Why your social media strategy isn't working

 
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Remember the time you wanted to buy a Gucci handbag from that new boutique in town, but when we got there it looked more like an op shop? There was that stuffed parrot in the front window, a framed poster from Prince’s Jam of the Year 98-99 tour, and a cat that hissed at us when we tried to open the front door?

No? Don’t remember?

That’s because it never happened.

My point is, this is exactly what it would be like if you created a beautiful, shiny social media feed that was pushing traffic towards a website seriously lacking in the same look and feel. You’d be confused right? You certainly wouldn’t trust the brand’s authenticity or the product’s asking price… and you’d probably consider a tetanus shot thanks to being within five feet of that weird cat.

What am I trying to say?

"Your website is your virtual shop front. And your chosen social media channels are just one tactic within a broader marketing strategy developed to push people towards that shop front. So they need to align… beautifully, and with a very clear cut purpose behind them to boot."

When people come to us asking for help with their socials, more often than not we also end up doing their branding, website, PR and broader marketing strategy. Because when we polish up that social media feed, we need to ensure that the brand is cohesive and consistent so that when we’re marketing your products or services, your website or customer service channel can actually convert.

Picture perfect

First things first – without a strong and cohesive brand identity, it makes it incredibly difficult to create consistent social media content. You want your ideal customer to scroll their social feed and come to know not only your product offering, but to recognise the content you share – the second they see it, you want them to know it’s you talking.

Establishing that identity is crucial. Why? Because you’re not going to be selling to them every single post in the feed. In fact, no more than three to five of every nine posts should be product-related. That means up to 50% of the time you need to be creating content that seamlessly links back to your brand, without being salesy. This, friends, is where colour palettes, image style, fonts and tone of voice really begin to pay dividends.

On asking the question: why?

The social media landscape is an interesting one in that it’s often tied in with a bunch of ego (we said it). All too often we look at the rising and falling numbers of followers, engagement and, sadly, a tonne of esteem is attached to it. This is natural, we’re only human after all and we want people to LIKE us – and the same goes for our products and services too. But therein lies the problem. Instead of behaving in a strategic way, people get caught up seeking approval from a vanity measure.

We get it – to an extent, followers and likes matter. But what matters more is brand recognition, increased sales, authentic engagement or achieving whatever objective/metric it is that your business is seeking.

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So instead of asking the question, why don’t I have 10,000 followers already? Ask yourself, why are we doing socials in the first place? What is the most valuable metric we need to measure (read: more often than not, it won’t be your follower count) for our business to track the impact our social efforts are having? What do we want to achieve from this and how can we tie it in with our overarching marketing strategy?

To help you answer that, there are three key things your business needs to have in place before you really hit socials hard. Check it…

Vision

A clear vision is next level vital. You need to be crystal clear on what it is you’re trying to achieve – and having a strategy and business plan seriously helps. Are you seeking brand awareness or sales conversions? Getting clear on that purpose for social media is the very best place to begin, because from there you can build out a plan of attack to reach that goal.

Goals

So let’s just say your purpose is to increase sales, then the goal might be to increase them by 10%. Once you’ve established this, you can begin to work backwards – how many sales does that equate to per month/week? This will help you understand how frequently you need to push your product or service promotion out.

Budget

Yup, it does come back to budget. There’s only so much you can do with your own two hands, so being really clear on what investment you have available for your social media approach is essential. Think about breaking it down like this – what’s your total budget for marketing? And how much of that are you willing to assign to social media?

On going it alone

There are a tonne of people out there willing to give social media a crack on their own. More often than not it’s because they’re managing every. single. thing in their business anyway, so why not add one more thing to the mix? Right? Wrong. Because giving social media 'a crack' on your own and strategic social media marketing are two very, very different things.

That’s why we’re here. We do the social media, digital marketing, branding, PR and content creation thang and we do it well. When we talk about a strategic social media approach, we look at a business’ broader footprint. We zoom out and look at all the elements that are involved, we walk through a typical customer journey and get into their headspace. Then, we use our 10+ years of experience to take your business’ digital footprint to the next level.

"Maybe we’re perfectionists and control freaks, but I like to think we’re strategic and don’t like throwing our clients’ cash in the bin with unhelpful social media tactics."

Remember, too, that social media is multifaceted – you need time or money (and generally both). Content costs: think copywriting, graphic design, image sourcing, photography, scheduling and reporting – if you’re doing these yourself, consider the time you’re taking away from other aspects of your business. And the other very real cost for social media is advertising – which is a whole ‘nother ball game (and blog post). If you’re keen to convert sales, then you’ve got to be in it to win it, i.e.: pay to play (strategically – but the boost button down).

On telling it like it is

We’ll tell it to you straight – investing in social media with a shitty website and no strategic marketing plan is a waste of time. And if you don’t have a website full stop, or an email database to capture your leads, and you’re not quite sure what your business is hoping to achieve with their digital efforts, you’re running a fool’s errand friends. You remember the stuffed parrot story right?

That said, we know this stuff can be overwhelming, especially when you’re doing everything else to keep your ship afloat. So break it down, climb one flight of stairs at a time and slowly things will begin to feel more achievable. Begin with a deep dive Q&A (who are you, what are you, where are you hoping to go), then work through your marketing strategy, with an in-built social plan of attack, and pinpoint areas where you can afford to invest your time or outsource. Only then will your business be in prime position to tackle its overall branding, website and advertising/PR/social tactics.

Still feel like you’re facing a mountain and it’s too much to tackle alone? Give us a call – we move mountains for our clients daily.

 
Tess Mol