Got your finger on the ‘Boost Post’ button? Stop and think it through. Spraying your marketing message out to anyone and everyone in Facebook land, praying it reaches some random that will immediately come knocking at your door to buy your stuff just doesn’t cut it.
It’s the third week of January and I’d guess that many of us have screwed up or conveniently forgotten some (or all) of our destined-to-fail New Year’s resolutions. If you vowed to hit the gym every morning and ditch the noontime margaritas to only have inhaled Christmas cookie leftovers, relax, you’re in luck. There is a super easy resolution to start right now. And it will help your business stop wasting marketing dollars.
Ready? Stop Spray & Pray Marketing on Social Media
It’s useless. Unless your business has so much excess cash that you find it fun to throw mucho dinero into the wind and see if anything comes back, stop tanking your advertising and content budget and learn how to target with purpose. Without a purpose, you end up with an advertising campaign that hits the market but doesn’t have any real impact.
Let’s get old school for a second for the sake of an example. Remember that massive bag of weekly flyers that would get thrown on everyone’s doorstep on Saturday mornings? Spray and Pray. Businesses would hope that people would open the bag, read through a billion flyers, see their ad and go to their store to buy something. The same bag of flyers ended up on both the doorsteps of starving college students sharing bedrooms, surviving off ramen noodles and law firm executives with their own full-time personal chef. Someone had to want it, right?
Would you want to get your hands on a phone book of Houston and make cold calls all day to share that you have a business in Roatan? So that the random person who answered the call may find the information interesting or you pray that after 9,000 hang-ups, your pitch is miraculously the answer to someone’s vacation planning conundrum at that exact moment? No. Aimlessly shelling out cash and spraying your message into a massive social network is equally as ineffective.
The Social Media Sin
Often, in the absence of a legitimate social media strategy, or just lack of understanding, people will shoot off Facebook ads or content boosts and think they are getting a great deal for $5 or $10. The audience is rarely considered, with the default being people that like your page anyway. Without knowledge of how to target, many folks will create an ad or boost audience that looks something like this – ‘Location: Canada, Interests: Travel.’
The ad will run for a few days and the results will show a reach of 10 thousand impressions, or whatever, and people tend to think that is pretty good. Got the message out, right? Meh. Bet no backpacker from Fort St. John, BC saw a horseback riding tour ad for Roatan and decided to book a vacation and spend the day with your business.
When social media ads are blindly fired off in hopes that somehow they will hit a target somewhere, it rarely works. Yet so many businesses engage in the spray and pray approach. Why? People don’t want to take the time to do research and work. They just want to jump into the ‘likes’ instead of taking the time to build a strategy and get real engagement.
It is also not just with paid advertising efforts – look at your entire social presence. Just posting your regular content can be as ineffective and alienating to your audience as well.
Are you guilty of spraying and praying? If you answer yes to any of the following statements, you may have a problem 🙂
#1 You get excited about numbers, not relationships
50 new likes! Who cares if it is teenagers in Idaho that don’t know where Roatan is but thought your stock picture was cool. Maybe they’ll come when they grow up. Trying to connect with anyone and everyone is a warning sign.
#2 You wanna be everywhere
You’re signing up to every social network in hopes that something works somewhere, regardless if that network is appropriate for your target audience. Snap chat anyone? Just be where your audience is.
#3 It’s all about you
If you are only ever posting about what you are selling or what you do, without sharing anything of value, listening to what people want or responding to your audience, it is super boring and lame. You gotta give some to get some.
#4 You think quantity rocks
Posting every day, or multiple times a day for the sake of posting. More isn’t better, especially when the content isn’t a well-thought part of your overall strategy. Your content HAS to be consciously linked to your end goal. Seriously.
Ok, so now we all know why spray & pray is bad and now that we’ve vowed to never do it again this year or this decade, what is a better approach?
There’s no sugar-coating this. You have to take the fucking time. But it will be so worth it.
Spray & Pray = large audience, low relevance, low return
Attract & Engage = small audience, high relevance, high return
Start focusing your efforts and help your social media ads and feed content be way more effective. It really just comes down to these 4 simple steps.
#1 Find your audience
You don’t have to be everywhere because your audience isn’t. Learn which networks your target market uses and live there. Get some industry research, ask previous clients, use Google Analytics and find out where your ideal peeps spend time. This is how you can laser focus your efforts and be effective.
#2 Build relationships, not booty-calls
Yes, it’s nice to have numbers without the work but in this case, relationships are so much more rewarding. Get to know who you’re connecting with. Ask your audience their thoughts and input to build valuable conversations and this, in turn, will give you more insights into your target audience.
#3 Freakin’ listen
Social media is such a powerful tool in that you get direct access to your audience. You can learn so much about their pain points, what they value and help them by responding with useful information. For real, it makes you stand out against the other dude that is just telling you to come over every day to buy the lunch special.
#4 Share relevant content
If you take the time to learn, find and understand your audience, you should be able to easily create content and ads that interest them. Plenty of that content can and should be yours, but don’t forget to share other relevant information too.
Wrappin’ It Up
A simple rule of thumb? Stop the spammy behavior and never spray and pray with social media marketing. What you should do instead is actually really simple. Be a business that your audience wants to get to know. Like the cool kid on the block. Get to know your data – really, really well (hello, Analytics!) and create custom audiences based on your ideal customer.
Finally, just not acting weird and being human really goes a long way. Hey, it’s ‘social’ after all – and the easiest resolution you can stick to this year. Screw the gym!