If you’re a small business owner getting ready to launch (or re-launch) a social media marketing campaign, get ready for a roller-coaster ride of emotions. At first you may think, “Hey, social media is free and easy, what could possibly go wrong?” And then reality sets in. Harsh, harsh reality. To avoid some heartache, be aware of these Harsh Truths About Social Media Marketing:
1) It’s a long haul.
You won’t see results overnight. Overnight sensations, viral posts, and runaway hashtags are more the exception than the rule.
Solution: You need to be consistent. Schedule social media marketing time in your calendar and do it religiously, every day, even if for just a few minutes. The key is to make it a habit because there are going to be some days when you’re just not going to feel like doing it. You can’t just engage in social media marketing when the mood strikes you. You can’t just put in a big effort for a few weeks and then abandon it for a few months and then expect to pick up where you left off. It’s like going to the gym: the only way to get results is to do it regularly.
2) It’s not, “If you build it, they will come.”
Just because you’ve got a beautiful Facebook page loaded up with great daily content doesn’t excuse the fact that you still have to actively get people interested in it. Network, talk about it, print the URL on your business cards, link to it from your blog and email newsletter… social media marketing is a piece of a much larger marketing machine.
Solution: If you’re not getting any response, take a hard, cold objective look at your content (or ask someone you trust for their opinion) and determine if that’s where the problem lies. Is your content branded for your desired audience?
If your content is brilliant but you’re still having trouble getting eyeballs, ask yourself who you’ve been sharing and supporting on social media lately. What goes around comes around in the social media world. Try it. Retweet, share someone else’s blog link, jump in on a hashtag and see what happens. Karma is big on social media.
3) It’s an investment.
Maybe not money. But time. And in small business, if you haven’t already learned, time IS money. Social media can be a huge time suck if you’re not careful. You do not want to fall into that abyss.
Solution: Schedule social media marketing time but also LIMIT that time. Track your results and figure out ASAP what is working and what isn’t working for you. You may find that it’s in your best interests to hire someone to handle it for you.
Need a hand updating and managing your social media accounts, or ghost-writing your business blogs and email newsletters? Get in touch!