Why your business should NOT be on social media

With over 15 million active social media users in South Africa and almost 3 billion globally - spending 2 hours per day on average scrolling their social feeds - it’s no question whether or not social media platforms are some of the most beneficial for businesses to reach their target market. In addition to being highly effective, they’re also inexpensive and sometimes virtually free (depending on your objectives), in comparison to the costs of other forms of marketing. You’re probably wondering now if the title of this article is a typo? Nope, not a typo… there are in fact several reasons for this seemingly insane headline.

1. You haven’t done the research Social media accounts are time consuming – in terms of initial development and maintenance. Investing valuable time and resources into accounts that are not ideal for reaching your target audience is futile, when you could be focusing on ones that are. It’s not essential to be present on every single social media channel, so researching which are the most effective in your industry is key in selecting the correct platforms for your business. Choose quality over quantity. 2. You have a social media page “because everyone else has one” This reason doesn’t define your unique objectives and reason for creating a specific social media page. If you don’t know what you want to achieve, how will you develop a strategy, know what content to publish and which call-to-actions you want to drive? 3. The person responsible for managing the page doesn’t have the expertise Because virtually everyone in modern society uses social media, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we are all social media management specialists (if that were the case, successful digital marketing agencies wouldn’t exist). There are specific technical, creative and tactical skills required for a business page to grow a following, create engaging content, drive conversions, monitor insights and develop successful advertising campaigns. If you don’t have the capacity or skillset internally, outsource this function to someone who does – the results will be worth the small monthly investment. 4. You don’t do conversation plans or calendars It seems like a colossal waste of time to spend hours each month drafting a plan of what you will be posting and when (date, text, image, hashtags, links, etc.), however this is the single most important aspect of managing a social media page effectively. I can spot pages that are not professionally managed within seconds – how? What’s the difference? I really want to stress the importance of this point, so here’s how I know that a page’s posts are not strategically planned:

  • The last post was 3 months ago: Because there wasn’t a plan, posting to social media takes a backseat to other urgent day-to-day deadlines when you still have to think of what to post and create the content. If you have a plan in place, publishing is a simple and quick task (copy, paste, upload, post)

  • Irregular and inconsistent posts: You want to drive engagement, shares, traffic and ultimately, top-of-mind awareness by publishing regularly and more importantly, consistently. If your strategy is one post per day, then ensure that the flow remains consistent (disclaimer: there is a fine line between posting regularly and spamming. There is no exact rule for how frequently you should post and each platform varies. We will explore this in a separate future article)

  • The page has a small following: The majority of the content is generic, stale or similar and unappealing (0 likes, 0 shares, 0 clicks, 0 comments) to entice new followers to the page and engage your existing community. You want to develop fresh, interesting content to keep your audience captivated. Having a conversation plan gives you a complete overview of what you’re posting for the month and why. Also watch out for excessive repetition or missing content such as a product launch or important event

  • The majority of posts are internally focused: A general rule of thumb is to create 70% industry related news and interesting content, and 30% internal content (company news, products, etc.). Followers like staying informed of the latest news and trends, but it’s also important to share company news to build trust. A conversation plan will help you maintain the appropriate ratio for your industry

  • Spelling and grammar errors: Typing a quick one-liner and hashtag on the run is not the best idea, as typo’s and autocorrects with minds of their own happen – it’s a reality that we’ve all witnessed at some point. Besides feeling embarrassed, this could potentially affect your professional reputation on very public platforms. A conversation plan allows you to take your time to proofread your posts to avoid these awkward situations

5. You don’t respond or interact Managing a social media page well doesn’t end with uploading content – it’s vital to respond to your followers who are trying to interact with you. Even the smallest gesture, such as liking all comments, goes a long way in giving your followers confidence that you are present and acknowledge their interaction. Make sure that you access your pages at least twice per day (sometimes hourly if you have a large and active community) and respond to any questions or comments as soon as possible. Did you find this article useful? Follow our social media pages and share with your networks.

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