If your social media marketing efforts just aren’t showing any signs of better reach, click-throughs, or growth, it might not be what you’re doing but how social media operates and the way its various channels deliver ads and posts.
Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter have their own bottom lines. No matter what you’re spending in ads or to boost your posts, if a social network’s community begins dwindling because the social experience is no longer enjoyable, then there’s a real problem (and no one to market your business to). For that reason, the majority of social media channels are very protective of what their followers see in their feeds. And with millions of advertisers competing for space, that’s a lot of ads vying for space, let alone posts from friends and celebrities, news, and relevant fan pages. Think about it: If Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or any other social media site showed you every available advertisement you fit the demographic for (more on that later), PLUS your friends’ post and other relevant content, it could take you several hours to sort through content posted just within the last 5-10 minutes…and most of the posts would be ads. Therefore, social networking sites have to use some pretty tough filters to make sure that the ads their followers are seeing are 1) minimal and 2) helpful or relevant to their lives. If you’re posting about one sale or product after another with no real or genuine content, your posts have little chance of being seen. You can pay to boost them or run an ad, but your reach will likely never approach that of even email marketing, let alone direct mail.
If you’re targeting ads based on interests (versus email lists, people who’ve already clicked on your website, etc.), don’t assume that the users connected to the keywords you’re using actually have those interests. For example, Facebook assigns its users a list of ad preferences with the goal of showing ads that feel most relevant or useful to each user. These preferences are based on both individual user profiles and what Facebook refers to as “actions you take on Facebook and websites and apps you use off Facebook.” So what’s the problem? Well, in this case, we think you should take a look for yourself. If you have a personal Facebook, we encourage you to visit your settings and click on ads → ads based on my preferences → Visit Ad Preferences. From here, you’ll be shown various categories and the interests Facebook has assigned to you within them. While you’ll probably see some pretty relevant matches, you’ll likely also see interests based on searches or purchases from several years back that no longer interest you and even some so-called interests that you haven’t the faintest notion of how they landed on your interest page.
Now that you can see for yourself that these interests aren’t exactly accurate, imagine the number of people you’re paying to see your ad who may have zero interest in your company or the services you provide. Moreover, imagine the number of people who may have interest but for whatever reason, the interest-based metrics haven’t captured this on their social media profiles. While we’re certainly not suggesting that you dodge social media advertising altogether, unless you’re targeting audiences already connected to you, your promotions could be somewhat of a crapshoot.
Even assuming you’ve targeted the right audience, the images, copy, and calls to action you’re using may not be captivating enough to capture the interest and clicks you’re after. While networking sites like Twitter encourage you to be direct and terse by limiting the number of characters you can use in tweets and Twitter Ads, unless you’re savvy with words, these limitations could pose a real problem, forcing you into posts and ads that are grossly ineffective. Unless you learn the fine balance of 1) choosing the most important or interesting component to your product or service and 2) conveying this component in a concise, yet interest-provoking way, your ad may be “seen” but only because users are scrolling past it to get to the next post in their feed. If you think about it, social media marketing leaves little room for error and even less in terms of the size of your ad and number of words you can use. If you do get some click-throughs, your landing page will need to be even more captivating in order to sustain interest and follow-through.
Some marketing professionals might argue that exposure is equally important, if not more so, than achieving those click-throughs. Get “seen” enough times, they argue, and people will remember your business when your services or products are needed. This is a highly ideal notion. If they do remember seeing your post or ad, you’d better hope they can either recall your name or recognize it in a local search. Strategies like storytelling, videos, relevant images, and even the colors you use can dramatically affect the likelihood of prospects recalling your business.
Whether it’s what you’re doing, the nature of social media, or what probably adds up to a combination of both, you can’t rely on social media as the primary platform for your marketing efforts. Instead, think of social media as an accessory that compliments your main marketing vehicle. Your principal marketing strategy should be one that gets immediately seen by all of your recipients with a wow factor that establishes your business as a leading, caring expert. Printed newsletters are an indispensable main marketing tool for a variety of reasons:
You’ve tried everything else. It’s time for something different and unique in a guaranteed delivery format that people love. Call us at 800-338-4329 to get started.