I want your business to be successful when it comes to your social media strategy. I really do. That's why we started Firebrand Group, after all: to help brands understand that from a digital standpoint, a brand is only as good as its social media strategy. Gary J. Nix, Digital Strategist at EngageSciences, says it well: "Not only is social media something that can impact your brand: communication through social media is an element of your brand, whether you like it or not."

Having a solid plan to execute your business goals is essential. Despite their best efforts, some brands never reach their full potential due to an inefficient approach. Take a look at these key reasons why your social strategy may be falling short:

#1: Your social strategy does not support your business objectives.

300,000 Facebook fans won't keep the lights on; however, 15,000 highly-engaged fans very well could. It's not about the Likes; it's about the love--and the attention--that you can foster for your brand.

So before you engage, think about your business objectives, and work backwards to develop your social media strategy. Ask yourself: What is your brand's mission? What does your company hope to accomplish over the long-term? Every brand needs defined values and goals to serve as a compass for its strategy. Your activity on social media has to reflect your business goals.

#2: You're not measuring.

I notice companies often fall victim to rushing to build their social media strategy, so they don't even start to think about how they will measure the impact of their campaigns until way too late in the game.

"Setting up the right KPIs should be a large part of the planning phase of any social media campaign," advises Marie Chevrier, Co-Founder & CEO at The Sampler App. Despite Chevrier's advice, shockingly, setting up KPIs ahead of time is consistently overlooked at the outset of a strategy. Measuring how well you've done at the end of a campaign in relation to where you were hoping to be is crucial.

#3: You're using the wrong social media platforms.

Not every social media outlet will be right for your business. If you own or manage a restaurant, use Pinterest to showcase your recipes and give viewers an idea of the overall dining experience, as well as considering an investment in Yelp to drive foot traffic. If you own a digital agency, and you're constantly putting out industry-relevant white papers, LinkedIn and SlideShare will be a better fit.

#4: Your expectations are unrealistic.

Sometimes things are working, and you're just not noticing. Let me explain.

At Firebrand Group, we often get prospects reaching out and asking us to duplicate the results of a dominant digital brand, but on a shoestring budget and within three months. Sorry, folks; you can't be the next Beats by Dre or Evernote overnight. The "don't set the bar too high" rule is especially true when it comes to growing your business. While you may be putting in a lot of time and effort, don't expect to see exceptional results right away.

The same is true for budget: Don't fall for the old "social media is free" myth. Make sure you've budgeted properly for social media success, and even then, give yourself some wiggle room as social media-related costs are on the rise.

Just take a deep breath, and understand that it takes time and as long as you maintain a steady growth, you're on the right track. And I'm always here if you want to chat about it.

Published on: Oct 16, 2014
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