Social media: love it or hate it, it has become part of our lives, both professionally and socially. Even if you aren’t using it, I bet your friends and acquaintances are and they are bugging you to use it as well.
For this article, let’s put aside personal use and look at whether you should stop using social media professionally.
Consistency is king
Your followers and connections are a fickle lot. They will love much of what you post and then Share/Comment/Like/Retweet, right up until the point they forget about you.
Why will they forget? If you aren’t appearing on a regular basis. We all have so many messages chucked at us on a daily basis, including lots more connections and followers on social media, it is easy to forget someone and lose track of what is happening.
If you’re just Shouting
Social media is called social media for a reason. If you want it to work for your business, you need to be sociable. If all you are interested in doing is posting your latest special offer, you are going to be wasting your time. If this is you, you really should stop using social media.
You’re just being negative
If all you do is criticise others, particularly without offering a solution, you’ll quickly get a reputation. Check out some of our MPs to see what I mean. Nobody likes to be criticised, especially if you are just being negative and not suggesting an improvement.
You’re not there at all
Not being there at all is even worse than being inconsistent. This is particularly relevant when you consider the activity of prospective clients or staff. Almost without fail, the first thing someone does when they hear about you is check your online presence. They find your website and then follow that with your social media presence. If your Twitter/LinkedIn/Facebook accounts haven’t done anything for 6 months, what are they going to think?
You’re better off shutting down your account than having one that hasn’t been used for some time.
No traffic being generated
Your social media activity is, presumably, being done to generate new clients. If not, I am wondering why you are spending valuable time on there. The question is: how much website traffic are you getting from your social media activity?
If you don’t know, I refer you to our previous blog about Google Analytics and then recommend you see how much traffic you are getting.
If you aren’t getting any traffic, there are three probable reasons:
- You aren’t saying anything worthwhile (see point two above)
- You forgot to put any links to your site on your profile or in your posts (has been known)
- Nobody who is likely to buy from you uses that social media platform (see next point)
Any of these are bad and you need to identify which one is causing the issues and fix it fast.
If you disagree, I have a challenge for you: nip down to your local bank and try and pay your mortgage with Likes!
Your Target Audience doesn’t use it
Are you using the social media platforms you do because you use them in your personal life and so know what to do (?!?!) or is there another reason?
Have you considered which platforms are the ones your target audience is most likely to be using? Let me give you some examples:
- If you sell to Managing Directors of technology businesses, they are highly unlikely to be on Facebook (at least in a business mood) so activity on there would be a waste of time. Moving to LinkedIn (18,366 in the UK alone, plus another 8,648 CEOs) would be a far better option.
- Launching a new restaurant in St Albans via LinkedIn may not be the best idea (although there are 84,394 people from St Albans on LinkedIn, including 1 food critic). Adding great images of the food and the restaurant on Instagram and/or Facebook may be more effective as people are thinking more about their leisure time
Do any of the above resonate with you? If they do, you need to carefully consider whether you should stop using social media for your business. After all, your time is precious and you need to maximise your use of that time to generate leads for your business in order to grow.
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