At this stage it still amazes me how many companies (particularly and specifically in the UK & Ireland) are using social media for their business… in completely the wrong way. This is most true for their Facebook profiles, where they are seriously missing the available features at their disposal.

How to Succeed at social media for businessIt seems like businesses just don’t care. They are making basic mistakes, day in day out and are either proclaiming themselves to be ‘specialists’ or at least ‘knowledgeable’ in social media. Either that or they’re moaning about how social media ‘doesn’t work for us’ or complaining about how ‘that twat Zuckerburg’ has made billions and somehow using that as a reason not to use social media for the marketing of their own business.

Of course, in terms of its usefulness for business, these claims of social media’s inadequacy couldn’t be further from the truth. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of businesses worldwide are using social media to successfully achieve their individual goals. Indeed, we’ve attracted some of our best clients using social media… clients located all over the world whom we would never have been able to attract without social media.

I don’t want to throw a cat amongst the pigeons by saying that social media is difficult, but too many business are making the mistake of thinking that any idiot can use it successfully. The truth is that, as with any form of marketing, or anything in life, you will reap more benefits if you are smart about your approach. Not just any idiot can make social media work for their business. Infact, there are a lot of ‘idiots’ out there right now, doing it completely wrong and thinking they’re doing it right. Which is very dangerous indeed for their marketing. Hopefully this guide captures some of the key elements that are making 90-95% of businesses FAIL at social media. It’s not that they can’t do it, it’s not even that their type of business doesn’t ‘work’ with social media. It’s simply that they need to make a few fundamental tweaks to their system; amendments that can have immediate effect and that will (with no more effort than you’re currently putting in) transform the success of their social media marketing campaign.

Ok, let’s get started, these are the reasons you’re probably failing at social media marketing:


1. Wrong Profile (Facebook)

If you use an ‘Add as Friend’ profile for your business, you need to change this immediately. I cannot believe how many companies continue to make this mistake after all this time. Firstly, as a ‘follower’ I don’t want you seeing all my personal stuff; that’s for my real friends and family, not you. So for that reason alone I’m not going to request to be your friend. If, however you have a Page that I can ‘Like’ and still get updates on what you’re doing (which doesn’t infringe on my privacy), sure I’ll be happy to do that.

Next, you’re missing all the features that are available to you (specifically tailored for businesses) when you don’t use a ‘Page’ profile. Lastly, if an employee has established an Add as Friend profile for you (even if you have the logins), what happens if that employee leaves (or dies)? It only allows one person at a time logged in to control the entire business Facebook page. What if that employee leaves under bad terms… They can simply delete the business profile on you (thereby deleting your entire ‘friends’ list in the process) – if you’ve worked at building up 1000, 2000, 5000 friends, that’s going to be particularly painful for you. With a Page profile you can have a number of ‘admins’ that can each control the page. If one of them leaves the team, no problem, they simply get removed from the Admin list and the page continues on – you can’t lose out.

The good news is that you can migrate your ‘Add as Friend’ profile thanks to a great recent Facebook feature. Go here to do that.

You’ll see this info from the horses’ (Facebooks’) mouth itself. Pages are specifically suited for companies. Personal profiles are for personal stuff! Duh! Crazy logic.

There are a whole host of benefits to a Page – statistics, tailoring options for internal pages & tabs, added functionality, ad campaigns etc. My question is this; what have you been doing all this time with a personal profile??


2. Keeping Things Too Basic (Facebook)

So you’ve got a business page now. And it looks exactly the same as your old personal profile. Get with the program. You have a business page so you can take advantage of all the added functionality. You should be utilising every tool at your disposal to make your page stand out from those of your competitors. By using a page you can collect visitor information (e.g. build your marketing lists) or impress them with high impact visuals of your work. You can hit them straight away with a beautifully tailored landing page and link to your other social media platforms like Twitter. The options are incredible and if you’re not doing any of these things your page will never be the success it should be.


3. No Strategy (All Platforms)

The importance of strategic social mediaSo you have a page with a nicely designed profile image and maybe a landing page to greet new visitors. Now, what’s the point of all this? If you don’t have a goal, you can’t be a success at this, it’s the same as anything in life. Is your objectives brand awareness? Customer Loyalty? Email list-building? Define your objectives, narrow your goals and decide how you’re going to achieve those. Then implement your strategy and monitor your progress using appropriate methods. Again, this is marketing 101 but nearly everybody ignores these concepts. If you need help or advice go to our free coaching email form here¬†.


4. No Website/Poor Website (General)

Bad, generic websites – Ain’t a Good idea

Regardless of your objectives for the use of social media, somewhere in there you should be looking to drive traffic to your website (where all your ‘big’ content is) so that you can educate potential customers on what it is that you do. A lot of people make the mistake of either using their social media accounts instead of a website (because they’re free) or else they have a terrible website which will impress no one who visits. If this describes your company, you can be guaranteed you’re committing commercial suicide. Firstly, make sure you have an impressively designed, logical website and secondly ensure that you have a stats pack and relevant SEO protocols so that you can improve it and measure it in the future.


5. Not Posting Enough Content or Posting Poor Quality

You have your Twitter, Facebook, Linked In, Gowalla, Stumble accounts set up. So what is going to interest people in ‘following’ you? Content is key. If you have a Twitter account and haven’t posted in a while (e.g. 5-6 weeks), you might as well delete it. That or drastically change your behaviours. If you have ¬†Facebook page and haven’t posted in over 8-12 weeks, same. How do you expect others to be interested in your pages if you’re quite clearly not interested yourself?

As a guideline you should be posting every day or two on Facebook or 1-5+ times per day on Twitter. Sure, you won’t always hit these targets but consistency is what’s important over time. So if you miss posting on Facebook because you’re on holiday, no ones going to shoot you. Just don’t let it happen regularly or consistently.

Make sure your content isn’t just about your company though; that’s the quickest way to turn off followers as it shows you’re just all about the ‘sell, sell, sell’. Post fun videos, links, blogs and comments and scatter content amongst that about you/your company/your latest offers etc. A ratio of 4:1 is ok I would think.

I find a lot of clients struggle to find things to post. Most often they’re not thinking outside the box. Use resources like other company blogs, Youtube, news sites etc. Subscribe to these on Facebook & Twitter so you can filter down content into items that your readers may also be interested in.


6. Not Making People Aware of It – Don’t be Lazy

Laziness is Not to be Excused

Ignorance is bliss. Well ignorance isn’t going to bring traffic to your social media profiles so don’t be lazy about it. Make sure you are letting people know that you’re on Twitter, Facebook etc. Put the links on your website, your other social media pages, your flyers, brochures, business cards. And tell people you meet that they should visit and ‘follow’.


Next, as I’ve said before, the vast majority of companies are ignorant when it comes to using social media for their business, they are just as confused as you, and yet they don’t think about it in a logical way because of this. Use this against your competitors and elevate your marketing and your thinking – if you are one step ahead of them that can never be a bad thing, right?


7. Not Giving People a Reason to Visit or Follow – Incentivise!

Why should anyone come to your Facebook page, follow you on Twitter or connect on Linked In? You are possibly not incentivising potential followers to follow you at all at present. If that is true, try to think up something that will be of value to your followers that you can offer in exchange for a ‘Like’. I’m not going to give you the golden ticket and tell you exactly how to do this, but people in general need to think more about how their business pages are set up and put themselves in their (potential) followers shoes.

Also how are you prompting people to click that ‘Like’ button on Facebook? Are you doing anything to elicit this response from visitors? A lot of companies simply aren’t helping their following by making people aware that it’s there or by prompting them to follow.


So there you have it. Seven of the BIG reasons why your business is probably failing at social media. If all seven of these factors describe you or your company practices, I guarantee you that you need help and will sadly fail in your objectives (if you even have any). So be smart, identify objectives, plan ahead, implement and measure. Then adapt. Simple, right??



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