Why Social Media Marketing Sucks (& How to fix it)

social media marketing sucks

(Link bait title, don’t hate me! But hey it got you here!)

“I thought social media marketing was the wave of the future! Everybody is doing it.” Ok, so I should admit that not all social media marketing sucks as I did in the title. But when everyone says they are a social media maven on Twitter, you have to be wary of what they are offering. I’m talking about these guys. The ones who charge $400 a month to write a few Facebook posts and Tweets that don’t grow your business or gain more customers. This sort of social media marketing sucks!

We’ve all seen it before. Someone with barely any experience in marketing thinks they can become the next great social media guru (not a fan of that word but it’s relevant to this post). They believe all they have to do is write some posts, and the likes will start rolling in. That’s how they measure success. But what’s a “like” to a business? Your Facebook page may have 1,500 likes but what does that do for you? Did you know that for any given post you put on your business’s Facebook page, barely 10% of your followers will even see it?  Social Media Examiner found that over 6 months, there was a constant decline for organic post reach of 6,000 different business pages. That’s done on purpose. That’s how Facebook gets you to buy ads and pay to boost posts, and it works! Once you are able to actually reach your audience, magic happens!

It can be tough finding the right person or team to handle your social media marketing and management. I mention management because writing posts for social media is just half the job. The other half is engaging with potential customers. When someone comments on something you posted, it’s important to write back. This doesn’t have to be done for every comment, but people do appreciate the feedback. A network like Twitter is full of opportunities that you may be missing out on. Since you can see everyone’s feeds (as long as they aren’t private) you can find out what they are interested in and engage with them. The key to this is to help not sell. Let’s repeat: Help, don’t sell. The last thing you want on Twitter is for someone to @ reply you trying to sell you their product or service. It’s like walking down the street in a busy city and having someone try to hand you fliers. Don’t interrupt people by trying to sell. The truly great social media marketers genuinely engage with people. Offering advice, giving a compliment, answering a question.

Here’s an example of some fictional customer interaction. Let’s say you tweeted about wanting to move to Chicago. You may get some responses from realtors in the city offering you their service, and asking you to call them. You’re not really interested in that right now. But one realtor points you toward a blog about things to do in Chicago. Nice! You’ll check it out. A few months later it comes time to look for apartments. You decide to hire a realtor to do it for you since you live out of town. Then you remember the helpful realtor from Twitter! You check out her site and give her a call.

Ok so this isn’t typical of all interactions, and I’m sure a realtor would love to have this happen even just a few times a month. But it is a good example to illustrate the power of being helpful and genuine on social media.

“So how do I make my social media suck less?”

I have a few helpful tips to get you started!

  • Post relevant and engaging curated content or create your own
  • Strategize about post frequency (Check out this Buffer article)
  • Don’t copy and paste the same posts across different platforms
  • Talk to your fans! Answer questions, give feedback, be personal
  • Optimize your post times (check your analytics to see when fans are online)
  • Use great graphics and images- being visual is one of the best ways to catch someone’s attention

I hope this has been helpful! If you have comments, concerns, questions, or just want to say hey, then leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you.

Social Media Review: Delta

delta facebook bag

 

Delta likely wouldn’t be the first company that comes to mind when you think great social media strategy. But a quick look at their Facebook page and you see interesting, engaging posts, as well as lots of responses to user comments. I enjoyed this post about recycling their old leather plane seats and turning the material into well designed bags.

The Good
The photo looks awesome! I would not know this was made of an old airplane seat if they didn’t tell me. I’d buy that bag if I saw it somewhere. The post also isn’t trying to sell me a plane ticket! This is just an informative post that also happens to show that Delta is concerned with recycling and reusing materials. The message is short and to the point, includes a link, tags the company, and adds a hashtag that refers to Delta.

The Bad
There’s not much that’s bad about this post, I really enjoy it.

Recommendations
It’s not a huge deal, but I’d say putting a small, transparent logo in the corner of the photo would help with brand awareness. Especially because Skyebags is not a company people are familiar with. If this post gets shared, people will see the bag photo but may not read the description, and it’s a missed opportunity for the bag maker.

A Day in the Life of a Social Media Manager

social media manager

If you want to be a social media manager, you’re probably curious what we do all day. And if you’re a business looking to hire a social media manager, you want to know where your money is going. I’ll give you the day-to-day of my typical routine from checking accounts to writing content. Currently I manage about 15-20 clients all with accounts on various platforms.

Example workday from the past week
9am: Wake up
9:15am: Make coffee, lunch for later, check email
9:45am: Drive to the library
10am-11: Check accounts/ Reply to users
11-3pm: Write Facebook content for accounts for May
3pm-4: Write blog post for real estate site
4pm-4:30: Check Twitter for interesting articles
4:30-5pm: Update Pinterest for accounts
5pm: Head home
5:15pm: Make coffee, eat something
6-12pm: Go to the gym for an hour around this time, read some articles, watch tv/movie
1am: Sleep

I know it’s 7 hours rather than the typical 8 hour workday. I find I work best between 6-7 hours. I also don’t each lunch in the middle of work, I wait til I’m about to head home. In between all of this, I’ll check some of the more active accounts for engagement. At home I’ll also be checking accounts when I have time. I like being quick about responses when people ask questions or message an account.

social media infographic

Checking Accounts
I do this daily, even on weekends. First I check Facebook, then Hootsuite with all the Twitter accounts. On Facebook I make sure to reply to comments. Even just a thanks or smile, people usually comment back or like it. It’s an easy way to connect with users, especially since they took the time to comment. On Hootsuite I added a column to monitor keywords specific to the company, most importantly company name. This is important because some people won’t add @companyname to their Tweet. Instead they just write the company name in their post so it won’t show up as a mention. Next I take a look at Google plus, usually not much has happened. Then I’ll check Yelp/TripAdvisor/OpenTable for new reviews to reply to. I also have a Google alerts set up for mentions of companies online and in the press.

Check Blog Stats
I’m in the process of creating a pretty extensive “city guide” blog for a realtor. All of this is original content about the area: restaurants, things to do, shopping, etc. It all links back to the realtor’s site and is sponsored by him. We’re focusing on some top keywords first, especially restaurants. I spend a bit of time checking the stats for the blog posts, seeing where referrals are coming from, what people are searching, etc. I’ll write more about this in a case study, so you can follow along and see how this strategy is working. Right now it’s just getting off the ground, so it will take time to gain traction.

Brainstorming
Before writing content, I like coming up with a general idea of what kinds of topics are interesting to that audience. For example, I run the Facebook account of a salon (hair, nails, facials, etc). I will get inspiration from Pinterest for links to post and see what’s popular. Scrolling through Pinterest or a competitor’s social media account is a good way to get an idea what to post. You can also check Google Trends to see what is growing in popularity in that topic. Then I’ll spend 20-30 minutes away from the computer just thinking about ideas for blogs, posts, images. It keeps me from getting distracted and let’s my eyes rest a bit from the computer screen.

Writing Content
I’d say a bulk of my time is spent creating content: social media posts, graphics, tweets, blog posts, website copy. Not everything is original content, especially for Twitter. It’s important to offer relevant content often, then add in specific items about your company every fourth post or so. People will follow interesting content, they don’t want to be barraged by posts about your services every moment. I make sure to find relevant blogs and sources for each company.
I create month long lists of content for each account. I put them in spreadsheets along with links, images, and hashtags. For some blog posts, I’ll spend quite a bit of time researching, finding the right keywords, and creating graphics.

Queueing Content
For items like Facebook posts, you can queue up posts months ahead of time. But for sites like Twitter you need a management tool like Hootsuite or Buffer in order to schedule posts. Blog posts can also be queued on platforms like WordPress. For blog posts, I use a tool called SEO Yoast to help make sure the search title looks good and the meta description is relevant. It’s a useful tool for simple SEO guidelines. I tend to update Pinterest accounts once every few days or whenever I have some down time. There are some tools out there that will let you schedule pins.

Reading Blogs/ Twitter Feeds
In a field like online marketing, things are changing constantly. Google is updating its algorithm, new features are coming out on social media sites, there are new guidelines. I’ll write up a future post on blogs I keep up with. Lately I’ve been checking Buffer’s blog quite a bit. I have a Flipboard account and fill it with feeds of interesting content which I check each morning.

Listening to music/podcasts
I’ll admit, I love working where I want! It’s an awesome perk of the job. I don’t like working from home though. I like having a boundary separating work from home. Working from home can also get distracting. So I usually go to the library. I bring my headphones, just because it can get noisy especially when schools get out and the tutors come in. While I work I like listening to music or podcasts. Some days I’m in a music mood, other days I’ll binge on This American Life or This Week in Tech.

So this is just my typical day. There may be some days I just focus on content and other days where I’ll get caught up reading about a new feature that came out. Also check out this similar Buffer article where they go over the typical routine of a Social Media Manager.

If you’re a social media manager, let me know about your typical schedule in the comments. I’m always interested to hear what others are doing. And if you have any questions post them below and I’ll do my best to answer them 🙂 – Lauren

Email me at habitcontent at gmail.com