7 Reasons Why Small Businesses Are Failing with Social Media
Category : Social Media
Why small businesses are failing with social media
I once had a discussion that questioned the effectiveness of social media for businesses.
It compared the numbers of high paying clients business owners have gained through their social media efforts.
It contrasted the volume of turnover any business may have gained via their social platforms.
But it forgot the bigger question, how effectively is social media been used?
With the sheer amount of abandoned Facebook pages…. Conversely the sheer amount of page invites have received.
I begin to question, do business owners really know what to do I with this platforms, do they have a well grounded social marketing objective that would help to gain the maximum benefit or they are being sold on the hype of only to be disappointed and forsake the course down the road.
Based on my research, the answer is a no.
In this blog I have listed, the top seven reasons why most businesses especially small businesses fail in their social media efforts.
1. – No budget! The first and very obvious reason is small businesses have no budget deliberately set aside for social media.
It’s either they have no budget due to lack of cash flow or they have no idea they should have a budget.
Somehow people subconsciously believe that social media is free. Isn’t it, though.
It’s free to open a Facebook page, a twitter account or own any social account.
It’s free, but it isn’t cheap.
To run a successful social media platform that would drive effective business opportunities for you, it’s going to cost you.
It would cost you time, resources, people and money….
Don’t forget, Facebook now is a play to pay field.
That you have 10000 fans doesn’t mean they all see your page post when you share it. Only a minute fraction of that say 50-100 will ever see your post. And the less they engage with your content, the less your content will be seen by those who see it.
(In this podcast, I shared a story relating to how Facebook fan pages are seen by only a few and of how Barcelona FC got my attention, engagement and the result of that. – An idea you can borrow for your business too.)
2. Use expert advice from big blog sites that cater to a different marketplace and culture.
Where do you get information about how to manage your social media profiles… No need to answer, cause its most likely from top blog sites and news sites or copy what big companies are doing, saying on their own social channels.
The biggest proof of this is the #TBT which stands for Throwback Thursday.
I call them the copy cat post. You don’t need to try to copy or join the crowd in this case.
Because what works for one may not work for another.
Imagine how cat videos go viral in several parts of the world. For that purpose you say to yourself, I want my page to go viral, I would get a cat and begin to post pictures and videos of the cat stay with me. I don’t need to tell you how the reaction of the public would be. Some will question your sanity, others will form the opinion that you have black powers… You know what am talking about.
This just tells you that culture is different and culture changes everything.
3. They don’t get help from those who can provide it – those who make it their lifestyle to understand how social media marketing works and are comfortable enough to earn a living doing it.
I’ve seen this so many times, now it just makes me laugh. When you start off a conversation with those who you can evidently see that they’re struggling online. You quickly get a rehearsed “oh I know that, or my brother is in IT!!!”
Really? That you have a brother in IT doesn’t mean he knows just what to do? Better still, IT is a huge industry. Two people in IT may not be doing same or similar stuff. In IT, you could either be a systems management administrator, or a networking administrator, security systems manager, a web developer, a mobile apps applications developer, a software developer, an online marketer, a computer education or graphics designer…. The list is endless.
When trying to figure out how to effectively use social channels and the Internet to run your business only do one thing. Stop! Stop trying to figure it out.
If you’re an engineer, face engineering, a restauranteur should face creating fantastic recipes and leave the figuring out to the experts.
4. They don’t understand the trends.
As uninspiring as it sounds, we like in a trend-buzz world.
The latest trends in fashion, music, etc… These fickle upturns affects the way we do business. Because it affects what gets the people attention.
When speaking about trends here am not limiting it to the latest viral video on YouTube but more also about major global changes and happening, national events that can turn your business around in that nick of time.
So many business owners are not adept to what goes on in and around them. And even more sluggish in understanding how to use it for the advantage of their organization.
5. Abuse of social platforms.
This point can comfortably sit as number one.
I really don’t know where business owners get the ideas they use in running their channels from. It’s funny cause you’ll find them tagging everyone one and their dog just to get that increase awareness. Even people who have no business being tagged.
Or should we talk about the abuse of the hashtag and mentions. They hashtag or mention popular celebs, or other people with large online following when it doesn’t have a relevancy to their post.
Take for example: here is a post of a solar supplying company.
“It’s not news that 24/7 power supply is not a reality in Nigeria. To save your costs from fuel and have constant power use solar powered bulbs or inverter. #solar #justinBieber #kanyewest #oprahwinfrey @omojuwa, @lagostraffic
I could equally add an lol behind the post. Cause it did nothing but give me a big laugh just reading that.
(Note: the hashtag is the # symbol and the mention is the @ symbol.)
Somebody must have told them that doing that will enable people who follow those celebs or personalities you’re either tagging, mentioning will equally see your post.
What the heck!!!
That they see your post doesn’t mean they know you or will be willing and happy to engage with you. Or straight off the bat purchase from you, instead you would be ridiculing your credibility.
If you need to tag randomly you’re clearly telling the world you need to be heard so desperately you rather spam other people accounts to get attention instead of doing it the right way; committing your time, energy, resources, people, money to build your own audience.
(I share more stories about how someone asked to reshare her page content on my fb wall. The reason I declined and what you need to know about abusing your fb wall. Not all your friends will see your posts. The option to silence notifications exist, instead of unfriending the individual.)
6. A lack of content structure.
What powers social media is content.
A lot of social media accounts exists without consistent content sharing that engages the target audience. Or content is shared haphazardly.
Those strategies wouldn’t give you best results.
Before string up a social media account for business, think through your content strategy.
Start with what needs your target audience have, what challenges are they going through. What pains do you solve. Then you create content around that and don’t stop at creating, distribute and promote.
Let’s bring this into perspective.
Have you seen any of our Nigerian celebs page? They are fond of sharing stories that create empathy and solidarity. Just to boost engagement, they tell stories if how a girl is suffering from complications of her big bust or similar and then pray that those reading it wouldn’t fall into the same fate…. And everyone comments Amen!!!
Typical of Nigerians… We don’t allow an opportunity to echo an amen pass over.
But do sharing contents like this really help the individual or business in the long run?
Why? Because it doesn’t create business value of any kind… And am not just talking sales.
What would have been a more relevant content that would create business value in this case:
Bear in mind that these are celebs who have acted in or produced over 13 movies on the average.
They engage in social/community building services,
They have thought leadership in their areas of strength and expertise.
But do you find any of these consistently in their pages or profiles… To the best of my knowledge the answer still remains no.
7. Last but not least…. Too much focus on the numbers.
The measure of a person’s popularity is by the number of his/her twitter follower… True or false?
No matter the answer you give, that is what it tends to be. The more followers you have, the more influential people count you to be.
I haven’t seen anything far from the truth such as this fallacy.
Before writing this piece, I did a little playing around on social media. Facebook precisely. Kim kardeshian west most precisely…..
Anyway what did I find?
As of the time of writing this Kim has over 600k likes to her page.
But I can tell you that half that number do not care a hoot about Kim, the rest half is divided among haters, trollers and the true fans.
This is evidenced by the comments she receive on her posts.
So many negative sentiments coming from those who are supposedly are fans of Kim.
So, do you want to have 1million social media followers who don’t care a hoot about you or worse are hater just following or you want true 1000 fans.
I would opt for the latter.
Overtime, I see us coming to that realization that 100 real people who like and trust you and engage with you online, not necessarily all positive but if they must criticize they do so constructively is way better than 1 million of naysayers, kill joys, haters, losers, critic, etc….
So the bottom line is, it’s not about the numbers…. It’s more about the value that shifts both ways… From you to your followers and from your followers to you.
Do you find that you fall into any of these categories? Time for a change.
Make your social media efforts better and get better results.