3 Signs Your Social Strategy Needs Help — and the Solutions

Originally published on Entrepreneur.com on February 25, 2016 By Ann Handley
This story first appeared in the March issue of Entrepreneur.
3 Signs Your Social Strategy Needs Help -- and the Solutions
Image Credit: Facebook/Enhanced by Entrepreneur
In marketing, you can be too social. Or not social enough. Or social where it doesn’t count — the digital equivalent of showing up at the wrong party. How to know if this applies to you? Here, three signs that you need to fix your strategy — and where you need to double down.
Warning #1: You aren’t seeing any business results.
Solution: “Results” can mean so many things — increasing brand awareness, building authority in your industry, boosting sales or conversions, giving your brand personality, servicing customers or something totally different. There’s no way your social media presence will accomplish all those things at once, so focus on just one or two goals to start. Figure out what your top priority is, and then think about using social media more strategically to accomplish that goal.
Warning #2: You feel like you’re shouting into the ether.
Solution: You may not be using the appropriate social networks. If you’re a company with largely rural customers, for example, what are you doing on Twitter? According to the Pew Research Center, that platform is far more popular with urbanites. There’s no rule that you have to be on every platform, so pick the ones that match your audience. One way to figure that out: Check your website’s Google Analytics to see which networks are most robustly referring traffic. That’s where your audience is. Now go meet them there.
Warning #3: Your followers rarely like, share or comment.
Solution: Are you being too self-promotional? Take a look at MailChimp’s social media. The company sells email services, but its content focuses on making email suck a little less for us all. (Recent tweet: “Our content calendar makes us really happy. Here’s why you should use one,” and a link to read more.) Saddleback Bags sells leather goods, but its social content frequently focuses on the adventurous lives of people who use them. What both have in common: Rather than being self-promotional, they’re creating value for their audience. Think about the ways your products or services can help people and the larger context in which your company operates. That’s what your customers want from you — and if you deliver, they’ll like it (and share and comment).