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9 Reasons Why Your Social Media Strategy Isn’t Working

Social Media Isn't Working Social media is the hottest way businesses are reaching out to potential customers. When executed correctly, a social media marketing campaign can bring traffic to your website and generate new leads for your sales team. And there are so many options, from Facebook , to Twitter , to LinkedIn , to YouTube, and the list goes on and on. To many, social media can seem like an overwhelming black hole of time with no end in sight. If this feeling sounds familiar to you, here are some reasons why your social media strategy might not be working for your business.

1. Your social channels are overly self-promotional

If you’re only sharing self-promotional content on your social media profiles, people aren’t going to want to follow you. People will want to follow you because they think your updates are interesting. “Interesting” doesn’t just includes your latest product releases or discount offerings. They include breaking industry news, insightful or instructional blog posts, humorous videos, etc. You have the opportunity to create this type of content by having a company blog, and you should also share content that others publish to show that you’re a participant in a bigger community.

2. A Personality Hasn’t Been Developed for your Social Channels

How often do you follow someone on Twitter whose profile avatar doesn’t include an image of a person? I’d bet not often. Social media sites are just that: social! People want to connect with other people, not just brand logos and stuffy corporate updates. But if you create a voice that people can identify with, and even select someone like a CEO or Marketing Director/Specialist/Guru to be the representative of your brand, people will be more likely to pay attention to you. Remember: people want to connect with other people.  

3. A Two-way Conversation with Your Audience isn’t Taking Place

In addition to sharing interesting content, you should also make sure to interact with others in social media. This can include replying or retweeting people on Twitter, commenting on a post someone writes on your Facebook wall, or answering a question in LinkedIn Answers . People want to be heard, and you can make potential customers happy by showing that you’re listening.

4. You’re Using the Wrong Social Media Sites

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Flickr, SlideShare, Vimeo, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Delicious… seems pretty overwhelming, right? The truth is, you don’t need to have a presence on every social media site out there. Focus on the sites that are more relevant to your business. If you’re a tech B2B company, perhaps focus your efforts on LinkedIn, Twitter, and SlideShare. If you’re a consumer B2C company, you may find Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube a better fit. Or try all of them for a couple months, and only continue using the sites that bring in the most traffic/leads. 

5. Your Website Doesn’t Promote Your Social Channels

You can set up your social channels, publish a few updates, and cross your fingers and hope to get found , but you’ll probably get very few followers that way. You website is a great place to start promoting your social channels because visitors to your website are likely already interested in what you have to offer, and would be more inclined to follow your social media presence. The viral nature of these sites will allow their friends to see their interactions with your company, potentially leading to even more followers. 

6. Your Social Media Profiles Don’t Have Enough Fresh Content

Social media doesn’t have to be a time consuming endeavor, but you should make sure that you have fresh content on your site to hold people’s attention. Use HubSpot’s social media monitoring tools or a service like Google Alerts to keep tabs on relevant social media conversations. This way when you’re having your morning coffee, you can scan your feed of conversations and interact with 2-3 posts. This way, even if you didn’t have time to create a new blog post, or post a new video to YouTube, you’ve at least contributed something valuable to your social media profiles for that day. 

7. You’re Outsourcing Your Content Creation to Non-Experts

Many businesses hire agencies to create content for their social media profiles in hopes of freeing up the bandwidth of their own employees. But no matter how much you train your agency, they will never be as much an expert as you are. They don’t have the insight you get just from walking the halls of your office or talking to coworkers. And their brains are probably filled with the dozens of other companies they also have to write content for. Remember; social media doesn’t have to be all that time consuming, and the content you choose to create and share will be more valuable than what they rush to put together. YOU and your employees are the experts, and YOU know what your audience is interested in.

8. You’re Expecting Immediate Results and Therefore Giving Up

Like search engine optimization, social media promotion takes time to yield awesome results. Persistence and remarkable content is key. If you build it, they will come. Just give it time, keep pushing out fresh content, and keep interacting with your audience. Don’t let your social media presence fizzle out because you feel discouraged. 

9. You’re Not Having Fun

If you’re reading this to get tips for your own social media strategy, let me remind you that part of your job involves using sites like Facebook and Twitter every day. Let me rephrase: you’re getting paid to use Facebook. You get to leave the walls of your cubicle (in a figurative sense) and interact with real people out there, many of which have a problem that your product or service can solve. Experiment with new content , find interesting people in your industry to follow, and watch as your fan base grows. Have fun with it!

What do you think is the #10 reasons that people’s social media strategies often fail? Let me know in the comments below!

Diana Urban  is a User Experience Manager at HubSpot. You can follow her on Twitter  @dianaurban .