Social Media Marketing: Is it Too Late to Join the Conversation?

No. That could be the end of this post. But I’ll elaborate.

I got this question asked of me the other day. And that’s the reason for the post.

The conversation went something like this:

“Hey Zach, you write often about social media marketing and how companies can use social media to grow, right?”


“But isn’t it too late now? Like, if companies aren’t on Facebook and Twitter by now they missed it, right?”


The end.

While this person was right that newcomers to social media now are late to the game, it doesn’t mean that they won’t get value from joining. Starting to participate is better than watching from the sidelines.

Social media is still growing. People are still joining these networks every day. And what’s more is that they’re coming back every day and spending huge chunks of time on them. More and more people spend the bulk of their “web” time on social media sites and apps. More and more people start each web session from social media sites like Facebook, and Twitter, and Pinterest.

That’s where your audience is, so that’s where you have to be as a company or brand. It’s never too late to get started. Invest the time and energy it takes to set up your accounts and join the conversation immediately.

Social Media Marketing: Feeding the Ego

Social media marketing means different things to different people. Some will tell you that they use social media as a sales and advertising channel. Some will tell you it’s all about brand building. And others will say that it is a place to share content and build an audience.

The truth is, it’s a combination of all those things, and more. But the focus of this post is about “feeding the ego”.

There are different reasons that people use social media. Some are just grazing for content to enjoy themselves. Some use it to connect with people in their lives that they can’t see every day. Others use it to set trends.

The trendsetters, or tastemakers, use social media to discover and share things that they like. These people get joy in being the first person in their network to “discover” something. That’s what drives their social media activity.

Feeding the ego means appealing to these people. It means giving them the kind of content – unique and original and intriguing content – that they will share with their friends.


Because that is the kind of interaction that will truly grow your online presence in the social media age. It’s not about how much content you share. It’s about how other people interact with your content. And if you can get the trendsetters to share your content, you are on to something special.

Feed the ego. Make the trendsetter happy. They will keep coming back for more,  and they will get others interested in what you have to offer.

Where Has All My Web Traffic Gone?

Have you noticed a drop in traffic to your website? For many companies, this is a big deal. In today’s digital environment, a significant drop in website visits could put your business in danger.

But it does happen from time to time, so it’s important to be able to spot it and fix it quickly when it does.

Step One = Spot the Problem

Make sure you’re tracking activity on your website on a regular basis. A simple Google Analytics account is all you need to keep an eye on the number of visitors to your website. This is how you’ll know when traffic goes up or down so that you can react to it.

Step Two = Diagnose the Problem

After you see a dip in traffic, the next thing you need to do is figure out where that dip is coming from. Usually, a drop in the number of visitors can be traced back to one or two sources of traffic.

Here, you can use the Acquisition reports within your Google Analytics account to sort traffic by channel. You can see if the drop in traffic is coming from direct (maybe your email programs or offline ads), organic (search results), social media or any number of paid sources. When you know what source is lacking, you will gain a better understanding as to why your traffic is down and what you can do to fix it.

Step Three = Fix the Problem

Most times, it is within your control to fix the issue. Sometimes it may take longer than others, but a good marketer should be able to fix the problem once he identifies it.

If the problem is paid traffic, ask yourself what you’re doing differently. Maybe you starting running different ads? Maybe you lowered your budget? Maybe you’re advertising in a different place? This is usually the easiest problem to fix because you’re in complete control of where you’re advertising and how much you are spending.

If the problem is social media traffic, the solution is usually the same as paid traffic. Something is different about what you’re posting, where you’re posting, or when you’re posting. Maybe your content is not as engaging as it was before. That’s easy to fix with better content.

If the problem is referral traffic from other websites, track it back to a specific website. Maybe they removed a link to your site that was generating a lot of clicks. Maybe they lost traffic themselves and therefor they’re sending fewer visitors to you. This can be difficult to fix, but identifying the problem site allows you to reach out to them or do something to address it.

Finally, if the problem is organic traffic, you may need to review your organic rankings. Tools like Conductor or SEMRush allow you to monitor your rankings for a set of keywords. If your rankings start to fall out of the top positions or off the first page, it will almost always lead to lower traffic. It’s usually a sign of increased competition or a poor website strategy on your part. That means it’s time to either spend more on PPC ads or develop a search engine optimization strategy to improve your rankings as quickly as possible.

If you’re company is suffering from a drop in traffic, it’s not fun. You need to act fast. And those marketers that have the tools and know-how at their disposal to identify and fix the problem in a hurry will be better off.

Guest Post - How Not to Use Social Media

The following post was provided by Nick Rojas. Nick is a business consultant and writer who lives in Los Angeles and Chicago. He has consulted small and medium-sized enterprises for over twenty years. You can follow him on Twitter @NickARojas.

There are many recommended ways to use social media, a low-cost way to reach market segments, whether you’re a large or small business. Using netiquette and abiding by the decorum of each social network are a great start.  In order to be effective using social media, however, there are almost just as many suggestions of what to NOT do.

Take a look at some of these “don’ts” when it comes to social media management. Here’s what not to do when marketing via social media:

1. Exist on one social platform

Some marketers focus their attention solely on one social website, like Facebook or Google +. This is definitely a missed opportunity to reach other demographics that are part of your audience but who may hang out on different platforms. 

2. Try to use all social platforms

The opposite of the preceding offense, trying to maintain a presence on all social networks often results in spreading your coverage too thinly. Pinpoint where your audience is located, and focus on those platforms rather than casting your net too wide.

3. Copy & paste

Due to the availability of free social media management tools, it’s possible to schedule numerous posts over several social networks at once. Avoid the temptation to send the same message out to all your platforms -- it looks tacky and deprives you of the ability to hone your presence to fit each channel. 

4. Don’t update your homepage

All of your social media platforms should point back to your homepage. Don’t get caught up in updating all your social platforms and forget to add fresh content to your website. This content should include: news, events, product updates, and perhaps a blog.

5. Be professional at all times

You can sound knowledgeable on social media without sounding like a snob! Try adding a human quality to your interactions online -- people will remember how your brand makes them feel.

6. Forget email marketing

Just because there are so many social media outlets to choose from, doesn’t mean you should move away from emailing your contact lists. Email blasts are still a hugely effective way of generating web leads, and should be sent out periodically.

7. Ignore the critics

Your presence should be regular and consistent on social media. Be visible and don’t shy away from potential criticism online -- it likely will come up at some point. Instead of shying away from potential negativity, allow room for it and deal with it as needed.

One of the worst thing you can do on social media is failing to respond to customer service issues, basic complaints, and the like. Your social media pages are where you can control how your brand is presented and packaged -- don’t miss out on the opportunity to address potential detractors and turn the story around in your favor.

8. Focus exclusively on social media

Social media is an important arm of online marketing and is a great way to add to your roster of content around your business. It’s important to plan your time wisely when it comes to web platforms -- there’s always more that can be done on social media, more interactions to be had and more content to create or strategies to try. If you are also responsible for maintaining a blog, it’s a good idea to limit your usage and focus on those longer pieces.

Best of Content Marketing on

Content marketing has been one of the biggest buzzwords in the marketing space over the last year. For that reason, we cover content marketing often on this blog. But for our newer readers, we thought it about time to recap some of the 8 most popular content marketing posts ever on the Zach Heller Marketing blog.

5 Reasons to Create Content

From our now infamous 5 Reasons blog series, this post focuses on the core values of content marketing and how it can help drive success.

5 Steps to Creating Better Content

Once you identify the need to create content, you need to come up with a way to create it. And not just any content will do, it’s got to be great. Here are some strategies to help you create better content.

3 Stages of Content Marketing

Creating the content is just the beginning. There’s more to it, as the companies who have made content marketing work have shown. Here’s a glimpse of what comes after the content is created.

A Guest Blogging Strategy for Companies

Guest blogging is a popular form of content marketing. It allows you to deliver content to audiences who might not otherwise here from you. This post offers a simple way to get started.

The CREATE Method of Marketing

All marketers need a vision and a strategy. This post shows you a simple way of thinking about your job as a marketer and how to set out a strategy for success.

3 Step Approach to Better Business Blogging

I suggest to you that the most valuable BBB out there is better business blogging. And companies who know how to blog put themselves ahead of the pace in the content marketing game.

Using Webinars to Market Yourself

Content doesn’t have to be written. A great way to develop content for marketing is through webinars. You can host a live event, and have a recording that lives on permanently for all to see or hear.

Is this an Ad?

This isn’t. But that’s the question more and more people are, and will be asking themselves as they interact with content around the web. Ads and content are melding, and it’s important to learn and understand why to set yourself apart.