Are you a business owner that’s struggling to be found online?
Like many, you’re probably spending hours writing and creating content… all to see that months can go by and stats are all over the place.
You’re not alone in this!
The reality is that over the past 2+ years, the algorithms behind social media have changed every few months. With each change, it’s made it harder and harder for everyone to increase their visibility.
And unless you somehow suddenly go viral, or pour money into advertising, you have to be comfortable with the crawl-speed.
That’s why digital marketing has changed drastically during the past few years. There are many companies that spend barely any time on social media because they’ve figured out how to drum up business without it!
We want you to know the top DO’s and DON’Ts, including some revealing facts you should be aware of…
The DON’Ts of Social Media & Digital Marketing
Between the pandemic causing isolation and forcing us to rely on online relationships, and today’s world reliance on technology, it’s become an unspoken necessity for businesses to be online. Yet the pro of reaching a much bigger audience more often outweighs everyone’s cons on this matter.
This means that every business owner, regardless of their opinion on using social media, knows it’s expected for them to be on it. Business courses often teach entrepreneurs that they have to do it in order to be successful. Yet, Social Media / Digital Marketing consultants will be the first to share that it’s become a misconception that just simply and consistently posting on social media should = growth + new customers.
There may have been a time when this was true, but it’s no longer the case.
This caused many entrepreneurs to blame themselves, when in truth, they just didn’t know all the facts. More often than not, a lot of one’s followers like what they’re sharing but may not be interested in spending money with them. This means having to create a whole marketing plan based on converting them. Meanwhile, there are other ways to reach your prospective customers.
In order to succeed on social media, you need to have a long term single-focus marketing plan and paid advertising in place; and even then, it can still take time to gain traction.
Now this is not to say that you shouldn’t use social media… Instead, it’s a precaution that you shouldn’t rely on social media to try and grow your business.
In fact, there are many successful entrepreneurs that now use social media as a purely socializing platform because they get their leads elsewhere.
How they do it will be a lot of the DO’s that we’ll share with you!
Did you know that in order for your posts to be seen by more people, at least 4% of your followers need to have Liked it? It seems like a small number that should be easy to hit, but that depends on your total number of followers.
That stat is an estimate based on figures that continue to change along with the algorithms, but it’s at least an approximation to be aware of.
But here’s the tricky part: Most systems are already programmed to primarily show your posts to people that have interacted with your previous posts. So if you’re already wondering why your follower count is a certain number, but your post visibility and Likes are lower.. now you know why.
This is why it’s also not a good idea to use your personal accounts for your business. For example: If your family makes up the primary group of people that are Liking your posts, then the system is going to target your future posts to them and others that share a similar profile/demographic. This might not help you to reach potential customers at all.
So if, through no fault of your own, your posts aren’t getting Liked by many, then it’s more than likely that it’s not even being seen by the total number of followers you have.
Where this differs is when you pay to advertise your posts.
The bottom line is to note that you could produce great content and have all the best intentions, but what happens isn’t something that’s in your control. So don’t blame yourself and try not to be emotionally attached to these stats.
As the algorithms have changed, more companies have emerged with the pure purpose of providing services that are essentially “follower buying”.
It’s more common than you think… we know of local entrepreneurs who receive unsolicited emails at least once a month; from companies offering an entry-level pricing for social media rapid-growth. But when they look into the service, they see it’s literally a way of cheating the system to gain followers.
How it works is by having someone – who logs in as you / your company – messaging other social media users to drum up a conversation. They’ll follow that person, direct message them, interact with their posts.. and once they see that person is now fully engaged with your account, they’ll stop all interactions and unfollow them.
So if someone has ever done this to you, and it left you scratching your head on why a new “friend” suddenly ghosted you… well, now you know!
Another tactic involves buying clusters of fake users as followers. They get added over the course of days-weeks to not arouse suspicion. They also escape security measures intended to catch fake accounts because someone physically creates these accounts and logs in. But all these accounts are good for is to add a number to your follower count, and Like/Comment on your posts.
You could use one of these companies if you’re hung up on the numbers, but know this: This in no way guarantees that you’ll get paying customers.. only a higher number of followers. While this does result in visibility being boosted in the long run, it’s also a roundabout way of doing something that could actually get you banned from social media if it’s ever caught. The very fact that these methods exist is why some people started having second thoughts about how social media is used for business.
The DOs of Social Media & Digital Marketing
We went through a lot of mind-blowing information, but that was just to get it out of the way. It’s surprising what you can find out once you need to understand how to use social media for business purposes… which is exactly how we came into all this information ourselves!
Depending on which channels you’re using, the demographic is different. With more and more people deactivating their accounts, and more options and initiatives targeting younger generations, it’s only realistic to note that your ideal clients aren’t all going to be on social media. You need to give this serious consideration for where you’ll connect with potential leads.
This is why most Digital Marketing experts consider social media to only be one slice of the pie in online marketing strategy.
Yes, it’s good to be active and communicate with your client base.
Yes, you can use paid advertising on social media to increase visibility.
But in the beginning, it’s important to hold onto the very thought that it could be a trial and error process. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. You learn and you grow, just like your business does!
Just keep this in the back of your mind even if it’s only to defend against disappointment. It’s easier to approach social media as less of a chore, and more of a fun building-block journey.
One reason many people stay off social media altogether – or have removed themselves in recent years – is due to the fact that it tracks everything you do. They know what you search for online, what you buy online, and your engagement (what content you look at, Like, Comment on, etc). You don’t even need to do it all within the social media platform; that’s what part of their app permissions are for. If you access a certain social media account on a certain device, it can look at everything you use the device to do.
They then use this information to decide what profile and interests you fall under for advertising.
As invasive as it can be (depending on your opinion), it works because it’s a surefire data bank for everyone to use.
So, as a business owner, you can use this to your advantage! But before paying for advertising, know exactly who you are trying to reach. You want to get as specific as possible to make sure the money doesn’t go to waste.
And by this, we mean specifying everything down to the relevant age, gender, location, and interests. So that if you’re trying to promote a Canadian-made hand-woven rug with a cat on it (for example), you can target Canadian cat owners or cat lovers that like handmade items, and look at or buy home decor. Being as specific about their profile as possible is honestly the only way to guarantee you’ll get any results out of your advertising.
But let’s also not forget those people that aren’t on social media, or aren’t using the same platforms you use. How are you going to reach them? (We’ll talk additional strategy next!)
Consideration to who you might be missing on social media is a big reason why that avenue shouldn’t be your only focus. Businesses that grow without social media spend more time on networking, promoting “word of mouth” advertising, and SEO.
If you’re still in the beginning stage, consider the other portion to Digital Marketing strategy – of which online content is a huge component!
For starters: Know that blogging is something that continues to remain strong. We may have moved on from the years of “online journals”, but blog posts are how most businesses get discovered these days.
Think about it for a second. How many times have you Googled a question, or a recipe, and ended up reading someones blog post? That’s the additional content you want to have available for people to discover you!
But if your business doesn’t have a lot of free advice you can offer, the other option is SEO campaigns. Part of Search Engine Optimization focuses on reworking your website’s written content to include those keyphrases that people are typing into Google (or other search engines). Along with backend website improvements, you can work your way up in positions within search results to be one of the top listings for your keywords.
In fact, one of our own customers came to us for SEO Campaign work because they spent a large amount of money on Google Ads, but couldn’t fill up the spaces on a service they were trying to promote. We started the SEO work, they stopped the ads, and they ended up being at full capacity and had to create a waiting list!
All that, without paying for additional advertising and promoting it on social media. Let that thought simmer when you’re considering what to do for your next marketing initiative.
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