The realities of social media marketing

One of the first things we do for small-business owners during our free initial consultation, even if they don’t end up as our client, is to manage their expectations about social media marketing. Why? Because based on experience, small-business owners think it’s the messiah of marketing.

Just to make it clear: it is not your saviour.

Social media marketing helps your small business join the digital age but it’s not the answer to all your needs. So when we sit with small-business owners, we make sure they know these three top things before we move forward.

It’s not a quick fix

Setting up that Facebook page is a good step forward to joining your competitors on social media. But just because you’re up there now doesn’t mean your sales is going to spike in a week, or a month. Or a couple of months. First off, you won’t be able to build your brand’s following that quickly. Not unless you buy followers — which we do not recommend, like ever. Second, the content of your social media platforms and social media advertising has to resonate with your target audience. This part isn’t something that you can perfect on the first try. It takes time and practice — and a lot of patience. Third, algorithms change a lot so what may work one day may not work the next day. The last Facebook algorithm change had companies and influencers shocked because only a few percentage of their followers end up seeing their posts.

It’s more than just posting memes

Like we mentioned above, your posts won’t immediately resonate with your target audience. There’s so much content out there now it’s going to be hard to join the crowd this late. So your posts need to be more than just memes. In fact, you need a solid social media content strategy so you’re ahead of the game and not just randomly posting things. Include several categories in your content. Things like tips, advice, FAQs, photos, behind the scenes, reviews and UGCs (user-generated content). Also, you need to include memes — because it pays to be updated with the trends. The advertising side of your strategy will be based on what your audience is responding to.

It needs to be part of an overall plan

Social media marketing, although an important part of your marketing strategy, is only one part of it. You can’t expect it to be the miracle worker that’ll save your small business. It needs to tie in with everything else that you’re doing for it to work. The same branding (fonts, colours) and the same voice (casual, formal, funny). Just because you’re using social media marketing doesn’t mean your advertising will go viral. Again, it all comes back to your content and if that content is authentic. Get your advertising content right by seeking the help of a marketing guru before spending your money on social media ads. Getting your message right the first time around will help save you money.

Lastly, remember that social media marketing needs a lot of attention. You need to look at your analytics and customer feedback to really gauge what is working and what’s not. Also, being up-to-date with trends will help your small business as well. You may need to outsource this side of your business if you think you can’t give it the attention and time it requires.

Kristyn Levis, Creative Director, 3C Digital

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