There are so many people who think social media is so simple that anyone can do it: it’s all just about posting on time and then it miraculously gets results. But while using social media is easy and fun for individuals, it’s a lot more complex for a business.

This past few weeks I have spoken to a number of seasoned business owners who think they know how to market on social media successfully. WTF?

Just because I have run a business for almost a decade does not make me an expert in accounting, even though I have been doing the numbers for years?

If you look at what the experts say about social media marketing, you’ll get different perspectives.

On one side you have those who are into the analytics, the testing and the measuring, and they’re so focused on those details that it can be very difficult to understand what exactly their strategy is.

Yes, testing and measuring is absolutely essential when you’re paying for advertising on social media, specifically Facebook, and it does make sense when it comes to finding out what your audience likes, but unless you know clearly who your ideal client is, you can’t just put a heap of stuff out there and hope for the best.

Then on the other side, there are gazillions of internet marketers telling us that if we follow their advice, it’ll be easy. We can try this…we can do that.

There are lots of eBooks and hashtags and so much information out there that it can be completely overwhelming when it comes to actually putting a marketing plan into action.

Even though there are business owners who believe that social media can be a great asset for their business, they don’t truly understand the complex system that lies underneath every simple post.

The process of putting up a post, getting engagement, getting likes, comments, and shares and then converting to a sale all takes a lot of work.

ENGAGEMENT

Yes, it’s about engagement, but that’s a buzzword.

What does engagement really mean?

It’s about building a conversational relationship with your audience, so they get to know you, like you, and trust you. Then you can build a relationship through email marketing, conversation, workshops, or whatever works best for your product and business. It all starts by building a relationship, and that means two-way conversation.

There are so many business owners who just throw their marketing materials up on social media…oh that looks pretty and just post for the hell of it. They don’t put a lot of thought behind it.

They’re just posting all about their product, all about the business, and then they wonder why it’s not working. Then they’re the ones complaining that social media doesn’t work. They just want to employ a virtual assistant at ten dollars an hour and expect miracles. Maybe they have an understanding of tactics, but they don’t have a strategy.

So now you want to know how to make this easy. Can you make it easy? Well, not really.

SO WHAT IS THE ANSWER?

What it comes down to…it’s taking one sliver of a strategy and sticking to it. What often happens is that people are reading everything and jumping from this person’s advice to that person’s advice. They’re looking at what the big players are doing, but they have a very different market than what you and I might have when we’re playing with something smaller.

If you only have 200 likes on your Facebook page, how does that compare to someone who’s got 50,000? It really doesn’t.

You need to understand what they say that they do and interpret that in a way that will work for your system. It doesn’t mean breaking their process, but it’s about understanding where you are now, who you want to connect with, and what you want to achieve.