Social Media Marketing: and Why You Fail at It
Social Media Marketing is the most effective tool for growing your brand online. Period, and of story. If you need proof, take a look at our most recent election, and the use of fake news to divide and manipulate the nation. There is no other medium that allows you to hyper-target the right message to the right audience. Love it or hate it, the facts are undeniable.
Social media marketing is a tool that is neither good nor evil. In Los Angeles California social media marketing is the most effective tool to promote your business.
In this complete guide, I am going to show you everything you need to know to hire the right social media marketing team.
I am focusing on Los Angeles California as it is one of the most competitive markets. If you are in any other city in the world, these tactics work for you also.
What is Social Media Marketing?
Social Media Marketing is a catch-all term we use to describe almost all aspects of online marketing. Simply, speaking social media marketing is the process of gaining the attention of people using social media sites.
Furthermore, taking that attention and converting said attention into engagement, traffic, and conversions.
If we take a look at this standard marketing funnel, we can see the different stages of using social media. If you are starting out as a company, have no brand, no audience, and are looking to use social media. Then you must gauge your success on social media in the terms of generating awareness.
Social media becomes more of a PR or press tool than a sales tool. Your goal would be to create impressions, views, and engagement on your social media profile. You are taking your audience out on a first date. You don’t want to ask for the sale too early.
The opposite is when you have a well-established brand, people know exactly who you are and what you do. Think Apple, Samsung, or GE.
Your goal would be to create tons of engagement and drive traffic to your website.
Notice how I haven’t mentioned sales yet. Social media marketing is best utilized to create interest instead of pushing sales. Can sales happen? Of course, it can! Should you push sales, no.
Are there exceptions to this rule? Of course! Sorry, social media marketing isn’t black and white.
For instance, influencer marketing is growing as an industry. Influencers are the shortcut to generating awareness, engagement, and sales. The influencer has spent a long time building trust with their community. The brand is able to buy that trust through compensating the influencer with cash or product.
With all that said, there are a few sure-fire ways to fail in your social media marketing. Don’t let your social media strategy become the next Hindenburg.
Over the course of 8 years of marketing on social media, there are few lessons I have learned. Let me share with you some of my wisdom.
Social media marketing is NOT free.
Just because you don’t have to pay Zuckerberg for your Facebook profile. Doesn’t mean it won’t cost you to use the service.
For instance, Facebook isn’t going to show your Facebook business posts to more than 3% of your total likes. Unless that is if you pay them.
Furthermore, it takes time, money, and resources to hire the right team of creatives. You need to create videos, blog posts, graphics, and copy to start. Not to mention having the right strategy that works!
Don’t forget to add in tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Later to schedule your social media posts.
We will get the exact cost of social media marketing and what you should pay later on. Know that social media marketing is an expense that you must buffer into your marketing.
Social Media Marketing isn’t FAST!
There is some unrealistic expectation that your social media efforts will turn and make you money overnight. I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but social media marketing takes time. Like, a lot of time.
There is a reason whenever you read an article such as 5 tips to be successful in social media, one of those tips is 100% guaranteed to say “be consistent”
You must post every day for 3-6 months on a social media platform. Respond to every comment, and engage in the community. Spend a ton of time building relationships with key individuals.
Expect the typical social media campaign to be anywhere between 3 months to 12 months. Typical campaigns last 3-6 months long.
Social Media Marketing Doesn’t Guarantee Sales
Is it possible for social media marketing to generate your business? Yes…but… because you are posting online doesn’t guarantee this will happen. The buyer must know, like, and trust you to make a purchase from you.
We talked about this earlier, but it bears (rawr) repeating. Let me be frank, just because someone gives you a follow on Instagram doesn’t mean they love you. Just because you post, doesn’t mean you will make sales.
Followers on Instagram doesn’t equate to sales. Followers on Instagram allow you the opportunity to showcase your content to them.
If you want sales you MUST, I repeat MUST, focus your efforts on capturing emails. 9 times out of 10 the sale is made through email.
Vanity metrics ARE important
Wait whaaaaa… I know, I know I am going against all the “experts” when I say this but hear me out. Vanity metrics such as follower count, amount of likes on a post, etc. are important. Vanity metrics are the first step in building a social media community.
More often than you would imagine, I hear people complain that they don’t have enough of an online community. After I take a look at their account I see they have only 2000 followers on Instagram. I am sorry, but your “community” is at most 2000 people, but more likely it is only 50 people.
I have spoken before about depth over width. Focusing on building relationships with your followers. But if you want to create an online business that is sustainable, you must grow your community.
The challenge most people face is in growing a community vs putting in the work into “depth”.
You can grow vanity metrics with a simple strategy of following/unfollow. But, because people follow you doesn’t mean they care about you. You can’t expect a community to form because you post or they follow you. This is a flawed mindset and strategy.
When you are looking at vanity metrics they should showcase to you is your community growing? If you gain 2000 new followers on IG this month, it should get you excited as that is 2000 new people you can engage with. You must give to get engagement.
Engagement doesn’t “happen”
Have you ever heard the saying “you don’t get something for nothing.” Well, engagement on your posts and in your community doesn’t happen because you post. There is only one way to generate a massive community of people who give a shit about what you do.
Spend time, energy, and manpower giving a shit about what other people are doing. Social media marketing is THE most effective form of building a community in history.
We have the ability to create content that can speak to thousands of people. After we create a piece of content we must continue the conversation with the community.
What does this look like you ask?
- This means responding to comments that on your social media accounts.
- Leaving comments on your communities social media accounts.
- Jumping into the conversation on hashtags.
- Speaking the native language of your audience.
Social Media Marketing Metrics: How to Track Your ROI
8 years ago, when I started marketing using social media, I would always hear “what’s the ROI?” Today, we understand how to track social media ROI better than any other avenue of marketing.
Business fail in social media because they don’t understand what are the right metrics to track.
A customer needs to go through all 3 stages of the buyer journey before they can make a purchase.
Too often small business go onto social media “to make more sales.” Yet they do not have an understanding of the buyer’s journey.
The stages of a buyer’s journey are awareness, consideration and finally conversion.
The awareness stage is getting the customer to know you exist. If they don’t know you exist you can’t make a sale. To win an awareness campaign, track top-line numbers. Three metrics I look at are social media follower count, impressions, and views on videos.
- Follower count growth means you can see if you are getting the right audience.
- Views on videos mean that audience is watching your content.
- Impressions or reach can be a good indicator of how effective your targeting is.
The consideration stage is getting the customer to consider if you are the right option. To win a consideration stage you have to look at what makes sense for the customer’s journey. From there you can determine what metrics to track.
- Key website pages such as pricing, services, schedule a call
- Tracking traffic to blog articles
- Engagement on key social media posts
The right metric depends on the campaign objectives. Thus, it becomes imperative you have the strategy and team to support your campaign.
The conversion stage is for driving the customer deeper into your marketing funnel. This may look likes sales via social on a product, or collection the emails to follow up with the customer.
- 9 times out of 10 you want to gather emails for following up the customer. Emails = new leads for your business
- Tracking number of scheduled calls/appointments
- For E-commerce track sales, and/or abandoned carts increases ROI
Tracking the right metrics to drive a huge ROI in social media is about strategy. You want to spend the most amount of money marketing to the right customers. That is one of the key characteristics of bringing on a social media marketing strategist.
Most businesses fail because they don’t know how to track the right metrics or when. To be fair, learning how to set up an effective marketing campaign and what metrics to track is a whole ball of wax.
In this free Facebook ad’s course, I showcase how exactly small business can set up and track the right social media metrics and campaigns. As that is a whole article in an of itself.
However, if you are not able to create great content, then you will fail period. Content is the secret key metric to focus on first. Win the content game, and win the social game.
In this video, I share my secrets on how I create viral content.
Social Media Marketing Cost: How Much Should You Pay
We know social media marketing isn’t free, but how much should you pay? There are many factors in determining the cost of your social media marketing. Let’s dive in deep on all those factors:
What is Your Baseline, What are You Starting With?
- Do you have social media accounts set up with an established audience?
- Have you in the past successfully used social media to drive sales?
- Do you have a community you are working with or an email list?
- Is this a completely blank slate?
Your baselines are the first thing I look when scoping a project. If a customer has an email list, an established community, and great content. Then I know the project should be much easier. When the customer is a brand new slate, I know to increase the scope of the project.
The Scope of the Work Needed
Scoping a project by work helps me understand how big or small a project will be. The more assets to create, the more expensive the project will be. The next thing I look at is the assets the customer has to work with.
- Does the customer create content already that performs well?
- What are the assets you have available to you?
- Do you have high-quality images, video, and blog content created? A network of influencers to pull on who love what you do?
As a general rule of thumb, the more you invest in high-quality content the less you have to invest in social media promotion. A great blog article goes viral if put on the right distribution network.
What do you need?
- Content creation and scheduling
- Community management
- Influencer outreach and management
- Advertisement management
- Growth-hacking of social accounts
Each bullet point equals another $ added to your bill.
How Many Platforms Do You Need To Be Managed
Each platform takes time, energy, and money to run. It’s better to focus on 1 to 2 platforms and do it well than to spread your efforts out. This means taking a look at where your audience resides and playing in that sandbox.
The Average Cost of Social Media Marketing
There are two ways to calculate what your bill will be for social media marketing services. What is your social media marketing budget and what are the retainer costs?
According to upwork the average cost per project for a social media manager looks like this:
|Blogging w/ Social Shares||$400-$1,200|
|Large Business/Enterprise Rates||Average Project Price (Per Month of Campaign)|
|Account Mgmt. (2 Channels/All Services)||$2,500-$10,000|
|Account Mgmt. (Each Extra Channel)||$1,500-$5,000|
|Blogging w/ Social Shares||$2,500-$7,500|
|Misc. Rates||Average Project Price (Hourly)|
|Social Media Training||$25-150|
Of course, those costs can go up from there. Depending on your particular needs and the scope of the project. But as a starting baseline number, that is what you can expect to pay.
Pro Tip: You get what you pay for, don’t always go for the cheapest provider.
How to Hire the Right Social Media Marketing Agency, Consultant, or Freelancer.
Social Media Marketing Agency:
A social media marketing agency should have a few people working on your brand. This can look like a dedicated person to fill every role needed or a few generalists doing multiple jobs.
Of course, there are pros and cons to both sides. If you hire a large agency with lots of dedicated people, the cost goes way up. You also have a lot more resources at your brand’s disposal. A smaller team can be more nimble, less expensive but may also not be able to execute everything.
A social media marketing agency is the most expensive option you can get.
You will want to hire an agency when you want to outsource everything. You write the check and they make the magic happen.
Social Media Marketing Freelancers
Freelancers are entrepreneurs. They work for themselves and the great ones are self-reliant. Working directly with a freelance means you can get a better rate than an agency. The downside is finding a qualified freelancer that is also affordable can be a bit of a time sync.
More often than not you get someone who works on their schedule, and if they get sick your deadline can get missed. An agency can pass the work to someone else.
Hire social media marketing freelancers when you need small projects created. If you need a couple pieces of content or a video for example.
Social Media Marketing Consultant
A social media marketing consultant is a true expert. They can help design a unique strategy for your business. Then take that strategy and break it down into a tactical executable plan.
Having the right strategy and a very clear list of actionable steps is the key to social media success.
Hiring a social media marketing consultant is akin to teaching a man to fish. It is the option that teaches you how to create success on repeat.
If you stop paying a freelancer, or an agency your success will stop.
Hiring a social media marketing consultant is the right move if:
Personal brands, entrepreneur, or small team operations work well with consultants. As generally, they need the training to beat their more well-funded competition.
If you want to learn exactly what to do to drive your business forward then I recommend getting in touch. https://dscience.typeform.com/to/OnS1yR
Additionally, a large organization with a dedicated marketing team also work well with consultants. The consultant can train the team and guide them on the next marketing initiative.
If that sounds like you, then I recommend getting in touch today. Fill out this quick intake form and I will be happy to reach out and help you grow your business.
This was the complete guide to growth with social media marketing. While I focused this article on Los Angeles California, anyone can use this guide to grow their social media marketing presence.
Please share your thoughts in the comments and if you found this guide helpful, share it with someone you know.