Business owners and executives love the idea of social media marketing. It’s not hard to imagine why: not only do they enjoy using social sites like Facebook and Twitter in their own lives, but social media runs on time and attention rather than money. In other words, you can use it to reach out to thousands upon thousands of buyers without having to spend a dime to do so.

Despite those wonderful qualities, however, a lot of companies (both small and large) struggle with social media marketing. It’s not that they can’t post material online, but that they fail to get any kind of positive response when they do so.

Often, what’s missing is the right approach and understanding. Today, I want to share a few of the reasons business owners find themselves floundering with social media marketing, along with some easy fixes…

Social Media Marketing Isn’t Straightforward

In other parts of the online marketing world (like search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising) progress is easy to track. You can measure your search position, watch clicks to your website, and see how many conversions result.

Things aren’t like that in social media marketing. To be sure, you can keep an eye on some metrics, such as the number of followers you have or “likes” you get for a post, but these aren’t really indicative of future revenue. Instead, you have to pay attention to engagement. That means watching to see whether users are reacting to your posts, sharing them, or visiting your website.

All of that social activity takes time, patience, and creativity. Think too much like a traditional marketer and you’ll wonder why your efforts aren’t paying off.

Customers Aren’t Performing Transactions on Social Media Sites

Another stumbling block when it comes to social media marketing has to do with the fact that it’s harder to push transactions. Someone might click on your PPC ads, for example, and then decide to make a purchase. However, few people are going to do that on Facebook.

Social media sites just aren’t set up that way. They are built for social activity and sharing, not to take users away from their profiles and accounts. So, the “transaction” you look for has to be an immediate boost in interest or recognition. The real follow-up generally comes later.

Social Media Marketing Has Indirect Business Uses

If you can’t use social media marketing to sell directly and the results are hard to track, why bother with it at all? The first reason is strictly numerical – billions of people per day log in to their favorite social media sites, so you want to have a strong presence.

The second reason is that social media marketing has indirect business uses. The more you post, and the better your engagement, the more likely you are to attract the interest of the customer at the right time. More to the point, you can see lots of referrals, reviews, and recommendations coming to your business through social media. Having a big following is also good for your branding efforts.

None of these outcomes is likely to affect your sales directly in the short term, but in the long run they all pay off in a big way. That’s why your social media marketing campaigns have big value, even if it’s not immediately apparent.

Social media marketing is incredibly valuable and cost-effective, but only if you approach it with the right mindset. Instead of trying to make sales and win customers directly, focus on referrals, branding, and positive impressions. In time, your social accounts will become a steady source of new leads and sales.

If you’re looking for expert help putting together your website and online marketing campaigns, look no further than the experts at Biondo Creative. Call us today to set up a meeting and see how we can help!