Social media is one of the hottest topics in the business world at the moment. Many business owners recognise that social media marketing can be crucial for their business growth.
However, very often it’s an empty promise!
I think we need to cut through the the BS and all the noise to get to the essence of how social media can turn your project, business and life around.
A brief Google search will reveal how many social media gurus are out there, how much advice is being written and how many podcasts and videos are being created, all claiming to help business owners master social media marketing.
There is seemingly no lack of social media help!
With all this information and help around, everyone must be collecting amazing results, right?
I don’t think so. And here’s why:
Gaining a better understanding of these three issues can changeyour relationship with social media bringing better results and more impact.
Social media is one of hundreds of different marketing tools. In fact, there are so many options that this can be a problem. With so much choice, it is very difficult to know what we need, or what will work best for us. There is simply too much available!
Moreover, social media comes with two common misconceptions: it’s free and it’s a quick gain.
One of the most common myths about social media is that it’s free. It’s true that it doesn’t cost money to set up an account with most social media platforms and it doesn’t cost money to post. But social media is not free. You often invest your time and effort. Unfortunately, when unsure about how to utilise social media for your business, time and effort are misused.
Every time I have a conversation about social media (which is a very common occurrence given what I do!) and I ask how social is going for someone’s business, I hear the same reply in different variations, ‘I posted four sales posts last month, ran an ad and had a LIVE and got nothing out of it. It doesn’t work for me.’
People are longing for social media to give them instant valuable results. This, of course, is not going to happen. And when it doesn’t, many often give up on social media altogether. Fair enough. However, I think I might have a solution for you. Keep reading.
The second reason that social media marketing doesn’t work is due to a poor understanding of business, whether that’s for or not for profit.
Many of us run successful businesses without really understanding how ‘business’ works. There is nothing shameful in this. Most of us are in business because of what we do, not how we do it. Very rarely do I find business owners who simply love admin, HR, finance or marketing. Instead, they love the substance of their business – the thing they have passion for.
We’ve all been forced to master (or at least come to terms with) hiring and firing, some marketing and even the legal aspects of our businesses; however, none of these are the reasons why we are in business. This is why it’s common to find it challenging to see the clear path for your own business.
I recommend recognising blind or difficult spots in your work and find help. If you don’t have the resources, focus on only what matters first hand – sales, connections and impact. Social media shouldn’t be on the top of your priorities.
The third reason for the common social media strategies fail is that sometimes we are dealing with bad or unethical marketers. There are two categories of bad marketers – con people (those who are unethical and even liars) and people who are simply confused.
Unfortunately there are always people with bad intend. Every story needs a villain, right? And sometimes it is hard to know if a business you are dealing with is ethical or not. Consider Volkswagen who, despite its stellar reputation, was found to have been marketing its diesel cars as low-emission vehicles while engineering them to give deceptive emissions readings. Or 7-Eleven, who, it has been claimed, exploits and underpays workers.
These businesses were doing what they felt they needed to do to stay relevant.
But being unethical is very bad for business!
Volkswagen’s stock plummeted, its CEO was arrested and it was ordered to pay billions of dollars in fines. And 7-Eleven franchisees all over the world are being forced to pay millions in penalties. Bad practices robbed Volkswagen and 7-Eleven of success.
You see, cutting corner or choosing unethical support diminishes your own work.
There will always be businesses that act badly, just as there will always be business people who care about ethical standards. The trick is to know the difference. While we should avoid con people as much as we can, we can always learn from confused people.
Many old practices are no longer working; however, some marketers are still selling them to business owners. I personally know people who sell their out-dated marketing techniques for thousands and thousands of dollars only to later disappoint their clients. Sometimes con people continue selling no longer working solutions and sometimes people have lost their mission or are confused about what works.
It is important to recognise that con people and confused people taint the marketing space with their bad advice. There is good advice and ethical marketers out there but many businesses struggle to recognise them because they are blinded by bad experiences. The bad experiences make them wiser, but also much more cautious and closed up to innovative ideas which could further drive the success of their business.
Recognising the problem of bad marketing will help many business owners find the social media strategy that is right for their business. Keep having conversations, and testing and trying new social media strategies.
Social media marketing can work for you!
Understanding where you are in your business now and where you want to be next is the first step.
Recognising that not every business owner with a passion will master every aspect of business fundamentals is the second.
And searching out advice from social media strategists who share your values, behave ethically and are responsive in a fast moving industry is the third step.
I get enormous satisfaction from helping people launch and maintain their mission. Businesses that strive for change and want to make an impact are the businesses I tend to align with. This is why I developed my program – so that I can help precisely these people.
When I read positive, glowing comments on my clients’ Facebook pages, I tear up. I take it to heart because I feel like I’ve contributed to something bigger than myself. This is why I do what I do.
Business owners who want a quick fix, some social presence or a few ads don’t resonate with me and, honestly, I don’t have a solution for them. But for those business owners who want to scale and REALLY power their mission, here are three things to consider:
One of my clients is one of the biggest aviation museums in Australia. Their audience is very specific and narrow but their sales volume is large. Thousands and ten thousands of people may come through their doors in a single month.
This large volume means that they are unable to sit down and have coffee with each of their visitors. For them, social media has been an excellent tool because they can convey their very precise message to thousands of people in seconds. Social brings good sales to the museum. Most importantly, social media helps them build the rapport they are unable to build otherwise given the size of their community.
Your audience is not just about your target market. It goes well beyond gender, age and location. Knowing your audience intimately is what helps your results improve, whether you are using social media or selling offline.
Once you understand your target audience intimately, you can target your social media messaging a lot more effectively. There are two types of people I often encounter – those who say, ‘I am in the B2B space – no one uses social media here’. On the other side of the spectrum are those who assume, ‘my audience uses all the channels’.
Neither is true until you test it.
So, who’s your audience?
If your goal is to make a million dollars over night than I’d advise against social media. Do something else.
A big part of my program is a social media audit. With this, I dissect and diagnose your business and social media strategy to isolate gems and challenges. This helps us understand where you are at and gives a good benchmark – somewhere strong to start with. This becomes the stepping-stone for our next move together.
By breaking down our work into realistic and meaningful stages, one becomes a building block for the next, moving us organically towards your goals.
I worked with an Australian online dancing school who sold most of their classes in the USA. When we first began working together they had a relatively large following on Facebook, some engagement and good (but not stable!) sales.
Though they would usually have a sales spike when they advertised or when their dance teachers promoted their content to their own followers, they weren’t generating any sales organically, via posts on their own (seemingly large and well-engaged) Facebook page.
On the surface this was puzzling but as soon as I dived into the social media audit I realised the problem – their entire page’s following (over 20K at the time!) was based in Mexico and consisted of men who posted inappropriate comments on their Page.
They were never going to make sales through their Facebook page. Realising this changed the entire roadmap for their business.
So, what is your first realistic goal?
There is a big difference between doing social and utilising social media as a growth tool. Sometimes business owners are ready to grow their business and sometimes they feel pressured into considering social media because ‘everyone is doing it’.
My focus is on helping business owners scale their work, really power their mission, streamline their sales and step away from the things they don’t enjoy so they can do more of what made them launch their business in the first place. However, my program requires that my clients work together with me. It means that there is commitment on their part as well.
You see, social media is a great tool but it is a tool nevertheless.
Sometimes people say, ‘No offence Anna, but I hate social media’ as if I will be offended by their view. I don’t own social media! But it is my tool of choice for my business. I can turn my leads and sales on and off whenever I need more sales or require a break. I can convert cold leads into warm following. I can test and validate new services. It works for my business. And it works for my clients.
It may or may not be a solution for you. Your best guess is a guess. Reach out to experts you align with and test.
I design simple and effective social media and Facebook ads strategies helping gifted not for profits and businesses for purpose leverage their social media technology and loyal community to really power their mission, building more donations and creating impact. My work is custom solution aiming at the specific needs of your work.
There are many ways you can reach out to see if I am a good fit for your goals. Check out the Facebook Messanger bubble on the bottom right, contact page on the top and/or a form and a calendar, if this type of communication suits you better.
I look forward to supporting your vision of the future!