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Why Small Businesses Often Fail At Social Marketing

meeting outside image Have you ever sat at a table with several people and started telling a story, only to realize halfway through that nobody was listening? That is so frustrating, right? Often, the same thing happens when businesses try to use social media marketing. They post a bunch of stuff, but it doesn’t seem like anyone is listening. And the truth is, without strategy, you are probably not being heard. As my loyal readers know, I have one goal on this blog. It is to help small businesses and individuals pave a path towards their passion and purpose to make money, change the world and change their lives. Specifically, I help people achieve one or all of these goals using social media. Trying to fulfill your purpose in life is challenging enough, and yes, before the advent of the internet–and more importantly, social media–to connect people, it was even harder to see a path to fulfillment. Social media creates an avenue to connect with like-minded people and step towards those goals, dreams and passions. Yet, as a beginner, it is so challenging to get started. While there are tons of people out there giving advice on this (with some advice more sound than others), sometimes I think the #1 basic idea is often ignored.

Who is sitting at your table? Who do you want to hear you?

One of the biggest issues I face when working with clients is getting them to identify a target audience and narrow that target to just one person. Talk to your ideal, perfect customer. The #1 person that you would like to get through the door should be the start of your focus–nobody else. When I guide people to this concept, they resist. They don’t want to narrow it down that much because “everyone is my customer,” or “I have too many different audiences, how do I select?” Still another, “I don’t want to cut anyone out.” In reality, talking to one person is the only way you’ll be heard at all. This fear of narrowing your target audience to one person and creating a persona (a profile of that person) is all too common. But trust me! It is essential to your success in social media marketing that you get to this one singular persona. Once you figure out one persona and master talking to them, you can look at other target audiences and make additional personas, but start with just one. See if you can do it.

Negative to positive–being the solution

Why is creating one persona so important? The key is to know that every person has a problem to solve. When you start with one ideal customer, you can get to know what problems your wider audience may have. The problem piece sounds negative, but it’s your product or service that is a solution. Be the solution. I guarantee if you can step back and work on focusing on finding your ideal customer and talking to them directly, the more successful you will be as you venture into social media marketing. The success will show in your bottom line. Now don’t get me wrong, identifying that you need a persona is just the first step. But it’s a crucial first step, and without it, you will not succeed. Without a target, you will always miss. I hope I have convinced you of this essential ingredient to social media marketing success. Stay tuned to learn how to create a persona that will get you results with your marketing efforts. Sign up here to make sure you see my next post on creating personas. [Photo Credit: Flickr user “Office Now” – Profile Link]

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