Why Social Media Can be Disappointing for Businesses.

Disappointed by social media and digital marketing? Not seeing your ROI right away? You’re missing the point. You need to change your strategy and your mindset. And frankly — you might be doing it wrong.

Small businesses need the most help in the very beginning and are the least likely to come up with a strategy and set aside money for a marketing budget. How do you expect to get your name out there without at least trying to set yourself up for success?

1. Marketing takes money, resources, and a strategy. Period.

I can’t tell you how many potential clients I meet, who openly admit they know nothing about marketing but also haven’t set aside a budget or set aside time to actually focus on what they want to implement.

We’re all comfortable with what we know. We understand things we’ve grown accustomed to — like advertising in the form of TV and radio commercials. Print ads? Yeah, we understand those too — a restaurant trying to sell us food, or a celebrity trying to sell us a product. This isn’t rocket science. It’s also very well known that companies pay a lot of money for this type of advertising.

But just like any new idea, the very thought of something different or uncharted can be polarizing. Just because you don’t understand how something works, like social media marketing, doesn’t make it less effective.

And while you might not have the budget of a fast food chain (and I get it — we don’t all have hundreds of thousands of dollars to throw at an advertising campaign), that doesn’t mean there isn’t a way to connect and target your demographic.

If you don’t even have a small budget for marketing, that’s a budgeting problem and it’s back to the drawing board because it’s time to rework your budget. If there is money for toilet paper, there is money for marketing. File it under necessity because without it, you literally have a product or service that no one knows about.

2. If goals aren’t set, deliverables won’t be met.

What are you trying to accomplish? Are you trying to sell a product or service? How are you communicating that? These are things you need to think about — and it doesn’t need to be limited to one finite goal.

As the Director of Marketing for NK Agency, a creative agency in Los Angeles, it’s also my job to think about our marketing goals.

I break it down into multiple areas of opportunity — both short term and long term goals. We obviously want to think about bringing in new business, but the long term goal is to continue to communicate our brand story and core values.

Maybe for your business, long term goals for social media are just continue to have a consistent place where your potential clients and customers see you on a regular basis, and short term goals consist of quarterly campaigns to engage and entice.

3. Understand that social media is a long game.

Social media is social proof. It’s how consumers determine whether or not they want to play ball with you. Any business that doesn’t understand that social media is a long game is going to be sorely disappointed.

Social media can be used to convert clicks to buys, or followers to consumers — but it’s also how people learn about your businesses and engage with you in the long run. It is through social media and marketing that brands are able to tell their stories and ideas. People don’t fall in love with brands — they fall in love with other people, ideas and stories. This is your opportunity to shine.

And guess what it, it doesn’t turn off. Digital ads and social media are on 24/7 so why wouldn’t you have it work for you all day long? Set up a strategy that makes sense. If you’re competing or even trying to model after some of the big guys who spend thousands of dollars on digital ads and social media campaigns, beware of the time, effort and dollars that go into kind of execution. You are welcome to start small but start with something.

The conversation that sounds like, “We’ve tried digital marketing, and it doesn’t work for us,” really makes no sense. It’s a defeated mindset. You just haven’t found something that works for you yet.

Or better yet, know when to ask for help. Either way, we’ve got you covered and are here to help. Our success is your success.

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