Why Social Media Is Bad For Your Business!
We spill a lot of digital ink on this blog singing the praises of social media as a marketing tool. In this article we want to digress and explain the ways in which social media is actually bad for your business and bad for your marketing strategy.
Of course, social media itself is neither bad nor good. Each of the platforms – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and so on – are simply tools. They are only as effective as the people and businesses who use them. This is why some businesses are able to reshape the world on social media, while others struggle to get any meaningful leads. As a marketing agency, our job is to help you get into the former category, rather than the latter.
Here are the most common ways in which social media can go wrong, so you know what to avoid!
1) Too Many Cooks
A majority of businesses now use social media for business purposes, but only a minority have a widely implemented policy for how it is used. How is this bad? It becomes an issue when lots of different people from different departments are all using the same social media account for different purposes. You get a ‘too many cooks’ situation where your messages get confused and your social media output appears chaotic. This doesn’t make a great impression on prospects and it is extremely counter-productive if you plan on using social media for lead generation, as prospects will be confused about what you expect from them. It also makes it very difficult to measure results and determine an ROI from social media marketing.
2) Too Many Irons In The Fire
A related issue is trying to manage too many social media accounts at the same time. Over-stretching yourself in this way has two common effects. Firstly, you may end up neglecting one or more of your channels, giving your prospects the impression that your business is inactive. Secondly, you may succumb to the temptation of automating a lot of your social media updates to save time, for instance by using the same messages for both Facebook and Twitter. This is a mistake because there will inevitably be crossover between your followers on Twitter and your fans on Facebook. If people start seeing the same content from you on both platforms you will come across as lazy, and your messages will soon be ignored altogether.
3) Setting The Wrong Goals
The first two mistakes involves social media strategy, or rather, a lack of one. You need to take a concerted, planned approach to social media content in order for it to be a success. The third problem involves setting the wrong goals. This happens to businesses who have a social media strategy and in many ways do everything right, but they target the wrong things. They set themselves targets for the number of Facebook page likes, or the number of LinkedIn connections, or the number of retweets on Twitter. The danger of quantifying social media in this way is that you can lose your focus on conversions, with the result that valuable leads slip by while you concentrate on boosting your statistics.
4) Inadequate Response To Customer Feedback
Social media accounts attract a lot of feedback from customers, and not all of it is good. The way you handle this feedback will make or break your reputation on social media. Some businesses fail to respond to negative feedback quickly enough, or delete unfavourable comments, or respond confrontationally. This can have the effect of alienating a lot of people. To avoid this, ensure you access your social media platforms regularly and respond quickly and creatively to any negative feedback – as well as acknowledging praise. This is an effective way of getting people back onside and avoiding any damage to your brand.
How To Succeed On Social Media
Social media is fantastic – we love it. But it should always be viewed as a means to an end, and not as a goal itself. Ultimately, your number of Facebook likes, Twitter followers and connections on LinkedIn mean nothing if these do not convert to sales. It is crucial, therefore, that social media is used as part of a holistic lead generation and business development strategy. Each communication and every bit of content you share should have a purpose and an end point in mind. Care should be taken at each stage to encourage social media followers to progress along the sales funnel to eventually become paying customers.
Developing A Bespoke Social Media Marketing Strategy
This strategic approach cannot be left to chance. It involves foresight, planning and a significant investment in resources. This is why it is frequently cost-effective to have an agency partner such as JDR on your side. We can help you avoid the social media mistakes that so many businesses make and realise a great ROI from your marketing strategy. Get in touch with one of our specialists to find out more.