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Why your small business social media marketing might be failing

For many small companies, using social media is the primary method of marketing their business and gaining customers. But what happens if your social media posts are not driving any engagement, or attracting followers?

For small and new companies this can be a frustrating position, not to mention it can be crippling in terms of generating revenue and selling products or services. Posting to accounts only to get zero results can leave business owners scratching their heads and wondering what they are doing wrong.

Here are some of the reasons that your social media marketing might be failing.

Bland or repetitive posts

It can be tempting to stick with what is working well, so if you have had success in the past with a certain post or topic it can seem like an easy win to repeat it. However, while there is something to be said for squeezing extra ‘mileage’ out of your posts, you could be risking boring your audience. Posting the same content over and over again will not keep your audience interested and engaged. Content will need to be fresh and original to gain new followers or encourage your existing audience to like and comment.

Poor image quality

This is such a big no-no in the world of social media marketing. Businesses can be guilty of snapping a photo on the go that is blurry or low quality and adopting an ‘It will do’ attitude. The truth is – it won’t! Blurred, poor quality images will not encourage anyone to stop and read your posts. In fact, you will almost be able to feel the breeze as they scroll on by! It’s better to not post anything than post a bad photo, and using sloppy pictures can actually reflect badly on your brand. When attaching images to your posts they need to be sharp, clear and colorful to attract the most attention.

Not using hashtags

While hashtags have been around for a number of years there are still people that do not use them on their posts. Not including hashtags means that you could be limiting the reach of your content and missing out on potential customers and new audiences. Think of hashtags as a channel, and each channel can reach an audience segment that may be interested in your products or services. For example, if you sell fishing gear then you may use hashtags that position your posts in front of specific people like #carpfishermen, #younganglers, or #femaleanglers.

Inconsistent posting schedule

People are creatures of habit and while it may not be necessary to post to your social channels every day or multiple times a day, you may still benefit from a bit of consistency. Try and keep to a set schedule by using a posting calendar and scheduling your posts in advance. This can help you maintain a presence on your media channels and keep your brand high in the minds of your customers. Posting sporadically and going for long periods without posting at all can leave your audience wondering if your company is still in business. Posting can be as little as once a week or several times a day depending on what you have time for, but determine your optimum schedule and stick to it.

No engagement with followers

Your customers and potential users will appreciate being heard, so make sure you are monitoring accounts regularly and responding to questions or comments. As a marketing strategy, this can be a powerful tool for new startups and businesses that are just getting off the ground. Some well-known businesses have built a huge following of dedicated customers by having an active and engaged founder or owner that responds quickly to comments on their social channels. Being available on your social channels can build brand loyalty among your followers.

Inappropriate posts

Even though social media is a way to air and share views, that doesn’t mean that everything you post will be well received. The type of content you post will need to be appropriate for your channels and audience. For businesses, this can mean staying away from emotive or polarizing topics like politics, religion, or the latest world news. Use the wrong content or posts that generate a negative reaction and you might see your followers dropping rapidly. Everything you post will reflect on your brand, so make sure that your content aligns with your company values and goals.

Posting at the wrong time

Similar to using a posting schedule to determine the frequency of your posts, you will also need to target specific times to post. The best time to post can largely depend on your customer base and the type of industry you are in. For companies that have a large number of customers in another country, aligning posting times with the time in that country may work well. For businesses that have the largest number of customers in their own country, certain posting times could work better than others. Posts released during the morning or evening commute may receive more activity, and the lunchtime hours can often be successful. Experiment with different posting times until you find the ones that work best for your business.

Using the wrong channels

There are no set rules when it comes to the social platforms that you should be using, but it’s true that some channels work better for different business types. People in the photography business, or that sell products from an ecommerce store have seen great success from Instagram and people in the financial sector gravitate towards platforms like Twitter. While there is nothing to stop you from posting to all channels, a legal firm may not find the best results from posting to Snapchat and Instagram, instead, using professional social accounts like Linkedin may be better aligned with the business.

Algorithmic restrictions

Finally, it can seem that even though you are doing everything right in terms of content, posting schedules, and everything else, engagement can still be poor. Social media platforms change their algorithms all the time which can limit the reach and exposure of your posts. Check the latest news releases and updates for your social channels to make sure that new algorithm updates are not affecting your posts.

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