How To Fail With Facebook & Other Social Media Sites
A recent study by Pew Internet & American Life project shows that most Americans use social media to keep in touch, not to find celebrities or dates. This has a pretty significant impact on your business and marketing efforts if you happen to be in those niches.
Roughly 91 percent of users in the study said that they used social media sites, like Facebook, to stay in touch with family, friends, and old schoolmates. The lowest motivators were to "find a date or romantic partner." Ouch. If you run a dating website, or if you sell anything related to that niche, now you know why your fan page isn't doing so well. It's probably not going to work out for you on Facebook. At least now you know why.
Only 5 percent of the survey respondents said that following celebrities was a major reason for being on a social networking site. If you're in this niche, you're also out of luck. Even still, it's possible to fail on sites like Facebook and Twitter by following these 5 dumb marketing practices:
1) You pitch your solution to a crowd of people. When you build your social media marketing plan, it has to be oriented around the social aspects of social media. Many Facebook advertisers notice that their click through rates are pretty terrible, and they assume that Facebook is a terrible place to advertise. They're half-right. People don't get on to Facebook to solve problems. They get on Facebook to connect with friends and other people that they know.
When you build your fan page, are you trying to pitch a product? If so, this is why you're losing users. If you look at the most successful Facebook advertisers, they try to connect with their audience on a deep level. They speak to the users' interests. They don't just shout about their product, solution, or company. That might have worked when the Internet was young, but then again there was no social networking back then either.
2) You don't optimize your fan page. Now that fan pages were all converted to Facebook's Timeline, you have to change your marketing strategy. People will be taken directly to your wall. You can no longer incentivize people to "like" your page. You have to offer something else. A conversation perhaps? That might not draw in new customers though. The wall is a place for you to interact with other users. Presumably, these people will be people that you have already done business with. Optimize your new fan page so that the content you publish is relevant to people whom you've already done business with.
3) When you do advertise, you take people away from the site. Don't take people away from the social site you're advertising on. People come to social networking sites to get away from the rest of the Internet. Don't take them back out there. That's not where they want to go. If they wanted to go there, they wouldn't have come to the social networking site. Instead, direct all of your advertising efforts onsite to your profile page or fan page.
4) You don't make the content on your site "shareable." Facebook "likes" are all over the Internet. Google "+1s" are too. That little "tweet" button? Yep, you see them everywhere. Does your website have those social buttons? It doesn't? You should change that pronto. If your site isn't "shareable," you make it harder for people to find you.
5) You don't advertise offsite for your fan page.
The biggest mistake most marketers make is that they advertise for customers on the social networking site. That might work in some instances, but a better strategy is to advertise offsite. Use banner ads, and paid ad networks to drive people to your fan pages, social networking profile pages, and of course to your flagship website.