What Do You Do When Social Media Doesn’t Work?

Wet FloorWhat do you do if you're active in social media but it's not helping your small business?

Dear Rich,

I run a commercial cleaning business and I've been using social media for almost a year. I have been blogging three times a week, creating videos, and tweeting several times a day. We have a Facebook page that gets updated multiple times a day but has very few fans and only my employees and family members engage with it, and only when I threaten them! Even when we ran a contest with an iPad 2 as a prize we only got a handful of new likers.

We set up a Google+ page for our business, but almost no one has circled us, despite the fact that we're putting out fresh content daily.

Most importantly, in looking at our traffic reports, almost no traffic comes from our social media activity, and none of our new clients mention social media when we ask how they found us.

What are we doing wrong? I feel like I'm banging my head against the wall.

–Confounded in Cornish

Dear Confounded,

It's definitely frustrating when you are doing “all the right things” with social media marketing and still not getting any results. For many other small businesses you'd probably be knocking it out of the park.

However, for your audience, which I'm guessing are building owners, controllers, and property management companies, they're just not using social media, at least not for the purposes of finding and engaging a new commercial cleaner.

As much as “social media” is a game changer, there's still some important truisms you can't ignore: you need to go where your audience is.

Now, not being a building owner or property management guy, I'm just guessing, but I'm probably only looking for your service when I take on a new building or I'm dissatisfied with my current vendor. When I do that I might turn to my social networks to ask for recommendations, but I certainly don't need to engage with vendors on the chance I might need such a service down the road.

I would probably be more likely to wait until I had a need and then do a search at Google (if I didn't ask a friend.) So, I would recommend cutting way back on your social media marketing, and focusing on your search engine optimization, especially how you rank in local search.

One platform I noticed you didn't mention was LinkedIn. I would think that LinkedIn would be one of your best platforms to use, because of its focus on B2B. You could join local groups and network with other people in the group. This would increase your visibility and should increase your referrals.

Hope this helps!

Rich Brooks
Maine SEO

Photo Credit: Uwe Strasser