It seems to have become a commonly accepted wisdom that a well maintained social media account is the key to ongoing business success in the new millennium. As an educated and thorough business person, you’ve created an account, put up several posts, and…..nothing. What’s going wrong? While it’s true that social media can be incredibly important in terms of business discovery and building a relationship with your audience, with virtually every business having a social media presence, it’s not enough just to have a Facebook account anymore. Businesses that want to realize the full power of the Interne,t and benefits of social media, need to go about their social media marketing in an organized and careful manner. Ask yourself these questions to understand if your social media marketing is working for your business. Are you on the social media networks that your customers use? Yes, it sometimes seems like basically everyone is on Facebook, but many social media users spend much more time on other ways of connecting with their tribes. If you’re posting on Facebook when your users prefer Twitter or Instagram, you’re not going to connect with them in a meaningful way. When businesses create customer profiles, they often look at many different demographic categories. Age, gender, political affiliation can all be important. When gathering information about your audience, consider which social media network they’re most likely to use. Are they a person who is less tech-savvy who is probably focused on connecting with family and friends? Yes, Facebook is a solid bet. Younger, more interested in social justice discussions and immediate feedback? Took for your customers on Twitter. Even younger, steeped in geek culture and the art of the meme? Tumblr is a go-to. Each of these social media networks has a different dialect, if you will, a different kind of post that is most likely to get shared and reposted. If you write for Twitter the way you write for Facebook, you won’t get the response you’re hoping for. Is your social media personal? Too often, businesses approach social media with the same kind of distanced ad copy that has bored customers for generations. One of the refreshing uses of social media for many under-40s is the ability to have conversations that they feel they never got to have before. Social media gives us a sense of immediacy, and businesses that use it most effectively let their social media staff enjoy that sense of personalized approach. Steve Olenski at Forbes asks if your business allows its social media team to write back to customers who engage them through Instagram or Facebook. Obviously, you have to have a great deal of trust that these representatives will be able to show customers the most positive possible version of your company for this strategy to work, but engaging customers in productive and interesting conversation with clients helps customers feel that they’re working with people, not just a faceless entity. Is the website you’re pulling your customers towards fully optimized? Most of the time, marketing interaction on social media is geared towards pulling your customers towards your own website. It can feel as though once you’ve crafted a well positioned Tweet or Post, your work is done. In fact, it’s only just beginning. Customers want to land on a web page that feels recently designed, works properly, doesn’t have broken links, and has more of the information that caused them to click on your link in the first place. Site optimization and content marketing are two sides of the same coin; both are necessary to accomplish this goal. Site optimization is an ongoing process. Many industry professionals approach it as if it’s something you pay a company to do for you once, and then move on. But this ignores the reality that search engine algorithms are rapidly evolving, and that customers search for different keywords today than they did yesterday. Part of keeping your site fully optimized is staying aware of new technologies or searchable keywords in your field, and making sure that you’re capturing your share of traffic in these areas. Are you delivering the service you’ve promised? If you are finding that you are honestly answering yes to all of these questions, but you are still not seeing a noticeable difference in your metrics from social media posts, you need to ask yourself if you’re delivering the services you promised. If you insist that you have the kind of customer service that your competition should have, but you never respond to emailed inquiries, you will lose customers. If you offer a guarantee, but make it impossible for customers to redeem it, you will lose customers. Your posts and communications will not be shared, and when your business name is mentioned, it will only be in the context of “You won’t believe what they’ve done now.” As a business that wants to succeed, it’s important to remember that SEO, site optimization, content marketing, and social media marketing are all icing on the cake. They can make a business look good, even great, but if the ultimate service that the business provides is substandard, no amount of advertising flash is going to make up the difference. While the prevailing wisdom is right, and social media is an important piece of any business, don’t get so distracted planning out your social media strategies that you forget the most important part of any successful business: delivering a product to customers. If your product is lack-luster, your profits will be as well. Like what we have to say about marketing and business development? Then post your comments and let us know what you think. Images: “Hands Holding Speech Bubbles with Social Media Words/Shutterstock.com“ ________________________________________________________________________________ Tweak Your Biz is a thought leader global publication and online business community. Today, it is part of the Small Biz Trends stable of websites and receives over 300,000 unique views per month. Would you like to write for us? An outstanding title can increase tweets, Facebook Likes, and visitor traffic by 50% or more. Generate great titles for your articles and blog posts with the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator.