5 Things That Could Foil Your Social Media Efforts

Coming up with a strategy for how you will use social media to build your following, get more subscribers, increase traffic, generate leads, etc. is a daunting task sometimes.  It’s crossed my mind one or two thousand times, “Is this really necessary?”

Yeah.  It is.

Don’t get me wrong. My goal is not to avoid social media.  We’ve all heard that social media is important.  As of this writing Mark Zuckerberg is a twenty-something go-zillionaire (as Forrest Gump would say), so we know that there’s definitely something to social media.  It’s essentially become non-negotiable for your blog and your business. But to get some perspective on its effectiveness, let’s look at some real numbers published in the 2011 Social Media Marketing Industry Report by Social Media Examiner.

  • 90% of marketers are using social media for their businesses
  • Of those marketers, 88% say that social media has generated exposure for their businesses
  • 72% of marketers say that the use of social media increased traffic to their site or increased the number of subscribers
  • More than half of them indicated that social media generated qualified leads

Social media works and it’s clearly not the enemy. But it’s often misappropriated. If your social media strategy is not producing the results you expected, I’ve got a few ideas why that may be so.

Chart showing marketers' use of social media

Source: 2011 Social Media Industry Report by Social Media Examiner

Lack of SM Strategy – No goal is accomplished unless it’s been set.  Your social media efforts should have purpose as well. Identify your goals for utilizing social media and use that as a guide to define how you manage your campaign. Are you using social media to drive traffic to your blog? Sell information products? Get subscribers? Whatever you wish to accomplish with social media, have a clear understanding of those goals and use that information to tailor your campaign.

Time Management – Social media marketing requires a time investment. According to Social Media Examiner, more than a third of marketers invest more than 11 hours per week on social media (invest, not play Mafia Wars). If you’re blogging, you may be investing another hour or two into researching and writing every time you publish a post.  Use automation tools, subscribe to various RSS feeds in your niche so that you don’t have to spend so much time combing the web for information.  And make sure that the time you’ve allocated for social media management is used for social media management.

SM & Business Strategy – The two should absolutely positively go hand-in-hand.  Yes, you should provide an interesting perspective when you blog, but it should be an interesting perspective on a topic within your niche.  Your content should mirror your business values and your social media strategy should support your business strategy.

Attempting to be omnipresent – Social omnipresence is a waste of time. It is almost guaranteed that you will receive more of a response from certain SM platforms and less of one from others and that is because each social media platform has its own culture.  Find your tribe. Make sure that the platforms you use reach your specific target audience. Not everyone needs your information.  So aim your marketing power at the folks who are interested in your wares.  Attempting to be everywhere will lead to the one thing that’s sure to kill your following and search rankings – inconsistency.

Research – Research supports the previous four items on the checklist.  Research your competitors, research your market, research (and subscribe to) successful blogs in your niche, research which SM platforms are best for you. Research.  Research. Research.  The more you know, the better you’ll fare.

Add to the discussion below in the comments!

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6 thoughts on “5 Things That Could Foil Your Social Media Efforts

  1. Catwoman

    Thanks for sharing these useful tips, they really could help me to reach my new year goals. My resolution was actually to get a higher traffic on my blog, and to get my online business and conversion rate better. Your advices are very helpful for it, thanks for sharing.

  2. Vera

    Nice post but I have a question, 88% of people who used social say that it increased exposure for their business. This is a little vague and arguably this number should be 100% but the term “exposure” is quite objective.

    Here is the real question though, are those 88% too close to the project, would they not like to admit that they have taken take to work on a failed project.

    Its a nice starting point but I would like to see some really objective research on this but it is such a difficult subject to analyse.

  3. William

    Pretty much hate(ok, not-like) the fact that is almost a must to engage in social media these days to promote your blog/posts. I cancelled my FB account 2 years ago, and now as I’m diving into this whole blogging thingy, I have to start think re-joining. Something I’m not at all comfortable with. I just don’t like the way FB operates.

    Not sure what I’m going to do, because those numbers sure speak for themselves.

    • Josh

      Hey William, I know exactly what you mean. In the past I’ve had a love/hate relationship with both twitter and facebook. I’ve probably stopped using twitter 5 times or better. They really are hard to ignore though. Sure you can be successful without them and there are people that do just that but it’s most likely going to be much harder to do it that way.
      I think the trick for me has been to look at them as a tool and then see how it can be fit into my business plan. By looking at it in that way I’ve been able to stay connected and really start to get more out of these sites.
      For years I would keep all my posts private on facebook and would only accept friend requests from VERY close friends but the more I think about it, the more it just makes sense (as a blogger and marketer) to just put yourself and your content out there for the world and not worry about it.

      The new changes they made to twitter a month or so ago really made it a lot easier for me to use the site too, since then I’ve been pretty much addicted to it.

      • William

        Actually I don’t have anything against Twitter. It’s useful; even in those hyped democracy driving promises that were so underlined in the early days of social media (as witnessed in the Middle-East.) Anyway, you’re probably right: see them as a mere tool. Made a decision too: I go with G+. Mainly because I’ve been giving my dirty little secrets to big o’ Google for a long time already :] And I just trust Google more privacy wise though I’m not sure why is it so. Especially after their recent stunts.

  4. Vince

    I would like to add one more point – sales content in SM platform.
    I used to write aggressive sales content and results were not so promising.
    I think SM is a way to connect people of same interests and making frds and then recommend them services or products they actually looking for.


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