I love social media. Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are robust and effective tools Scientifically Speaking uses to communicate with new clients and market our services. However, I realize the social media doesn’t work for everyone. Large brands lose followers on Twitter because they said something inappropriate. Small companies waste time with ineffective tweets. Some businesses have figured out the secret sauce to build engagement and make their YouTube videos go viral.

There is no magic wand CEOs can wave to produce the marketing pixie dust that wins new clients. That doesn’t stop marketing professionals from wanting a formula or equation they can plug data into and win at social media. Certain actions are, however, a guarantee for failure and a recipe you social media doesn’t work. Here are the top five:

  • No Consistency – Inconsistency is the biggest reason social media doesn’t work for businesses. Businesses post something on a Monday, then share on Friday and Tweet after the office Christmas party. Social media success is built on a calendar. It looks random, but marketing managers put a lot of thought into scheduling. Establish a calendar that details the platforms, content, hashtags daily themes.Your audience will come to expect information on certain days.
  • No Strategy – Most of my clients are already on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They just don’t know what to do once they’ve opened an account. Ask yourself these 3 simple questions:
    • Where are we NOW (which platforms, audience size, posting frequency)?
    • Where are we going (more Likes, increase sales, engagement growth)?
    • How should we get there (platform selection, content)?
    • Did it work (measuring success)?

The social media strategy is a living document. Review it once a year to make sure you progressing. As            with running a marathon or starting a business, to operate efficiently, you are going to need a strategy.

  • No Creativity – Social media should be fun! Oreo cookie’s (Nabisco) tweet during the 2013 Super Bowl when the power went out (You Can Still Dunk Them in the Dark) was perfectly timed. The best posts, tweets, pictures and Snaps are memorable, personal and humorous. Use videos, photos, animals and stop-animation to design a campaign that captures and holds the audience attention. Share you message in a fun way!

Do You Need a Social Media Strategy?

  • No Content – Be honest: Does your content suck? If you post boring sales pitches, people are going to unfollow you. Consider your audience when you are posting. Twitter and Facebook offer analytics that allow you to view the interests of your audience (e.g. – education, technology, politics, etc). There is also information on demographics (age, gender, and location). Post information that relates to current events, and ride the wave of general public interest. The right content is only king to the right audience.
  • No Engagement – 72% of people who complain on Twitter expect a response in 1 hour. Send direct messages. Thank people for the “Like.” Recognize new followers publicly. Some businesses are afraid people a going to say something about them. Here’s a tip: businesses want engagement. When people talk about you, it shows they know you. If a follower comments, say something back. Nordstrom responds within 1 hour when I tweet about how much I love my new shoes. No engagement means your social media doesn’t work.

If your social media doesn’t work, change something and try again. Consider hiring a consultant or trainer to help you understand what’s going on in your industry. Social media coaching is beneficial to businesses, brands and individuals. You might not be the next Chewbacca mask, but you can build relationships and increase sales.

Scientifically Speaking, of course…