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4 Reasons Why Your Social Media Marketing Isn’t Working

Michelle Dale - Friday, August 24, 2012

Social media is something that you’ll either love or hate. I’m not talking about the chatting with a friend over a virtual coffee here, I’m talking about the kind of social media that’s going to win you clients, improve your reach and help you to earn a living.

Starting out in social media can be a pain, because what nobody tells you is the whole story of what you need to do. For example, you’ll read a great post on the benefits of blogging, so you start a blog, and then you post , and post and post…. Maybe you’ll Tweet your posts and stick them up on FB, share them on LinkedIn, but nothing comes of it – why? Because that blog alone with a few tweets and likes won’t do squat. So whilst you think you might be ‘doing it right’ you are in fact only doing a fraction of what needs to be done, ending up in a result which is less than desirable, to say the least.

Social media marketing needs to be a combination of things, and there are a few essential rules that need to be followed in order for it to work. If you are social media marketing, but you’re not seeing the results from it that you would like to – then here are the “top 4 reasons” why you’re not.

1 – You’re Inconsistent.

Don’t expect to do something once, twice or even 50 times and see results, let’s go with a 100 times and see where we’re at then. Constancy and patience is key in social media, you need keep going daily, don’t think to yourself, “I’ve done 10 blog posts and submitted them through social media but nothing has happened, this clearly isn’t working.” Do 100 blog posts, 100 Tweets, 100 FB updates, hey let’s up the ante to 500, then we’ll talk. Be consistent, don’t give up, stay active, and don’t get despondent. There is a certain minimum threshold you need to meet before your efforts go organic and you can slow down the pace.

2 – You don’t have a specific goal.

Marketing strategies should be broken down into goals so they are not general. For example, when I am working with a client as a consultant and we’re discussing how we’ll approach their social media, and the client will say to me that they want to sell their eBook and get more people to join their LinkedIn Group – that’s 2 separate goals and therefore requires 2 separate plans targeted and specific to each goal. If you don’t have a goal in mind, then you won’t see the results you’re looking for because it’s all just general stuff, a post here and an update there etc…

Think about the end result, for example, “I want to get clients from my social media marketing efforts” – and then make a plan of action to achieve the outcome. If you’d like an example of a “tried and tested social media marketing plan” that I use in Virtual Miss Friday for obtaining clients, check out my new programme “The VA Shoestring” – you can then use that plan as a guide and a template for formulating other strategies specific to your goals and your clients’ goals too.

3 – You’re not giving enough.

When we think marketing we think ‘promotion’ – when we think about promoting, we naturally assume that we have to continuously promote ourselves, and in actual fact this is not entirely the case (unless you’re somewhat of a celebrity, you have a huge following, you’ve made your mark in the social media world and everything is now organic baby! But if this was you, I doubt you’d be reading this post).

You need to follow the 80/20 rule in social media, 80% promotion should be outside of your own business, and 20% high quality promotion on your own business. So what does this mean? This means you only talk about yourself, your products and services 20% of the time, but when you do, you make it awesome. Then 80% of the time be generous, tweet other people, share their content, start a conversation, particularly with people who can contribute to your end goal from point 2. Why? Because people are much more likely to take notice of you if you share their content, or ask them a question about their business, rather than pushing your content on them all the time. Once you get noticed and you get a reciprocated reaction, the doors will open.

Build a relationship, interact, talk, share – don’t just fire on all cylinders promoting yourself and expect people to follow. The more you give, the more you’ll get in return.

4 – You’re in Social Media overdrive.

There are so many social media systems and sites out there now which could overwhelm you and have a negative effect on your results, simply because you are trying to do too much. So choose a social media system, or small set of systems you love to work in and then make them part of your plan, don’t try and tackle every system out there. If you feel compelled to keep up with everything, then accept that you’ll need to automate some accounts 100% (this is not effective – far from it, but ehhhh at least it’s something). Then make a plan and focus on doing no more than 3 systems and do them really, really well. Then if you find a system isn’t working, change it and focus on something else. For example, the systems I primarily use are Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, I stick with what works for me. If I notice something not working I change, rather than add e.g. Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus (dropping LinkedIn).

This allows for keeping the consistency (Point 1), which is essential, and for having an achievable plan or strategy (Point 2) which is also essential without burning out, or diluting it too much with other things. The golden ‘combination of 3′ rule has always worked for me, using 3 systems to a very high standard instead of 6 half-cocked.

If you have noticed that your social media efforts are not being realised, then take a good look at those 4 points above and see where you can improve and develop the way you do things. If you stick to it, you’ll see the results you desire.



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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.



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