“SNS marketing doesn’t work”
Is because you’re doing in the wrong way.
Why doesn’t my marketing campaign work? There are a number of marketing mistakes that a company makes that yield poor results and leave the team questioning why the campaign doesn’t work. Marketers can agree on the reasons why a company should implement a communication strategy on social networks, the importance of having a Facebook page and the reasons that you should invest money for this.
So you decided to give social media a try and see that even with 100k likes on your Facebook, nothing has changed in terms of profit. Sales aren’t increasing, there aren’t new opportunities, and your business isn’t rocketing.
You’ll probably decide that marketing altogether doesn’t work, or at least not for your type of business; maybe you’ll think that it’s just a waste of money and due to economic problems, the marketing budget must be the first cost to cut.
Have you considered that the problem might not be due to the SNS marketing strategy or your business industry, but instead the problem stems from marketing decisions or the people that are responsible to implement the SNS strategy? A big and famous company with a long history in Japanese marketing means a guaranteed route to success; it becomes a trusted name because they are successful, not because they fail. There’s no risk to trust them! Also, because the company’s competitors are offering pretty much the same services and results, this must mean that what they’re doing is SNS marketing, right?
What if I tell you that that approach is inefficient? Or that some of those companies don’t have a true awareness of what SNS marketing is or entails?
Take a step back – SNS marketing is something relatively new, especially in Japan. Yes, it’s marketing, but its dynamics are totally different. SNS was born among young generations and developed for young users; the younger and more tech-savvy you are, the easier it is to understand the SNS language. How can an old-style company with traditional rules, managed by top managers that are neither social media savvy nor open to listening to the kohai, be able to understand and implement social network strategies?
They’ll simply apply a standard marketing theory from a well-written textbook under the assumption that it will bring guaranteed results. SNS marketing follows different rules and has multiple focuses: customization, psychology, modern lifestyle, etc.
SNS marketing also requires continuous learning in order to improve and satisfy the user’s requests because algorithms and new functions change constantly. A good SNS marketing strategy needs to be flexible, constantly checked, and adjusted by people who truly know SNS. The ideal person invests time to research, test, and update to always be able to offer the best performing solution to their clients.
Because of all the reasons listed above, standard textbook marketing strategies are in most cases, ineffective. Let’s take a look now at some of the most common mistakes made by Japanese companies that offer SNS marketing services.
Focusing only on vanity metrics
Vanity metrics (such as the number of likes on a Facebook page or the number of Instagram followers) can be attractive at first glance, but it can be useless when it comes to analyzing and checking results. Companies that offer to help your business reach 100,000 followers in 1 month are technically not a scam; they give you 100,000 followers, however, the followers are most likely random people who aren’t interested in your product or even fake profiles that are automated to like pages of a specific category.
Reaching a high number of random people who aren’t specifically interested in your product is exactly the same as displaying offline advertising on the train – millions of people will see it. Investing the same amount for digital advertising results in an even higher number of people that will be exposed to your company. But, what are you going to gain from these people? Exactly the same thing as standard marketing. More exposure requires more investment, so your ROI percentage will remain the same.
With digital marketing, you can target your ideal audience and focus on your potential buyers. More important than the number of people that you reach is the number of people you can engage with. Creating a community of people interested in your brand that talks about your company and shares your information to their circle creates a connection between you and your audience. It’ll also build trust and help reach new customers thanks to the amplification that those followers give you through their likes, comments, and shares.
A page with 100,000 followers and just 5 likes per post, will convert much less than a page of 5,000 followers and 40 likes per post.
Pay for people, not for numbers!!
Sell! Sell! Sell!
SNS is a place for entertainment that’s used during spare time. It’s not a marketplace. It’s said that through SNS marketing you can increase sales, but it doesn’t mean that you have to post only commercial posts about your products like you’re buying an ad space in a magazine! This is actually the best way to make potential buyers run away from you because you bored them.
People use social networks during their leisure time to keep updated on new trends, find interesting topics and learn something. They expect to find funny, useful or informative content and that’s what you have to offer them.
Building a community by giving something away for free (entertainment, information, leisure) will catch users’ attention. Generating interest in your products without directly trying to sell it will make the SNS users curious, increase their trust in your brand and then, convince them to buy what you’re offering.
Marketing and sales are different departments of a business and a good SNS marketing strategy is just ONE of the elements that help implement sales.
People on social networks want to be pursued before making a purchase.
Every company is different. They operate in different fields with different types of customers and possess different strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, each business needs a dedicated SNS strategy that’s modeled on its business plan and is consistent with its values and vision. SNS marketing is a way to convey your brand’s image and amplify it. How can you emerge and stand out from the competitors without it? A good SNS marketing strategy magnifies your identity, attracting new customers and retaining existing ones.
Furthermore, the standardization of an audience is another big mistake. SNS gives you the possibility to communicate specifically to a segment of your audience, using a tone of voice and communication style that persuades them. Identifying these segments and adapting the strategy will guarantee you a higher return, while a standard style that tries to reach everyone will end up dull and not able to attract anyone.
Focus is the key to success.
Real, organic and actual growth needs time. This applies to both numbers and conversion rates. As previously mentioned, SNS is part of the sales funnel – it’s the place where you give input to potential customers, where you inspire them, where you create needs that they don’t know or have. The time from when a user finds you to when he makes a purchase might be a long time depending on when he effectively needs, or realizes that he needs, what you’re offering.
The proof that strategies are performing well can appear after several months; you can start by comparing the first initial report and data. You’ll see more results after a period of testing and optimization.
Immediate results measured by a quick increase of followers or clicks to your website aren’t really useful. As mentioned before, a high number does not automatically equate to valuable. Often, this type of rapid growth without cultivation of community isn’t sustainable in the long run. After finishing the contract with those companies, you’ll be left with absolutely no idea about what to do with the results. This leaves the next company to ask if you want to keep that growth or to re-start from the beginning; not only is the previous strategy not useful, but you would be forced to make more investment to correct previous mistakes.
“Patience is the virtue of the strong.” – W.Shakespeare