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Four Signs Your Social Media Marketing Plan is Failing (and How to Rescue It)

Posted in : Small Business Tips, Social Media Tips on   By    

How many times in the past year have you evaluated your performance on social media channels and measured its impact on marketing and brand building? You may have set KPIs to examine how your content and campaigns have fared and how they stack up against the competition.

It helps to assess the hard numbers alongside what is quite easily obvious on your Facebook page or Twitter account. Here are four signs to watch out for – they indicate that your social media marketing plan has gone off the rails.

1. Your posts aren’t attracting likes and comments

If you have a few thousand followers but barely a few have interacted with your posts, you may need to assess your current content strategy. You may also want to measure the quality and value of your existing fans and followers. Number is not an indicator of social media success – even a hundred engaged followers are better than having 10,000 followers and a rock-bottom engagement rate that dips below 0.5%.

The antidote to a paucity of likes, comments, retweets or shares is creating content that meets your audience’s expectations. Check if you have been leveraging these tactics to boost engagement:

  • Including quality images
  • Asking interesting questions
  • Inviting product/service feedback and opinions
  • Holding creative contests and polls
  • Using hashtags to improve searchability
  • Hosting chats or hangouts
  • Tagging people in curated posts
  • Sharing relevant how-to articles timed to product launches or trending events
  • Increasing your posting frequency (schedule tweets to reach your audience at the best possible times multiple times a day)
  • Sharing popular content more than once

Dig deeper to evaluate how followers and fans have engaged with every post. Do this a few times, and you’re sure to gain better perspectives about their behaviors in relation to their personas (that you’ve created) as well as the industry climate or time of the year. For instance, contests and announcements nearing the holiday season or an event such as Valentine’s Day or Black Friday may elicit more attention and response. If they don’t, it is possible that your competitors could be offering better deals.

Measure engagement frequently, but more importantly – track how the interactions impact your marketing goals. Engagement can end up being merely optics if it doesn’t lead to website traffic, newsletter sign-ups, purchases, whitepaper downloads, free consultations, conversions and other actions.

2. You can’t detect a sense of brand community

The long-term success of a brand depends on its ability to create and nurture a loyal community of brand users. Social media plays a role in keeping brand sentiments alive and encouraging customers’ involvement both with the brand and within brand communities. It serves as an excellent platform to reinforce your personal brand and establish how you’re different from the competition.

Those who succeed at personal branding build trust and credibility more easily. They are able to control their identity and influence others’ perceptions about their brand and the products/services they offer. That is reflected in conversions, customer churn, increase in subscriber or follower/fan count, time spent on the key pages of the company website, and other actions. If you cannot explain how your social media marketing strategy is aligned with your personal brand values, beliefs and voice, you may not be coming off as authentic or as one of the preferred providers of the product/service in your niche.

While this is a basic point, ensure that you maintain a consistent profile across all social media platforms. Your tone or voice must also ring true to your brand : for instance, are you a peppy and friendly brand with cheeky and humorous videos or is your style more minimalist, articulate and strictly business? Your unique, unwavering personal style won’t just attract your target audience but also retain them.

The same proven audience engagement tips apply to promoting your personal brand. The only difference is, you will need to write blog posts, produce videos or share visuals that are not only useful and valuable, but unabashedly ‘you’ in attitude.

Develop your social personality Keep a consistent tone Stick to a story

You also want to know how your brand is being perceived : who all are talking about you and what are they saying? Use social media monitoring tools to track mentions on social media sites, forums, news sites and blogs. You’ll be able to get a good idea of how well you’ve been able to communicate your personal brand and what you can do to change or improve.

3. Your contests and giveaways are being cold-shouldered

If your deals and discount offers are too good to refuse, yet you’re having trouble getting enough people excited about your awesome incentives, you may be facing a credibility issue. There must be a good enough reason why your fans and followers must be resisting you. Here are some things you may want to examine:

  • Have your sales dropped, in which case the problem may be systemic and triggered by a recent event or a slew of bad feedback. After you’ve identified the root cause of the issue, an appropriate reputation management response will be necessary to shape a renewed, favorable perception of your brand on social media, your website or blog.
  • Do you post regularly or only to promote your new product or blowout sale? If you’re self-promotional and have very few authority-building posts, your social media community may have lost interest in you a quite a while back.The problem with constantly promoting your brand or announcing freebies is that it will bring only opportunists to your page/account – those who are there for the gift and not looking to buy or be loyal to your brand. Your efforts are better expended on capturing quality, engaged social media users who’re motivated by how you can help them overcome their challenges and fit into their lifestyle or align with their interests and beliefs.
  • Confirm if your offers actually benefit your audience! If you offer retirement planning consultations to a niche segment of individuals aged 50 years or above, computer accessories or snazzy headphones may not be such a great gift for your audience, while a floor lamp, robotic floor cleaner, a pillow massager or winter gloves may be more beneficial.

4. You’re spending an awful lot of time on social media marketing

If you can’t seem to get a break from content creating and posting on social media, you won’t be able to make the most of other marketing areas – email, direct mail or SEO – as they typically need a greater time investment. It may also indicate that you don’t have a social media plan to guide your actions. Figure out why you’re spending a disproportionate amount of time on social, and be sure to explore social media account management or curation tools to simplify and speed up your efforts.

Image Credits : Pixabay