Do you measure your social media results by numbers or by reality?

One of the most daunting tasks I have as a social media marketer right now is going through client’s social media accounts and cleaning up the messes left behind by others.

Messes that were created either because the website owner did not understand social media or because they paid for services they really did not need.  It happens everyday and it is becoming a huge problem for some marketers and a gold mine for others.  I have been talking about this very fact since social media first began, it seems that only now people are finally beginning to comprehend its impact on the social sphere.

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The first thing you need to do is to stop listening to a hundred different so called social media experts. Read between the lines and try to figure out what people do not tell you.

When you think about it, the main goal of marketing is to sell you something you do not need.  No one really needed social media, but because it was “marketed properly”,  it is now a must have.  If for no other reason, people simply expect you to have it.

Does social media create viral traffic? Yes.

Does it create viral engagements? Yes.

Does it build trust relations between individuals and companies? Yes.

Does it convert leads and is it a miracle marketing solution? Not on its’ own, it isn’t.

If you are expecting over night success and tons of leads just from social media,you are sadly mistaken.  It just doesn’t happen, even though many marketers would have you believe so.  The numbers are misinterpreted and flawed at best. I won’t lie and I won’t candy coat things for you.  Social media is not all it’s cracked up to be.

Without an effective email marketing campaign and SEO, social media is simply a means to get your brand some recognition and engage with people.

Let us look at one Social Media problem from a case study point of view and you will begin to see how mis-managed many businesses accounts are.

Our client ~ Acme Gold Mine.

Acme Gold Mine has a Twitter account that he wants Seo-socialmedia to manage.  He thinks his account is the greatest. It is popular and he argues that he has never had an issue with it.  His  last social media company told him everything was fine.

We agree to take over the job, have gotten all the necessary login information and as soon as we log into the account,we notice a few basic issues that even a newbie social media marketer should have seen and known. It makes me shake my head in disbelief, because I know that I now must clean up the mess and tell the client the bad news. Remember, Acme does not want to hear this and will not believe us without some convincing. No one ever wants to hear the ugly truth, but it must be told.  We explain to him the issues and the owners feels duped, and rightly so.  He left his social media in the hands of a so-called expert who knew as little as he did about the reality of social media.

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Getting back to the issues we find:

  1. There is no branding design for the twitter and the keyword interests have little relevance to the topic of the website.  He is following many users who have offensive tweeting practices.  What is the problem?  You are defined by who you hang out with in the online social world.  Rather than be defined as a company that digs for gold, it is more likely being perceived as more of a “gold digging” one.  Not so great.
  2. The client has 4088 followers on Twitter and is following 6898 accounts. He is following more people than are following him.
  3. Of the people following him, he bought 3500 of them from his last company.  He was told that they are real followers.  Real in terms of people, fake in terms of marketing value.  They are paid to like you, they have little interest in what you do and most simply follow but rarely or never engage.

In reality, that means:

Out of the close to 7000 people that he is following, only 500 of them are actual people who added him from reputation or interest.

That means only 8% of his Twitter are of any real value to him, a far cry from the 4000 he thought he had.

He had too many following vs followers,and he may be blocked by Twitter for aggressive following. IF this happens he will not able to follow any new followers which are most likely real followers and they may withdraw their follow because he cannot follow back.  Many followers have programs that show them who is following and who is not, and he would be placed in this category most likely being removed from their lists.

Secondly, it affects Twitter scores, Klout and other brand social metrics.

You have to start somewhere and the best way to do this is with a few friends, colleagues and family members and friends and colleagues of theirs,once you begin to develop some of your own real followers, you should stay on that path and not “fake” it.

The solution if you’re in this situation:

  1. Unfollow anyone who has not followed back in a reasonable amount of time.  They are simply not interested in your company.
  2. Unfollow any accounts that have not been active in a reasonable amount of time (two months or more). This indicated a possible dormant account or bot.
  3. Unfollow anyone who has never used their accounts.
  4. Stop following celebs  and high-profile business individuals just because  its cool.  Celebrities and big business profile accounts will not follow back ordinary people who are not friends or family.  Do you really need them on commercial accounts?

There is another solution but I simply do not recommend it, stop following anyone until the numbers balance.  I do not recommend this because it does not solve the dead twitter or no follow back tweeters issue and you will lose many of your new, fresh and valuable followers.

It is a sad state of affairs when there are so many people offering services that they have a little understanding of.  They do not understand the effect of what they are doing and they are only trying to make money from people’s ignorance. While buying followers seems like a great idea, and it looks good in the numbers, the reality is, this strategy in the end is useless.

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Companies are wasting valuable dollars on strategies that do not work, how do you find the right balance? Patience, patience is the only thing that works in social media, it is a long and steady upward stream when done properly.

Find a company that understands that numbers are not as important as the work that goes into creating a good social media base.  If you company outsources too much, promises results or simply seems to good to be true, chances are it is probably true.    Does your social media provider offer SEO and marketing?  If not, they should.

Get the facts, ask seo-socialmedia.net, one of the few companies out there brave enough to talk about “real social metrics.”

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