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Why social media is failing you

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So what’s the big deal around social media? Like after like, follower after follower, ad spend after ad spend and you’re still unable to see your bottom line shift the way everyone said it should? Don’t worry, you’re not the only business pretending to see the benefits of social media and how it aligns to your goals, and here’s why.

Social media, specifically Facebook, Instagram and Twitter – have infiltrated and disrupted a large portion of the marketing mix, making it easier to connect with audiences in a cheaper, more agile way. There’s no denying the value that it’s offered toward building brand awareness, conversation, market research and sale leads – however, what many businesses fail to realise is that social media is human – and like humans, will only respond if treated like one.

R.E.S.P.E.C.T
The biggest mistake you could make as a business on social, is pushing your own agenda all of the time. Ironically, the beauty of social media has allowed brands to reconnect with their audiences in a more authentic way, in a way that allows brands to enter into close, conversational spaces with individuals.  Social media might be failing you because you’ve failed to respect the platform for what it really is, and more than 42% of social media users are online to connect with friends. Only 29% are there to connect with brands or products.

So how do you make social media align with your business goals, especially when your audience aren’t listening? Here's how:

Social is a long-game
Most businesses assume that social media offers fast-acting relief from marketing fatigue and slowed ROI - but it does not.  Yes, social offers instant and direct access to audiences, but the real value in your contact with them is a long-game and comes down to quality, relevance and relationship. These three content pillars pave the way to trust, reputation and healthy brand recall amongst audiences. Unfortunately, for the impatient, this strategy takes time to settle - but the wait will be well worth it.

Learn to listen better
Again, connection is the energy between two people when they feel seen, heard and valued. Connection begins from listening first. Most brands only skim the surface of what social can do for them, simply because they don't listen well enough. Listening starts by caring deeply enough about what moves your audience at both at an emotional and physical level. You'll find that what moves your audience, will move your bottom line too. 

Change the way you think about metrics
Measuring success on social media is entangled in a variety of metrics, and one of the bigger reasons social is 'failing" you. Social ROI is about more than just sales, it's measured through research and development, customer retention and referrals. Knowing how to plan and implement strategies to measure this kind of growth is key to utilising social in the best way possible.

Most marketers see social as either a customer care channel or an advertising channel. This is wrong. A shift needs to be made in order to fully recognise the power of social for business, and it all starts with understanding why audiences are there. Stop wasting your ad spend on push notifications and product details and rather educate yourself on how to foster healthier, more authentic relationships with customers on social - the rewards will come, in time. 

Written by Tamlyn Wilson, Senior Copywriter at So Interactive