Why we hang on to marketing strategies too long

social media marketing strategies - blog

Something has been bugging me and I have finally (FINALLY!) decided to do something about it.

About a year ago I started noticing a huge drop in activity and engagement on my Facebook business page – almost overnight. So, I decided to start tracking what was working and what wasn’t. Know what I found? No matter what I experimented with, not a whole lot was actually working!

I have spent a crazy amount of effort managing my business Facebook page over the last several years to come up with meaningful content to share and engage with my community. I put a lot thought, time and love into it.

But Facebook just doesn’t love me back. It feels like endless effort and zero return.

Does it ever feel like that for you?

The worst part? I came to this conclusion almost a year ago, yet I continued to use Facebook business page as a marketing tool for another year with very little to show for that effort. This is not a smart content marketing strategy. Even after seeing companies like Eat 24 kiss their Facebook business page goodbye, I hung on.

That ends today. I’m officially breaking up with my Facebook business page. Sayonara, Facebook!

Now, I’m not suggesting that you should say goodbye to Facebook. I think it works well for tons of businesses, including many of my own clients. What I’m suggesting is taking a good, hard look at your marketing strategy and being brave about where you spend your time. It’s time to ditch the duds!

Why we hang on to marketing strategies too long

Maybe you’re in the same position as me and Facebook business pages are no longer serving you. Or maybe your Facebook page is working just fine and you couldn’t imagine letting it go. Either way, there’s probably at least one marketing strategy you’re using right now that is a waste of time. It needs to get the boot!

As small business owners, one of the reasons we hang on to marketing strategies, even when they aren’t performing well, is because our successes, failures and shifts in direction are incredibly public.

By being transparent about my Facebook business page being a total dud, I run the risk that future clients may not be quite as confident in hiring me for Facebook strategy and content development (which is something my team and I do a TON of). That’s risky, right?

It’s a risk I’m willing to take because I know where my clients come from — referrals. New clients aren’t finding me via Facebook or subscribing to receive emails from me — at least not at first. The first interaction is based on people who’ve already worked with me and know, like and trust me. So, doing great work for current clients and giving them the love and support they need to grow their businesses is far more important than anything I can share on Facebook.

That’s when I decided it was time to take the advice that I give to my clients everyday — you don’t have to be everywhere. You have to be in the places that matter most to the people you serve.

Where to focus your time and energy instead

Where do your clients come from? Maybe for you, it’s speaking at live events or hosting webinars. Once you know how people find you, you can spend more time on the things that work (and less time on the things that don’t).

This doesn’t mean you have to completely change direction from what you’re doing right now. Sometimes it just means tweaking the way you’re already using a marketing tool so it performs better.

For instance, when I think about being in the places that matter most to the people I serve, I know I need to shift my attention to Facebook groups rather than my business page. I can choose groups based on my interests and the people each particular group attracts, so I know I’ll be able to find people I can learn from and who I can share my expertise with. Plus, the conversation in groups feels much more personal and real.

Shifting your focus takes guts. Here are a couple of smart marketing examples I’ve seen recently from business owners I admire.

RM Harrison was doing weekly Hangouts on Air for her online community and then turning them into blog post recaps. She recently changed focus. Why?

“Promoting weekly events and doing all of the follow up stuff was really taxing. Not to mention it wasn’t bringing in any leads….just people who thought it was fun!” she said. “So, I’m now focused on finding ways to create the same kind of value for my community in a way that also creates value for my business.” This was a solid decision.

Jennie Mustafa-Julock published a whopping 97 episodes of her podcast Roller Derby For The Soul before calling it quits.

Here’s why she pulled the plug: “It was fun and all, but I was really only speaking to people who already loved me,” Jennie said. “It didn’t work as a great lead generator as I’d hoped, so I stopped doing it.” And now she’s focused on creating in-person events for her clients. That’s a smart shift.

Changing direction takes courage. Figuring out where to focus your time and energy is about finding the conversations you want to be a part of and also support your business growth goals. You deserve to have both.

Now it’s your turn

What marketing activities are working for you? And what strategy isn’t working well (and needs to get the boot!)? Every business uses different tools. Leave me a note in the comments and let me know the tools that are working for your business right now.

2015 Content Marketing featured social media

Jules Taggart is a human-centered content strategist, speaker, consultant and educator. She believes intelligent business growth is fueled by creating meaningful experiences, one client at a time. Jules teaches small business owners how to leverage the relationships they already have to sell their services more consistently. Connect with Jules on Twitter.

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