There are times when it may seem like your social media is dying a slow and painful death. There’s zero interaction. Zero creativity. Zero inspiration. Zero anything. It’s like your social media has no reason for existing.
What do you do?
First off, don’t bury it yet. Seeming death can happen with social media. What started as a frenzy of creativity and excitement can easily fizzle into a drudgery of disappointment. The shiny and new has turned into the sad and boring.
Why does it happen? Why does social media go from excitement to ennui? Burnout. Disillusionment. Cluelessness. Misunderstanding. Lack of engagement is a big one.
Regardless of the cause, there is a solution. Follow these steps, and your social media efforts will begin to revive.
1. Keep doing what you’re doing.
By this point, I mean don’t quit.
It’s popular to talk about quitting social media, which is probably why 14,605 people Facebooked this article about quitting Facebook.
Quitting social media may be fine for personal fulfillment, but it’s suicidal for your business.
MarketingProfs discovered that some of the most successful companies are using social media as their primary strategy for lead generation. That success is due, in part, to their thoroughgoing efforts on social media.
Most of the Fortune 500 companies are using Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, and adoption of Instagram and Google+ is on the rise.
Even though a few Americans want to pull the plug on social media, doing so hasn’t gone mainstream. Social media is the number one online activity of Americans. Any self-aware business, therefore, may ditch social media to their severe detriment.
Think about it. You have a marketing channel that customers rarely put down.
Follow the instructions in this article. Just don’t quit.
2. Track your metrics.
When you’re at your lowest social media point, it’s time to put it on life support.
Any good life support system carefully tracks all the vital signs. In the case of social media’s life support, you need to do a little ROI measurement. Get a good understanding of where you’re at, and you’ll probably be able to see things go up.
You can measure your success. It really does pay off.
Most social media platforms like Hootsuite or Buffer provide you with basic metric-tracking features. Pay attention to these numbers, because they will show you how dead your social media is, and, more importantly, how it can come back to life.
Here’s what most marketers are measuring on social media:
Compiling a monthly report on social media is a great starting point. Simply track your results month-over-month. See what’s changed. If anything is working, try it again. If anything isn’t working, drop it.
Knowing your numbers is the first step in getting better.
3. Start listening.
Effective engagement starts with intentional listening. Social media listening is being aware of what is being said about you on social media, and responding appropriately.
Maybe one of the reasons your social media is fizzling out is because you haven’t tuned in. If you’re simply posting and Tweeting into a soundless universe, you’ll get no feedback, and therefore be ineffective.
We often throw around words like “engage” and “interact” in the context of social media. But these terms imply a two-way process. There’s a back-and-forth that needs to go on — listening to what fans and followers are saying.
Social listening has a host of benefits. You can build your brand loyalty, increase engagement, improve your voice, handle complaints, gain valuable knowledge, and become more interesting.
One of the biggest benefits of social listening is engagement. Remember, I mentioned at the beginning of this article that one of the biggest reasons for social media death is lack of engagement. It logically follows that most social media users want to improve their engagement. The statistics back this up.
Image from MarketingCharts.com.
In order to improve engagement, you’ve got to listen.
To start listening, create a dashboard using the right tools. Then, use your tools. Keep your ear to the ground.
4. Start a campaign.
There’s a mistake that I’ve noticed among many companies who try to “do social media” and fail. In their mind, “doing social media” is the same thing as posting three times daily on Twitter, twice on Facebook, and once on Google+, and use images.
Huh? That’s posting on social media. And that’s good. But that’s not the same as doing social media, at least not strategically. To amp up the effort in your social media, start a campaign.
I suggest you run a contest or a sweepstakes. Yes, it’s going to cost money. And, yes, you will have to work hard at it. But you will get results.
Every campaign, contest, sweepstakes, or general push needs to have an overall objective. What’s your goal? “Revive” isn’t a goal, though it’s an ideal benefit. Here are some examples of specific goals:
- Raise interaction levels on Twitter by 100%
- Increase Facebook likes to 3,000.
- Raise newsletter subscribers by 150%.
- Grow to 1,000 followers on Google+.
Once you have goals like these, you’re ready to design a campaign. At this point, you may want to work with a social media campaign service like WooBox or Marketo to manage signups, track metrics, and distribute prizes.
Here’s an example of Dave Lackie promoting a “Thank You Followers” Context. He offers sweepstakes entries for a follow and RT:
Amazon runs a lot of contests and sweepstakes. Here’s their entry page for a chance to win a $500 gift card.
Some campaigns allow you to simply RT and follow to win, like the one below from HairDazzle. This is a great way to gain a fresh influx of followers.
5. Connect your social media efforts to your business goals.
Social media needs to be connected to your overall business objectives. It kills me when I see companies engaging in social media as if it’s a tacked-on effort, totally separate from the rest of the company’s marketing goals.
Think for just a minute about your marketing goals. What are you trying to accomplish? Here are some ideas.
- To become a more trusted brand.
- To gain a 95% customer rating score.
- To increase trial downloads to 4,000/month.
- To gain a % conversion rate on 90% of landing pages.
Now, think about how social media can help to advance your goals. Here are how many social media users are advancing business objectives via social media.
If you mentally tracked with me during the past two minutes, you connected your social media efforts to your business goals. Congratulations. That little mental exercise could very well become a turning point in your social media endeavors.
I’m not being facetious or facile. I’m making a case for a simple business strategy: Connect the dots. Connect A to B, and you gain success. When you can view your social media efforts as a component of your marketing efforts as a whole, you become capable of engaging in a much stronger way.
When that happens, I know that the company is headed towards social media disillusionment. Social media isn’t an isolated endeavor, but rather a core marketing strategy. In order for it to be successful and not fizzle out, it must be viewed as one of the company’s primary marketing objectives.
Take a look at this social media strategy funnel. Everything starts at the top, with a company’s mission and goals. Then, it’s transmitted tactically through social media.
Social media is a strategy, a good one. But it’s only effective if it’s tied into the rest of the company’s objectives.
6. Get good at one platform, not every platform.
If you try to be awesome at everything, you’ll just be mediocre at a few things. I encourage every company to get awesome at social media, but not every platform at the same time.
Launching social media is a little bit like diving into the deep end. You might very well flounder and sink. Social media is vast, complicated, and unwieldy. If you jump into all the platforms at the same time, things will invariably get out of control.
Instead of doing all the social media platforms, pick one. Stick to it. Own it. Dominate it. Kill it.
Here are the benefits of focusing in on one social media platform:
- You learn all its nuances and power tactics.
- You get really good at it.
- You can easily track your success metrics.
- You gain confidence in your ability to use it effectively.
- You can more effectively listen to channel.
- You gain traction for engaging on other social media platforms.
There’s a snowball effect that happens, too. You gain five followers, then ten, then twenty, and then the trickle turns into a torrent of interaction, activity, and self-sustaining momentum.
Once you’re able to get good at one thing, go ahead and start into the others.
Conclusion: Expect results.
You know what’s really awesome? When you expect results and then get them.
Michael Jordan said, “You must expect great things of yourself before you can do them.” It’s true. The great thing about expecting results is that it increases your likelihood of success.
Instead of throwing in the towel on social media, kick it into high gear and expect great things to happen. They will.
Have you ever had a dying social media presence? What did you do?