So, you have created a business profile on Facebook or Instagram and are excited about the possibilities it could bring you and your business. The image of thousands of people following you and then purchasing from you dances around your head…well, hold your horses. Not to rain on your parade, but the image of social media many people have with regards to business is totally twisted.
Everyone has seen it, those business profiles with 10,000 followers after a week. This sets people up for disappointment. If you dig a little deeper, you will likely find that MOST of these profiles have purchased followers….and none of them are buying what the business is selling.
If you want to get the most benefit, you need to get followers. Followers are a “free” target market. Posting to your profile doesn’t cost money, and a percentage of your followers will see whatever you post on your page. If they share it, that could result in more of their friends also following you…and this process continues on.
In order to get followers, you have to attract attention, and keep it. Many businesses make massive mistakes when managing their own social media profiles. Some of these mistakes you can recover from, but others you can’t…and you should just throw the whole profile out and start fresh. We call this “killing” your social media persona, and every month we have at least one business that has committed this crime against themselves and has no idea why they are not getting anything out of social media.
To set the record straight, we have put together some “techniques” (mistakes) that have been used to perpetrate the crime. While every business is different, and not all social media techniques will work for or apply to every business, this list applies to the vast majority of business (and personal) profiles.
- Over-posting. This is the number one mistake people make. The misconception is that the more you post, the more followers you will get. Well, this is absolutely not true. Actually, data shows that posting more than 3 times a day can cause you to LOSE followers.
While people follow you because they like what you post, they may get annoyed or frustrated seeing post after post…and just click that “unfollow” button. We usually recommend posting no more than 2 times a day, unless absolutely necessary. We use user activity data to determine what to post, when to post, and how many posts to make (1 or 2) each day. Some clients need 1 post a day and other 1 a week. It all depends on your business. But over-posting is a surefire way to lose followers, and it is also the most common thing we see when someone comes to us with a dying social media presence.
- “Borrowed” Content. If everyone was posting the exact same posts, then we would only have to follow one person to be “in the know”. Re-posting content is ok as PART of your social media activity, but not ALL of it. The majority of your posts should be your own original content. Besides the usage issues (copywrites apply to most images online) people are vastly unaware of, borrowing other people’s content is boring. If you want to really attract new followers, create your own images and videos. Be unique, be creative, and give users content they can’t see anywhere else.
- Stop with Sales. When you have a business, your ultimate goal is increasing profit. When people are on social media, their ultimate goal is entertainment…see the conflict? If your Facebook profile is the equivalent of a 2am infomercial, it will suffer. Social media profiles for businesses that offer a service should not be sales based. What I mean by that is that for every sales type post, you should have 3 business related but non-sales posts. For instance, if you are a roofer, don’t just post “we are the cheapest”, “free estimates” type posts. Try informative content, like a video on how to prepare for possible roof damage during hurricane season.
If your business is product based, there is a little more leniency. Product images ARE the attraction. You still need to avoid posts that are too sales targeted. Try to advertise your products in a unique and creative way, without pushing a purchase. The goal is to have people like your image AND your products.
- DO NOT Buy Followers or Likes. You may see all of those ads about getting more followers for a small fee, but I cannot stress how important it is that you NOT do this! For one, the followers you buy are not people interested in your business or product. They are usually people who live in the Middle East and get paid pennies for setting up multiple accounts and following profiles.
Second, these paid “fakes” are easy to spot if any informed consumer takes a look at your followers list, and that can create mistrust automatically. Third, social media marketing can rely heavily on data from your followers, and having fake followers makes any data collected totally unusable. Lastly, the platforms know about this tactic, and it is completely against the rules. Unscrupulous “Influencers” are notorious for buying followers in order to look more appealing to businesses looking for someone to promote their products. Pretty much, businesses were being tricked into paying influencers who had no real influence, and Facebook and Instagram are implementing the removal of these fake accounts to avoid these situations. Even if the ad says “get real followers” do not do it! You are not going to get hundreds of real followers for a few bucks anywhere. If you want to gain real followers, do some paid marketing, promote your page, hand out flyers, yell from a rooftop…literally do anything other than buying fakes.
Having realistic expectations is important when working with social media. Social media profiles are best used to build brand awareness, brand trust, and consumer loyalty. Posting to your profile is not a sales objective marketing strategy. This means that while having a presence on social media is absolutely necessary, it is not something that is likely to directly result in sales on a large scale, especially in the beginning. If you have an extremely large following, then you could benefit more on the sales side, but simply posting should never be used as a standalone marketing strategy for social media. Posting to social media should be considered PART of a social media marketing plan…not THE plan. Your social media profile is simply where it all begins.
With over 15 years of marketing experience I have helped over 1,000 businesses amplify their customer base. I have spent the man hours to make sure every one of my clients have had a positive experience. I take the time to sit and get to know every company I work with on a personal level. I started this company to put qualified leads in front of the companies who are looking for them. The Website Marketing Company headquarters in Orlando, FL. 32803 services clients across the country.
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