I don’t have videos / they’re too expensive. If you don’t have video material it’s time to start building an archive. You can do it easily and it is the most shareable type of social media content. It’s also the most engaging if you do it well. In terms of cost, video marketing should always be about ROI – return on investment. More on that later, but suffice to say, if your marketing is boring because you went for the cheapest, easiest option, what sort of customers are you expecting?
Enough to be getting on with for now – next time we’ll look at other ways you can avoid bland marketing messages and ensure your content is creating a business profile that reflects your real business offer.