Some companies are making a killing using social media. But they’re the exception, not the rule. Why is it that most businesses do such a terrible job using social media? There are the top 7 reasons. You Don’t Have a Plan Most people start doing social media by posting stuff to Facebook and Twitter. But, they don’t have a plan. They don’t know why they’re doing it or how that will help them connect with their audience. If you have a budget, hire a social media consultant to help you put a strategy in place. They’ll save you a lot of money, time and frustration. If you don’t have a budget, spend a whole month reading social media blogs, books and case studies in your industry. Follow a few of your competitors and try to get the best out of each one. You’re Trying to Sell Social media is about socializing, not selling. People don’t go to Facebook to see ads or be sold. Connect with your audience and help them. Some of them will buy your stuff (when they’re ready, not when you want them to buy) and some of them won’t. Make it easy for people to find out what you do and how they can order from you, but don’t ever try to sell. You Make It a One-Way Conversation It’s not about you talking to your audience. It’s about talking with them. Ask them questions and answer theirs. It’s also about encouraging your network to talk to each other. This is how you create a community. Your Content Sucks Most content out there sucks for these reasons: It’s not unique. You read an article and re-wrote it in your own words. It’s not useful. In other words, you wrote something nobody cares about. The writing is very poor, or you’re not communicating clearly in a video. The good news about this is that these skills can be learned. Take writing and public speaking classes. You Talk About Your Company If you’re a general contractor in West Virginia, don’t talk only about your company and the projects you’re working on. Think about the content your audience wants and create it, even if it’s not related to what your company does. In this case, for example, you can make a list of cool things to do in West Virginia next weekend. Your audience will love this kind of content and your company will get a lot of priceless exposure. You’re Not Really Committed to It Some people decide to “give social media a shot”, which basically means “I’ll invest as little time as possible and at the first sign that this doesn’t work, I’ll bail out.” Social media, like any other kind of relationship building effort, takes time. You’re building trust in your community and we all know that trusting someone doesn’t happen overnight. I’m convinced that social media can help every single company in the world, but you have to commit to working hard for at least a year to see significant results. I’m not saying that you won’t see any results in the first year; what I’m saying is that if you’re not willing to do it for at least a year, you shouldn’t even bother at all. You’re Not Unique About 90% of companies think they’re unique. I think only 10% of them are. Don’t copy others. Create your own style and dare to be a little crazy. Forget about sounding all corporate. People want to interact with people, not with faceless corporations. Don’t try to blend in. Stick out instead. Be the weird kid on the block and you’ll do great! What’s the one thing you’re really proud of about your social media presence?