Lies You’re Believing that are Actually Hurting Your Social Media Strategy with Katie Saglimbene
Social media marketing is an essential tool for businesses to leverage in the internet age. But are you actually believing some false truths that are holding you back from a successful social strategy?
We recently sat down with Katie Saglimbene, the president of Elevate Marketing Company to discuss the lies businesses believe that ultimately hurt their social strategy and how to better maximize the benefits of social media marketing for your company.
Cold Box Films: Introduce yourself! Tell our readers a little more about what you do at Elevate Marketing Company.
Katie: Sure! My name is Katie Saglimbene and I’m the president of Elevate Marketing Company. We are a marketing consulting company that specializes in social media management and website design and development.
We have a social media manager on staff, Victoria Simmons and we also have an intern, Abby Cook, who has been apart of our team for a little over a year.
Cold Box Films: Why do you think it’s vital for companies to leverage social media as a marketing strategy?
Katie: Social media can be a very powerful tool for small businesses! You know, we’re strong believers in not putting your eggs all in one basket because social media is most powerful when it’s used in conjunction with other marketing initiatives (e.g. your email marketing, website, and other communications you have with your customers) because that’s where you’re going to have your greatest impact.
Social media is also a great way to meet your current and potential customers where they are already spending their time! Most individuals are using social media in some type of form so this is a powerful opportunity for you to expand your reach and engage your audience in an authentic way.
You know, some companies may only see social media as a place to share cat videos or recipes, but it’s also a means to not only sell your products and services but provide value and extend your brand culture by engaging your audience in conversations or pulling back the curtain to show the faces behind your business!
Lie #1: Believing you need to be on every social media channel
Cold Box Films: Let’s dive into the topic! What is the first lie companies believe that could be hurting their social media strategy?
Katie: There are so many social media platforms from YouTube to Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat. And the biggest lie I think companies get sucked into is thinking they have to be on them all.
But as a business owner (whose time is already limited) how are you realistically going to manage all of that with the quality and attention that each platform deserves in order to be successful? Let’s be honest, most business owners don’t have the time to monitor all of these platforms (let alone if user’s start engaging). And do you even know if you’re actually reaching your desired audience?
Not every channel is created the same, nor is every channel built for the same audiences. A real estate company may have greater success on Facebook than LinkedIn because they are reaching consumers. Facebook is better built for B2C (business to consumer) audiences whereas LinkedIn is geared toward professionals and B2B (business to business) audiences.
Cold Box Films: How is this hurting their strategy?
Katie: The fastest way to burn yourself out on social media is to spread yourself too thin trying to be on every platform.
Social media works best when you have defined goals and audiences. Your target market isn’t going to be on every platform. So you really need to look at what platform makes the MOST sense for your company based on who you’re trying to reach. It does a law firm no good to reach a teenager on Snapchat.
Cold Box Films: What should they do instead?
Katie Saglimbene: We recommend taking a quality over quantity approach here. Focus your attention on one (or even two) platforms and do those well before you expand into other areas.
We’d rather you have a truly engaged audience on one platform with the ability to respond to your followers in a timely manner than a disengaged audience across multiple platforms.
Beyond that, take a step back and define WHO you’re trying to reach! Understanding your target market and which platform they are most likely spending their time will help you determine where you should focus your attention.
Lie #2: Solely looking at numbers to define your success
Cold Box Films: What is the second lie companies are believing?
Katie: The second lie is looking to numbers to define your success. So many companies think that the more followers they have the more successful they will be on social, but that’s not necessarily the case.
You could have a page that has 10,000 followers, but zero engagement. How helpful are those 10,000 people if you are not building them into fans and advocates for your company?
The truth is, your followers are not helping you if they're not engaging with you. At that point, you’re just talking to thin air.
They’re not purchasing your products nor are they raving about them to others, which doesn’t do you any good.
Now let’s say that same company has 100 followers who are truly engaged. They’re writing reviews, sharing your posts, asking questions, commenting on your posts, and tagging their friends.
Which scenario do you think is going to have a greater impact? The second!
Cold Box Films: What should they do instead?
Katie: It’s far better to have a smaller more engaged following than it is a massive following that’s disengaged. Of course, we all want to gain a larger audience, but we also want to focus on making sure we’re cultivating advocates for our brand!
An engaged following is always going to be a more profitable following.
Aside from that, if your only focus is increasing your following, you risk missing the point of social media altogether - to foster meaningful relationships with your existing and potential customers.
Lie #3: Believing anyone can manage your social media well
Cold Box Films: What is the last lie companies are believing?
Katie: Believing that anyone can do it. Can anyone do it? Yes. But not everyone should. Just because your 17-year-old nephew has a Facebook page, doesn’t mean he truly understands how to market a business on social media.
Additionally, a business owner should not be managing multiple social media platforms for their company. Their time is much more valuable than trying to figure out what your next tweet should be.
You also have to consider the risk you take when you put your brand in the hands of someone else who may be less experienced. It’s important to ensure your company voice and image is overseen by someone who understands best practices, especially if they’re creating content and publishing it on a public platform.
Cold Box Films: What should they do instead?
Katie: While social media was built to be relational, when you’re using it for a marketing purpose, there are strategic ways to push out content, build relationships, and curate a powerful brand culture. These things are much more likely to be successful when you’re delegating it to an expert--whether that’s someone in-house or outsourcing to a company.
Social media management is a large part of what we do at Elevate, but we also offer onsite training for our clients who may have someone doing social media in-house but need guidance on how to perfect their existing strategy.
The difference between social strategies that work versus those that don’t
Cold Box Films: What sets a great social media strategy apart from a less effective one?
Katie: It’s really easy to plateau on social media. What makes a social media strategy effective is your ability to post authentic content. I think the word “authentic” has sort of become a buzzword, but what we really mean by “authentic” is to focus on showing a behind-the-scenes look at your company (versus using social media to exclusively push your products).
Share photos of your people! Post a photo of you with a client or your team during a meeting. While it may seem silly, That’s the type of content your audience wants to see! Your followers want to see you in real-time even if it’s not perfectly polished. Showing the faces behind your business will outperform a stock photo any day.
Another thing that sets successful strategies apart is the willingness to try new things. When Facebook or Instagram rolls out a new feature, find ways to incorporate it! Utilize Facebook Live or Instagram Stories. It’s always important to keep the type of content you produce fresh. This is going to prevent your followers from tuning you out and keep them continually engaged.
Cold Box Films: If readers were to take away anything from this conversation, what’s one thing you want them to remember (or start implementing today)?
Katie: Don’t look at social media like a billboard where you set it and forget it.
While billboards have a great purpose, social media is not a one-way communication with your audience. Instead, social media allows you to make meaningful connections through conversation!
It’s also important to continually be open to try new things and commit yourself to consistently tweaking your strategy as algorithms and platforms change.
So yes, social media is a powerful tool. But in order to be powerful, you have to have a solid strategy behind it all.
Connect with Katie Saglimbene:
Katie Saglimbene is the president of Elevate Marketing Company (formerly Kilmb Creative LLC). A Lansing based marketing consulting agency that specializes in social media management and website design and development. Katie has almost 10-years of experience in her industry, 2.5 of which she's spent running her own company. Outside of the office, she is a wife to Timmer and a dog-mom to Riley.
Connect with Katie: