You had really awesome intentions. You were going to rock social media so hard your customers would have no choice but to fall in love with you. You were so serious about it that you contacted a social media company for a consult, worked with them to create a viable plan, and then had it turned over to you for implementation. But that was six months ago. Then last week, out of the blue, they called to check up, even though you’re no longer a client.
And, OMG, when your brain put together who they were you retreated to your six-year-old self, hiding behind your phone and clutching your excuses like a snot-filled blanky. You swore to them that you were just behind. That you weren’t ignoring their advice and that you were still working on their recommendations. You are all about the social media! You’ve definitely been monitoring Twitter! You told your story so convincingly that when you got off the phone you weren’t sure if you were lying to them or to yourself.
Just because it’s been six months and you haven’t followed any of their recommendations, it doesn’t mean you’ve ignored them. You didn’t waste their plan and give up, right? You’re still in this.
You’re not sure anymore, are you?
Here are seven signs you’ve ignored your social media company’s recommendations and you need to get back in the game. You may not even have realized you were doing it.
Your customers are choking on mothballs
When a customer checks out your Facebook page they see you haven’t had a new promotion since there was snow on the ground, your last Twitter update was about your staff’s plans for Valentine’s Day, and it’s been months since you’ve offered any incentive for someone to interact with you. Your customers aren’t talking to you or about you because even your place looks abandoned and they can’t trust that you’re still there. That’s a sign you’ve ignored social media. If you exist, but aren’t breathing, you’re not really there.
You still haven’t registered your accounts
Hi! Remember when we gave you your social media plan and our first recommendation was that you secure your brand everywhere? Back then we told you that you needed to have control over your social identity and that by leaving it open you made yourself vulnerable to competitors and people with bad intentions. However, you waited to register so you could “think about” what version of your brand to secure. Now that you waited, some of the accounts you wanted have already been claimed by your more proactive competitors. So you’re going to wait again and figure out what to do next. If this is you, the company that continually waits to figure it out, you’re ignoring social media.
You can’t tell me how your campaign is going
If someone asked you how your social media campaign was going, what you have an answer? Would it be something immeasurable like “okay” or “good” or would you be able to refer back to your benchmarks and give them a tangible answer? The eggs I had for breakfast were good (thanks, Mom!). My social media campaigns rely on stronger metrics. I know how to calculate ROI and what my success indicators look like. If you’re doing social media without breaking down the actions that you use to define “success”, then you’re really just ignoring it.
You’ve automated everything
You write a blog post offering a roundup of what everyone else has said about a topic. When you hit publish its immediately tweeted, immediately sent to Facebook and immediately posted on LinkedIn. When someone follows you on Twitter, you immediately follow them back. When they mention your company name, you immediately retweet it. You may think this means you’re living up to your end of the bargain, but you’d be wrong. In this case, you’re not doing social media, you’re automating social media. In my book, it’s worse.
You’re waiting to get the “numbers” first
You’ve decided not to actively participate in social media until you have an audience there. That means you need 500 Twitter followers and 250 Facebook friends (they’re more discerning, you know) before it’s worth your time to start in on that social media strategy you worked to create. The social media company you worked with already told you this wasn’t realistic and that you create your audience by getting involved but you’re still sticking to your guns. You also need to hire a full-fledged social media guru before you can say anything on the Twitter. Yeah, pat yourself on the back. You’re ignoring social media.
You have 500 social media accounts…and no content on any of them
This is the social media equivalent of not starting blogging until you buy a moleskin notebook (to keep track of all your ideas!) or not starting that weight loss plan until you can afford to buy workout clothes. They’re excuses. They’re delayers. They’re a sign you’re actively ignoring a task instead of conquering it.
You participate sporadically…to talk about yourself
When you worked with your social media company, they probably gave you a list of best practices for how you should be engaging, including the frequency, tips for starting conversations, how to identify influencers, etc. Your working up to that. Right now you tweet when you remember and always talk about what you’re doing, never engaging or showing interesting in anyone else. You’ll get to that but right now you’re still “learning” six months in. Here’s a heads up: Just because you’re using the basic tool doesn’t mean you’re not ignoring it at the same time. This is typically how divorces start.
While there are certainly plenty others, above are seven clear signs (to EVERYONE) that you’ve written off the recommendations that were given to you and you’re ignoring social media, purposely or not. Either get off the wagon and accept it or recommit by letting that social media company help you get back in the game. And if you choose the latter, don’t treat social media like a gym membership this time – commit to using it for more than two weeks. We know you can do it. If you need help, we’ll leave the light on for you.
About the Author
Lisa Barone co-founded Outspoken Media in 2009 and served as Chief Branding Officer until April 2012.