When we needed to talk all things social strategy, we knew we needed someone who walked the talk. So, we got in touch with Social Media Strategist Stevie Dillion from Stevie Says Social. Stevie specialises in social strategies for service-based business and she’s about to let us know why posting on socials isn’t a marketing strategy.
Take it away Stevie.
Newsflash: Social media isn’t E V E R Y T H I N G.
There. I said it.
And I stand by it, too.
This may sound somewhat controversial coming from a social media marketer, but here’s the thing.
Working in social media errday, day in and day out, I see too many small business owners treat their socials as their entire marketing plan: the whole kit, kaboodle and then some.
And even worse, they dive in headfirst without even a whiff of strategy.
They start at the END; with the social media tools.
Posting on Socials. Obsessing over hashtags. Commenting on a million accounts with a little red love heart, hoping someone will notice them enough to like their page – when they aren’t even sure why it’s important in the first place.
And then, they complain that social media doesn’t work and they wonder why their biz baby is failing to gain traction.
Don’t get me wrong.
I love social media, and when done properly and in the context of a full marketing plan I have seen it COMPLETELY transform businesses.
Over and over and over again.
Hell, I would have a business myself if it wasn’t for a solid social media and content marketing strategy.
Social media is the ONLY reason I have a business in which I have never ONCE ‘pitched’ for work in the traditional manner.
BUT here’s the thing.[And, if you’re a small business, I want you to tape this next sentence to your forehead and repeat it until you can recite it in your sleep].
It’s not the microphone that makes a singer great.
It’s their voice.
And the song.
And the way they bloody sing it.
Social media is just a tool for amplifying your message, and for getting your brand out there.
It comes last, and is just one piece of a bigger puzzle when it comes to marketing your biz.
Social media is the tool and the amplifier; it’s your branding, and your message, and your product or service that matters.
The problem I encounter?
That when a small business comes to me for help with their socials – it’s often not their socials that is the problem.
Or at least, it’s not the social media tools – hashtags, posting times, whatever – that they are obsessing over.
It’s that they haven’t dedicated time, resources and considered thought to two things.
And, all of the geo-tagging and Social ad campaigns in the world won’t help them.
1. They lack a strong, killer brand that differentiates them in a crowded, competitive marketplace.
Branding is the most important, and under-estimated, element in the success or failure of a small business, IMHO.
I have seen too many GREAT businesses fail because they haven’t properly branded themselves. In the absence of any other differentiator, in a crowded market you will always compete on price. I have seen too many businesses do it, and it’s a race to the bottom.
And I don’t just mean a logo.
It’s where small businesses REALLY fall down in comparison to their big business counterparts, who GET this and invest in it as their top priority.
Having a killer brand across all touchpoints which creates connection with your ideal client is CRUCIAL; and necessary in order to get ANY traction with your socials.
Your branding is your message, and if it’s not strong and unique then your social media efforts are worthless.
Social media is just an amplifier, plain and simple.
If you’re businesses personality and message isn’t spot on, amplifying it isn’t going to get you anywhere.
2. They lack a full MARKETING strategy which may or may not include social media as just one component.
Here’s where your socials sit in the hierarchy of your biz.
Instagram is a sub-set of social media marketing.
Social media marketing is a sub-set of digital marketing.
Digital marketing is a sub-set of marketing.
Marketing is a sub-set of your business plan.
And, your business plan is based on the short and long term goals and objectives you have for this whole biz thing you’re doing and why you’re doing it in the first place.
When your whole marketing plan starts with posting on socials, you’re starting at the bottom.
You’re failing to strategise and really think about how your social media efforts are achieving your business goals.
You’re ignoring a million other potential online and offline marketing methods that might also help your business.
And you’re setting yourself up for failure.
Start at the top, and filter down.
Guys, I love social media.
I’m passionate about it, and what it has the power to do.
But, please don’t make the same mistakes I am seeing businesses make over and over.
Get your brand sorted. Get a marketing plan in place. Know where your socials sit in the grand scheme and why what you’re doing there is important.
And then start posting on socials.
Oh, and click here to follow me on Instagram too. There’s plenty more straight talkin’ social media and small biz marketing advice dished out there on the daily.