So you started a business? Congratulations to you. When you decided to try social media for your business things didn’t go so well. You’ve put in so much effort but there just seem to be no rewards for your efforts on digital platforms. If this experience is familiar to you you’ve surely wondered why social media isn’t working for you.  Below is a list of reasons why it’s likely not working for you and what to do about it.

Believing your own hype

You have wonderful products, at least in your own opinion. You know what? Perhaps your products are wonderful objectively but if you come to social media believing your own hype you will struggle. The “build it and they will come” mentality works great if you are building the road and other essential infrastructure. So instead of just posting your products and waiting for the millions of customers to flock, do a little research and fund out what matters to your target audience.

You’re not providing value

Fortunately for you, I can already tell you what they want, what matters to them. It’s value! If you use social media to just post your products you’ve missed the fact that the first word there is SOCIAL. Social media works because it took what mass media did and improved it; opening two-way communication and deeper data on audience behaviour. What is value? Whatever the customer says it is! If you’re a hardware store perhaps your customers would appreciate home improvement and DIY content. Selling cake mixes? People would appreciate cake art and recipes from you. That is providing value.

Painting with one brush

Social media platforms are a bit like countries. While some countries use other countries languages, each country has its native tongue and you will find residents of the country most comfortable being spoken to in that tongue. In this case, just replace languages with behaviours. Understand that content that succeeds on a platform like WhatsApp or Facebook will not cut it on a platform like Twitter or Instagram. Take time to understand each platform. Facebook is about closed connection. Twitter is about conversation. Instagram is about rich visuals with long captions. LinkedIn is about abundant text. Tiktok is about short hard-hitting videos. Youtube favours long-form detailed videos.

You’re not storytelling

We’ve spent some time talking about Storytelling on this platform so If you’re not familiar you should go and have a look there. Stories work because they relate, they appeal to the human or emotional parts of people and not their logical calculating parts. Telling the world that your phone has 512GB of space is good. Telling those who love using their phones to take pictures and videos that they can do so for a month without worrying about storage space is Storytelling. See the difference? I would hazard a guess that 90% of people do not know how big 1GB is and of the 10% who do 90% will quantify in terms of a number of songs, movies, YouTube videos or some other thing they use.

You’re speaking at not to people

“Post and go” is something you’ll see a lot of in WhatsApp groups by those annoying people who will keep advertising their products without engaging people. And some will say this works for them on WhatsApp but it’s not going to work elsewhere. That’s if it actually works on WhatsApp anyway. You need to create a social media presence that is useful to your target audience and develop a habit of speaking to /with people rather than at them. That means creating content that opens up room for discussion and two-way conversation.

It’s all about you

Finally, remember who it’s about. A business is a customer. That’s really where all the focus should be. If everything you do on social media, and in life, is about what you’re selling, what you do, what you did and whatever else about you the chances are you are only going to connect with your fans. This is great if you’re a brand built on a famous person’s celebrity status but likely not the case for many if any of us. Engage with people. Make it about the customer and what they get out of it.

Social media marketing does work. But as that age-old saying goes, nothing works until you do. You need to get social media right for it to work. As a final tip, get your content right first then pay for boosting or promoting content.