Social media marketing is still a relatively new area of the business world, so it’s no surprise that it’s sometimes poorly understood. There’s plenty of information floating around about how businesses should use social media. Much of it based on anecdotal experience rather than actual data. This results in social media marketing techniques that don’t work at all, and some that will damage your business. If you want to master using Facebook, Twitter, and all the rest to grow your business, then make sure you avoid these five common social media marketing mistakes.
1. Not Having A Social Media Strategy
The only thing worse then a bad social media marketing strategy is having none at all. The world of social media is loose, and most people are accustomed to using it informally in their private lives. Many businesses are too casual in their approach to social media. They create accounts on all social platforms, and then they just see how it goes. Inevitably, it goes nowhere. You wouldn’t approach a traditional marketing campaign so casually, so don’t do it with social media.
Posting blindly and whenever you feel like it isn’t going to get you anywhere. You need to figure out the aspects of your brand that you want to translate on social media: are you highly professional? A bit comedic? Focused on the industry? Come up with metrics to track your progress, and plan a realistic way to grow your business by using your different social media accounts.
2. Choosing the Wrong KPIs
Your key performance indicators (KPIs) tell you how well your business is doing when it comes to achieving your goals. For some reason, most companies still focus on one KPI when it comes to social media: followers. They’ll do anything to attract new followers, including buying fake spam followers (hint: don’t do this! It’s apparent to your real followers and they won’t like it), and neglect to track how their follower count translates into business growth. Don’t do this. You should approach your KPIs logically like you would in any other area.
Figure out what you want your social media presence to do and find the appropriate KPIs to track it. You should probably be monitoring your followers and engagement, but other areas matter too. The most important (and most often neglected) KPI when it comes to social media marketing is your leads. How does your social media presence translate into customers? Are your followers clicking through to your website? Are they purchasing from you? Don’t waste your time tracking bogus KPIs.
3. Posting The Same Content On Every Platform
A lot of businesses, particularly those that don’t think they’re inherently suited for social media, approach their online presence in the same way. They’ll come up with an announcement or a sale or a link and just post it simultaneously to every social media account they have. That is a dangerous oversimplification of social media marketing that causes you to lose followers who are tired of seeing the same content on each platform. You need to understand that the audience on Facebook is very different to the audience on Snapchat, and so on with various platforms.
Every social media platform has its way of spreading news, communicating, and engaging with audiences. For example, instagram is purely visual, and Snapchat is all about quick, eye-catching content, while Facebook is a better platform for longer posts and YouTube lets you transmit more information in a more personable way. Watch how successful brands change their strategy to adapt to different social media platforms and try to emulate them. You’ll get much further than you would with a static approach.
4. Only Posting About Your Brand
Your website is all about you, and that’s just fine. However, social media shouldn’t be the same way. Think of social media as the more human side of your business – you can be more chatty and informal on social media, getting your brand out there by chatting and engaging with your audience. No one likes the guy who only talks about himself, and the same thing is true of businesses on social media.
Your social media marketing should incorporate something offer than an endless stream of information about your new products and sales. Aim to post more broadly about your area of industry, and interpret that advice in a way that’s appropriate for your brand. A more professional social media presence might involve posting links to videos and blog posts about developments in your industry. A more light-hearted approach could include cat videos and memes that are only tangentially related to your product. The important thing is that you branch out and pepper your brand-centric posts with related content that isn’t all about you.
5. Not Getting Involved With Your Audience
The key to social media marketing is right there in the name – it’s social. Posting and racking up followers isn’t enough. You need to engage with your audience, getting involved with conversations, responding to comments, and reposting content which refers to your business in a positive light. Brands who are successful on social media use their platforms to respond to customers’ complaints and thank people who review them positively. They joke back and forth with customers and mention important happenings in their industry and world events.
Avoid using your social media accounts as a dumping ground for information. Get involved in the conversation instead, as this will keep your followers engaged, encourage them to click through to your website, and ensure that your content gets in front of new eyes. It’s a vital part of social media marketing that you shouldn’t underestimate.
Social media is hugely important for businesses these days; that’s why 98% of marketers are using social media at the moment. However, it can be dangerously easy to get it all wrong. Avoid these five common social media marketing mistakes, and you’re well on your way to finding a strategy that works for you and your business.