How to Manage Your Social Media Expectations Vs. Reality
If you’ve been in business for any length of time, you might already know you need to have a social media presence. Some owners choose to DIY it, and others opt for outsourcing their social media.
In either case, there is often a learning curve of social media expectations versus reality. However, it’s especially true when you choose to outsource your social media. After all, if you’re trusting someone else with your social media — and paying them, too — you want to make sure you’re getting the proper return on investment.
As we discuss in The 6 Most Important Social Media Metrics to Track for ROI, that return is going to look different than you might expect. Therefore, it’s important to find a middle ground between those social media expectations and the reality of how things actually work on social media. Not only will you be more successful, but you’ll feel better about any decisions you make to outsource your social media to a third party.
Musings on Social Media Expectations Vs. the Reality of What Really Happens
On Customer Acquisition
Expectation: My social media company is going to get me all the leads, sales, customers, employees and new members I want. Somewhere in my closet, there’s a “Show me the money!” T-shirt.
Reality: Social media is just one part of your overall marketing strategy. Your social media company is not an all-powerful genie that can alter the way customers behave and come to buying decisions.
People using social media still have to move through a marketing funnel before they decide to buy from you. They’re not hopping on their Facebook and Instagram pages hoping you’ll sell them something. They’re actually there to socialize — you know, as the term social media implies.
That funnel might look a little different on social media than it does in the “real world,” but it’s a funnel nonetheless. Embrace the funnel to make the most of your social media pages.
On Posting Content
Expectation: All of my followers will see my content when it gets posted.
Reality: Even if you have 1,200 followers, that doesn’t mean all of them will see your content. In fact, very few of them (if any) will see it unless you boost it.
The type of content you post, the way it’s posted and whether or not it’s been boosted will all impact the success of your content on social media. Time and time again, we see that businesses posting hyper-local content and boosting it with a highly targeted audience are the most successful on social media.
Hyper-local content includes the real people and processes behind your business (like the post you see below). It has a local flavor and encourages engagement because it’s authentic — it’s a true representation of your business. It does not — we repeat, does not — include stock photos.
On Reputation Management
Expectation: My product/service speaks for itself. I don’t need to worry about my online reputation because I’m an honest business owner with a great product/service and employees.
Reality: While you may have an amazing product or service, loyal customers and hardworking employees, not everyone is going to agree with you. There will be people who are unhappy or are just looking for some kind of compensation. They may take to review platforms and social media to air their concerns.
Responding to reviews, comments and direct messages helps ensure you’re putting out any “little fires” before they become gigantic, uncontrollable blazes. When you take the time to handle any negative reviews professionally and calmly, you let your customers know you’re listening and are willing to resolve problems.
On Customer Loyalty
Expectation: My customers are happy, so I’m sure they’ll be back to buy again.
Reality: Nurturing your existing customer base is critical to your continued success. It takes far more time, money and effort to try and find new customers than to take care of the ones you’ve got.
One way to practice customer relationship management is by asking for new reviews after a sale. These reviews will give you an opportunity to thank your customers for their business as well as handle any issues that may arise.
You can also continue caring for existing customers by sending out special offers and content just for your top fans. It’s like dating: Make them feel special, and you’ll get a second date — and third, and fourth — and in time, maybe you’ll “tie the knot” someday and those customers will become brand advocates.
What do we mean by brand advocates? Those are the people (and, in some cases, influencers) who are championing your brand on their own social media pages. They’re providing the ultimate social proof because they’re spreading the word without you having to be the one saying how great you are.
On Social Media Outsourcing in General
Expectation: It feels scary to hand over control to a third party. This is going to be terrifying and it’s probably better if I just do it myself.
Reality: This is your business, your baby. Like dropping off the kids at daycare for the first time, of course it’s going to feel scary. But when you’re working with the right company, it can help you put time back in your day, grow your business, attract new talent, build a loyal customer base and give you the kind of online credibility you deserve.
If you’ve read this post and arrived at a place where outsourcing feels like a smart move, here’s a quick rundown of what Rallio can do for you. We have a range of different service levels, depending on how involved you want to be and what kind of budget you have.
- Post hyper-local social media content and boost it
- Create specific social media offers and events and boost them
- Use artificial intelligence combined with science to help you decide what to boost and when as well as how much to spend
- Respond to all your online reviews, comments and direct messages within 24 hours
- Help you get additional new, positive reviews
- Update your business listings across the web — this is critical during the pandemic when hours and business details can change on a dime
- Help you create an employee advocacy program to get your team involved in creating and posting content
- Inspire healthy competition among franchisees and team members with a leaderboard right on your dashboard
- Give you both the technology and the people to be successful on social media
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
As Search Engine Journal points out, “To say social media management can be done by setting aside 1-2 hours a week is really quite hilarious. The time you invest in managing your brand’s social pages and image can’t be categorized into a lump one or few hour time period. It is something that requires constant attention and generally in small intervals.”
Remember, social media is just one aspect of your marketing — and it has the potential to help you be wildly successful. Keep your social media expectations in check, and let us figure out the real details so you can focus on doing what you do best: running a business.