5 Reasons Why Most Brands Don't Get Results From Social Media
Social media has been around for a while now but not long enough for there to be enough upper management who really gets it. Honestly, if you’re great at your social media work, it’s a lot of really educated trial and error. But what happens when you’re not even given the space to test, innovate, and connect with all those strangers in the magical depths of the internet?
Last year, before I quit on the 9 to 5 life, I reached the last straw as the director of social media. I was sick and tired of the constant environments jam-packed with micromanagement, stubborness to learn, and lack of encouragement to allow innovative concepts.
Most of the problems I noticed in different work environments included:
Equating follower count to a guaranteed increase in revenue. It's about the quality of your followers, not quantity.
Thinking that buying your engagement or automating social interactions nothing will happen to negatively affect your account.
Not having enough (versatile) people to manage a social presence (photography, content writing, community management, design, strategy, etc). If there's more than one account to manage, you need more than one person to help full-time but that's another story.
I could go on but my goal will forever be to help brands who lead by their values first, welcome innovation, and are ready. That’s why I’ve put together this list with 5 main reasons most brands don’t succeed on social media so you can avoid these common pitfalls.
1. The Money First Mindset
When you go on social media with money as the primary focus then you’ve already lost. Your followers can smell BS from a mile away. If they sense you view them as nothing more than dollar signs you’ll send them running away. Yes, you can make money from social media but you need to be social first. At the end of the day, people go on social media with a relaxed state of mind where they just want to unwind. In order to make money, you need to give more than you take. Become a resource for your fans. Deliver value and entertainment. If you can capture their attention and create trust, the sales will follow. A community-first mindset is what the winners do.
2. Faking It ‘Til They Make It With Bots and Purchased Engagement
I hate to break it to you but there’s no making it when you’re faking it. In fact, no social platform plays around when you’re buying all your followers, likes, and comments as well as automating your social interactions. It’ll just put a big red flag on your account. For example, Instagram will, at best, stop you from showing up to new users and at worst, they’ll delete your account. No warning needed. You think you finally found a legitimate site to purchase your popularity? Wrong. There is no legitimate or safe site, it’s always just a matter of time before the Insta-police find you. Any social media “guru” who says otherwise does not know what they’re doing at all…run.
3. Pretty Posts But No Actual Impact From Being Meaningful
A good looking feed and standalone post is cool. But they’re absolutely worthless if that’s all they’re good for. What makes a post great is if it delivered impact by being meaningful to the kind of people you wish to attract. By meaningful, I don’t necessarily mean you have to be delivering some sort of spiritual guidance. Meaningful can just be exactly what someone wanted to see be it a humorous post or a personal growth story. Yes, your visuals should be attractive but that’s only because you want people to stop scrolling and unlock the true substance behind your material. Once people stop scrolling, what does your caption and call-to-action inspire?
4. Lots of Content, Not Enough Socialization
You can post exactly what your audience wants yet get zero engagement. If you’re not making time to start conversations and nurture relationships with existing followers, you might as well be posting an ad on a wall in the middle of nowhere. Think of socializing as a way for you to build a good relationship not just with the social platform but with others so you literally stay at the top of their feed. Great content and great interactions are equally important.
5. The Content Looks Like It Was Designed on Microsoft Word
Alright, I may be a content designer but I’ll admit that looks aren’t everything. However, if your feed looks like it was photographed with an iPhone 4 and the graphics look like something made from Microsoft paint then Houston, we have a problem. You don’t need all the bells and whistles but do upgrade that old phone to any new smartphone now that’ll come with a great camera. If your budget isn’t ready to hire someone like me, that’s ok, you can use apps like Canva or Over to create templates for better graphics. Looks do matter because there’s millions of posts created every single day. If you want people to stop, you need stronger visuals to help attract people.
Honestly, these things are relatively simple to implement in an environment which fosters experimentation, embraces community building, and has loads of patience. The problem lies with the business owner who is scared to delegate ownership over the social process to someone else who knows what they're doing. Same goes for the marketing agency leader who – instead of educating misinformed clients – gives in to unethical engagement practices (buying followers).
You can either be upset by how the game is or learn how to play it.