Why is your social media plan failing?

If you are a smart business owner you probably already know about social media marketing, its benefits and how it can be used to increase your sales. You did your homework, and answered the question "Is social media marketing right for my company" with a convinced yes after weeks of research. You got your metrics in place, and your social media monitoring tools all ready. All was fine, until you found out that people aren't following you, liking your Facebook pages or eagerly running to read your blog posts. What could be wrong with your social media marketing strategy?

Your Streams Sound Like Advertisement

Nobody wants to listen to ads, and if all you do on your social media profile is send marketing messages you are going to lose followers quickly. Using social media for marketing is not about bombarding your network with advertisement after advertisement.

If you want your followers to grow and stay tuned to your messages make those messages all about your audience. Give them information that is useful, interesting or fun, and let them decide when is a good moment to buy from you. This doesn't mean that you cannot send out marketing messages every so often, just make them subtle and clearly about what it is in for your audience, not about your product.

You Don't Say Anything

People attention span on the Internet is extremely short, and if you don't keep them interesting they'll go somewhere else. It's quite frequent for small business to open a Twitter account, become an enthusiastic Twitter user for a few weeks, and slowly forget about updating that stream when more important or pressing things come around. The same goes for the once a month blog post that used to be every two days, or the frequent Facebook competitions that have become a rare occurrence.

For social media to be effective it requires constant interaction, several times a week instead of several times a year. There are many techniques to keep an active business blog that can also be applied to Facebook and Twitter such as finding things to write about online and offline. Automated posts and feeds don't really count unless you also include real, personal messages and reply to what your followers are telling you.

You Are Too Talkative

Hitting the right balance between too silent and too talkative can be difficult, specially since there's not a clear cut rule that says how often should you be Twittering, updating your Facebook page or posting LinkedIn updates. For many people the problem is too few updates, but sometimes you can err on the side of excess by trying to correct that. And this often means that the quality of your content suffers, and people decide that you are taking too much of their time and cancel their subscription.

People have different levels of tolerance depending 0n the medium as well. Hourly updates on Twitter aren't usually a problem, but don't send too many emails if you are just starting a jewelry business, even if you want everybody to come and see your new designs..

You Haven't Found Your Value Proposition

Do you know why people should be following each of your social media profiles? If you don't and you aren't giving them what they expect, they may decide to stop following you and won't recommend you to others, stalling your social media grown. Many people follow brands looking for competitions, discounts or the latest news, but depending on the type of services you provide they may be looking for interesting niche news or technical updates.

In any case, make a point of figuring our why people are following you, and what they like or not from your social account. You can do so by analyzing the click-through rates of specific links, measuring the activity after different types of announcements or just by asking your readers. Keep in mind that social media may not work for all industry verticals, and you'll need time to learn how to use social media for small businesses.

You Aren't Promoting Your Social Media Profiles

The days of build it and they will come are gone, and social media is no exception. If you expect your followers to grow at a natural pace, without any sort of promotion, you may find that the pace is way too slow to be useful. Once you have reached a critical mass it may be possible to just let it roll and let your followers do the promotion for you, but most of the time you will still need to at least display your social media profiles on your website, and encourage people to follow, like or subscribe to your blog posts.