So you have successfully launched a small business—congratulations! You’re now an entrepreneur. But perhaps you’ve hit a bump in the road. Despite diligently signing up your business for accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google My Business and Yelp, your followers are not only NOT engaging with your company, its products and services, but your feeds are becoming stagnant. Here are five reasons that might give you a clue as to what you might be doing wrong in the strange world of social media.
1. You don’t understand your brand.
Branding means defining what makes your small business unique. This idea is also about presenting a consistent message and telling your customers who you are and why they should do business with you. This step in the marketing process helps you identify what aspects or characteristics of your business define your business in the minds of consumers and what differentiates it from other small businesses providing the same products or services. If you can’t concisely and powerfully describe your business and what it does in an elevator, how can you be expected to deliver it consistently across social media? Take the time to really delve into what makes your small business unique before get all busy with the hashtags.
2. Your posts are visually unappealing.
They were right after all: a picture is worth a thousand words. If your posts primarily consist of black and white text with no images, memes, infographics or videos, we may have unearthed your main problem right here. Boring posts don’t inspire customers to engage with a small business. Try switching things up by including attractive images that illustrate your products or services or drop in a clever meme that falls in line with your brand’s sense of humor or values every now and again.
3. Your voice is not authentic.
Here’s one of the major problems with social media: it moves fast. People are usually connected with another entity either because they have a personal relationship with that entity (or they just like Taylor Swift). What this means is that if you want to gain a customer’s attention, your content must be deserving of their time and consideration. You have to offer up something authentic that brings values to their life. Promotions, coupons and discounts are one great way to keep customers interested, but valuable content designed from a specific, personal point of view is another way to keep your followers engaged. When a customer feels like they’re getting something good by engaging with your company, they’re far more likely to stick around in the long run.
4. You’re not engaging with your followers.
Maybe the problem is you. As a busy entrepreneur, it’s hard to devote time that could be used to make money to tweet, post, and broadcast every waking minute of the work day. But it’s more important than you think. You have a reputation to uphold and this means constantly responding to customers in a timely manner if they have engaged with you. This is the reason that successful hotel managers respond to every single comment on TripAdvisor.com, no matter how insane the commentary. It’s also the same reason that successful restaurants engage regularly with customers on Yelp. For all around better engagement with your followers, try reaching out to them. Answer questions, ask for feedback, ask follow up questions and consistently express your gratitude for their business and for their consideration. A full-circle conversation not only spreads quality brand awareness but it also helps bring more potential customers to your small business.
5. You don’t include calls to action.
Today’s social media followers are not a passive audience. For the most part, people like to be told what to do, even if they won’t always admit it. Adding calls to action to your social media gives your followers a psychological “push” in the right direction. But keep in mind that this part of marketing is about engagement, not a sales push. If your call to action is viewed as inauthentic or pushy, it could drive customers away.