In the past, social media was seen as a 'get out of jail' card for managers who remain adverse to spending money on marketing.
I mean, what could be better than free advertising on Facebook?
Hard Truth #1: Creating social media content takes a lot of time
The reality is that to really succeed at social media marketing, you need time. More than the oft-quoted 10 minutes a day.
For example, Facebook posts need to be a little bit quirky, high-end visually compelling and promote conversation where possible. Instagram needs to be even more visually engaging while LinkedIn needs critical writing skills to position you as an expert.
For Facebook alone, it takes time to find great images and edit them, to construct quirky informational updates, to schedule posts, review analytics and work out what to 'boost', respond to comments and grow your audience.
Hard Truth #2: Authentic posts are critical
Pushing out just ads about the weekly meat raffle is going to bore your 'likes' and 'followers' very quickly.
Ads need to be interpersed with authentic engagement. For example, a photo of staff, members celebrating, a children's activity or other genuine interaction.
Your 'likes' and 'followers' know they are dealing with a living, breathing person. People want to interact with a personality. Create more open dialogue and actively engage.
PS: Your fans probably don't want endless inspirational quotes either; there are already pages that are dedicated to that kind of thing.
Hard Truth #3: Social media is starting to become a financial investment
Since social media networks like Facebook have become public companies, new ways to part you from your money have become more prevalent. This has started with business pages seeing far less 'organic' reach versus 'paid' reach.
Posts often need to be boosted and this requires investment. At present, it is still cheaper to boost a Facebook post than run a print ad in the local paper, but it won't be long until there are levels of paid boosting. Try to get the 'likes' while it's cost effective.
To generate more views on your posts, they need to inspire engagement or meet the required advertising/image rules. That means going back to re-read Hard Truth #1 and Hard Truth #2.
Hard Truth #4: Your target market may not be on Facebook
Basics, like who is your target market? can't be avoided.
Facebook is one social media platform. Your target market may also be on Pinterest, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter, Medium, SnapChat, Tinder, etc., etc.!
Unless you have a social media team that is more than one person, pick the platforms where your target market engages. To do that, you need to know who you are targeting.
Hard Truth #5: Social media balance with other marketing channels
Many of our clients have one person marketing their venue or organsation amongst other duties (such as also being the CEO). When you need to add in traditional marketing channels such as posters, flyers, newspapers, website updates, SMS and billboards, adding a layer of social media makes the task very challenging.
So should you just opt out? Absoultely not! If you are targeting females, then I am sorry to say they're probably NOT reading the local paper. They're reading their FB and Pinterest accounts. Social media use in adults is argued to have increased by an average 84% in the past ten years. You may need to redesign your marketing approach if social media is being squeezed into an already heavy marketing schedule.
These are just 5 Hard Truths of social media. We've spent the recent holiday break reading an incredible amount of social media research so we can use our blog posts more effectively and gain a wider range of readership and engagement. If you'd like to share in our journey and improve your social media engagement, contact us on 1300 76 22 38