social media marketingWith the recently announced Facebook News Feed Algorithm update, there’s been a lot of short-sighted advice being handed out in response.

With the increased suppression of organic reach for brands, people have suggested everything, from focusing on Facebook Groups only, to abandoning Facebook altogether. In my opinion, we all just need to take a deep breath and think objectively about what we’re hoping to get from social media marketing.

Why does it exist? Why is your brand participating in the first place?

Now, this may not be a popular opinion with the social media purists, but social media marketing is MARKETING just like any other channel. The model is essentially to gather an audience, segmented by data, then sell things to that audience via advertising.

That’s the way the process works. Misunderstanding this dynamic will doom your social media efforts when it comes to business results.

So before I review the five main reasons that I see which lead to social media marketing disappointment, I want to make something very clear. Growing a social community and getting them to engage with your brand is very important. However, to act like doing so is the sole reason Facebook, Twitter or Instagram exist is simply ignoring reality. You need to have a multi-pronged effort that works to capture people’s attention, while also advertising to them in a value-based way. THAT is the power of social media.

Here are some of the key reasons why your social media marketing efforts aren’t working out the way you’d hoped.

1. You’re Overestimating “Community”

Community building is important in social media marketing, however, most marketers grossly misunderstand the type of community they are building.

When most social media marketers think of a social ‘community’, they imagine thousands of people gathered around their brand, patiently waiting for a piece of content to come out which will immediately improve all their lives. In reality, you’re supposed to be showcasing the value of what your brand brings to the table in an educational, informative and value-driven way, in the hope that your community will choose YOUR BRAND when a need arises.

We have to stop pretending that people really want to be friends with brands. If you’re a social media marketer and disagree, quickly try to recall the first and last names of the actual people in your community. You probably can’t.

Once we all get a realistic understanding about what TYPE of community we’re trying to build, and WHY we’re building it, the results of our social media marketing efforts will improve.

2. You Aren’t Advertising

I’m still baffled at the amount of “marketers” who are averse to social media advertising – it’s literally the most cost-effective way to reach a targeted group of consumers.

The free ride is over, and really, it has been over for a long time. While not every business has a large budget to invest in advertising, a little can go a long way with social media.

We strongly urge brands to pinch off some budget and test social advertising. If you don’t, be ready for a lot of disappointment when it comes to your social media marketing results.

3. You Get Distracted by Flashy Tactics

If you value tactics over strategy, you’re doomed to fail. No amount of “hacks” or “tricks” are going to scale for your business in social media.

You need to start with the goal of your efforts and work backward, fleshing out a strategy that’ll help you achieve your business goals in a cost-effective way.

Realize that everything you do takes time and that you must asses the amount of time you’ll sink into an activity versus what it’ll give you. You know, the old ROI conversation.

Be cautious of flashy tactics, they usually become obsolete quickly.

4. You Don’t Understand Data

One of the biggest potential weaknesses in any social media marketing strategy is failing to understand the data. If you can’t measure, analyze and react to the data created by your social activities, you’re essentially flying blind.

While you’re at it, you also need to invest time in understanding attribution models. The theoretical consumer process of ‘see post’, ‘click link’ and ‘buy product’ almost never happens. Consumers tend to bounce around before they purchase, and by not understanding the data behind how your audience shops, you may misinterpret the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Get familiar with Facebook Insights, Facebook Analytics (from the Pixel) and Google Analytics so you fully understand exactly what your efforts are producing.

Success with social media marketing isn’t only about Likes, engagements, and shares – in fact, these stats alone are largely irrelevant to your broader business goals.

5. You Act Like a Big Brand – You’re Not

If you’re modeling your social media marketing strategy after Coca-Cola or Nike, you’re probably way off the mark. Top companies like these have built brand equity over decades, and unless you’re prepared to go to market with immense budgets, trying to borrow ideas from them likely won’t work.

Small to mid-market businesses have to work extra hard (and smart) to cut through the noise on social media. Never ever assume that people simply know you and that they’ll automatically understand what you’re trying to accomplish. Be realistic, be humble and go to market with a scrappy and smart plan to build your brand every day.

You cant skip years of brand building and hope that assumed brand equity is going to bode well for your business. Spend the time and money building awareness, and prospecting new clients. With time, your brand will grow.

Once you stop making the above mistakes, you’ll surely see slow and steady improvement for your social media efforts. It’s time to actually use social media for marketing.

Web Developer

Some people think it’s easy to build a website. There are many website developer tools available that allow you to drag and drop pictures, and insert wording.  Keep in mind that these tools use templates that are generic, and not specifically designed to meet your business needs. Web development requires behind the scenes coding that’s done by skilled web developers.  There are plenty of DIY projects that you can tackle yourself; Here are 10 reasons why building your business’s website should not be one of them.

 
Reason #1: Customization
Free website templates and DIY web builders cannot be customized, are very basic, and are not interactive. If you wanted to add an extra feature or additional content, a basic website template or web builder wouldn’t give you this option.  If you think you’re the first person to benefit from a free website builder, think again–there are thousands of other companies that have made the mistake of using the same, boring, generic template.  Now you’re stuck with a site that looks like everyone else’s.  How unique is that?
Reason #2: Efficiency
Web development hard work, and it takes a long time to build a great website.  If you’re not a professional web developer, the hours upon hours you spend trying to create a website could be more efficiently spent generating business and growing your client base.  Why not let someone with experience and knowledge build it, it’ll save you time and money.

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1. Outside perspective

The number one reason to hire a marketing consultant is for the outside perspective. You may have assembled the most talented team of marketers on the planet, but you’ll always be blinded by some level of bias. A consultant, on the other hand, can come in and see things clearly without being affected by the issues that weigh you down.

2. Specialized skill set

Marketing consultants always have a general background and knowledge of how to handle a variety of different needs, but most have a specialized skill set to offer. For example, you’ll find consultants who specialize in PPC campaign optimization or content marketing. When you work with these folks, you can quickly target a specific area without wasting time, money, or resources.

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Upwork, Fiverr, Guru, Loom, so many options for business owners looking for freelancers. The question is, however, should businesses trust a self-employed freelancer or a well-established marketing agency when deciding which entity to use for their marketing campaign? The reality is that freelancers are everywhere, thanks to individual websites, getting access to a freelancer takes nothing more than just a few quick clicks and a payment upfront. Rightfully so, there are always two sides to each coin, and with that in mind, it’s time to tackle the pros and cons of hiring a freelancer, v.s hiring an agency.

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