If you are trying to use social media to market your business, but find that it doesn’t seem to be working for you, it is quite possible that there are some mistakes that you are making without realising. Most companies are not using social media effectively as part of their overall marketing strategy, but if you can unlock the secrets, you could easily find that you give yourself the advantage ahead of your competitors. Here, we will discuss a few of the most common social media marketing mistakes and how you can avoid falling into these traps yourself.
Believing it Doesn’t Work
If you believe social media doesn’t work, you have already lost the battle before you have even gotten started. Many business owners think that social media is something that is only used by young people or for technologically skilled customers. However, more and more people over the age of 45 are signing up to both Facebook and Twitter – and you may find that they engage more actively than a lot of young people. So, you may be the first business of your kind that actively targets customers on social media, and this could easily give you the edge over your competitors.
Not Having a Clear Plan of Action
Once you have accepted that it actually works, the next thing that you need is a clear plan in place. Otherwise, you have no idea of what you are trying to achieve and no measures of whether you are successful or not. You can’t just post unplanned content from time to time and expect to gather a huge following naturally. If you feel unable to put together a social media marketing plan, you could hire a specialist agency like Digitalico – take a look at their about us page: https://digitalico.com/about. Your plan needs to include clear sections including goals, KPIs, budget, and the resources that will be allocated towards this part of your business.
Getting Your KPIs Wrong
One of the problems with social media is that people tend to think it is simply a popularity contest. While number of followers is important, it is not the only key performance indicator (KPI) that you need to think about. What is actually important is the impact that your social media activity is having on your customers and your business as a whole. You might have thousands of followers, but if you are not encouraging them to do anything through social media, you are not using it to its fullest effect.
Thinking All Social Media Platforms Are the Same
People who are inexperienced in the world of social media tend to think that all the different platforms can be treated equally. First of all, you should only set up the accounts which are going to be effective for your company. Facebook and Twitter are standard, but if yours is a particularly visual business, you may find that Instagram and Pinterest are useful. When you set up an account on each platform, check to see how people are using it, particularly any competing businesses that you are up against. After all, you are never going to be able to communicate with people if you have no idea which language they are speaking in.
Not Engaging People in Dialogue
If you are constantly posting updates, but nobody is responding, it is bound to feel like you are talking to yourself. The content on your pages should be there to start conversations with your audience, as well as encouraging them to share it on a wider basis. If you are not getting these reactions, it may be time to revisit your overall strategy. Whenever you get a reply or comment, you need to respond directly to the customer. The best businesses on social media have established a clear voice that they use to communicate with clients, but if you have yet to do this, the least that you can be is personable and friendly. Even negative comments present an opportunity to be turned into something positive with the right responses.
Failing to Target Specific Followers
It is unlikely to do you much good if you have a host of random followers who do not fit in with your ideal customer demographic. Ideally, you want to have a specific type of follower who engages actively on social media and is interested in what you have to sell. Once you have quality followers, you don’t want to simply bombard them with sales-based content. Instead, you should be using a range of different strategies including writing them personalised messages, taking part in discussions, sharing other people’s posts. After all, in real life, no one likes a person who only talks about themselves! Your content needs to be high quality. Ideally, you should be entertaining your clients or providing them with informative posts that add value to their day to day lives.
Relying Too Heavily on Automation
Though it might be tempting to make your life easier with automated posts to your social media accounts, you can’t expect to grow a huge following in this way. First of all, active users are highly likely to be able to tell that all your posts are pre-planned, and they may then stop following you. Your social media posts are supposed to have a hint of spontaneity about them, and they should also engage with what is going on in the world. Authentic and original content is what you should be striving to create.
Dealing with Too Many Accounts at the Same Time
We have already touched upon this point, but if you should be only using accounts which are relevant to your business. If you set up too many, you will be unable to keep up with them all. You only have limited marketing resources, and you don’t want to risk stretching them too thin. And if a potential customer logs into one of your social media pages only to find that it has not been updated in a long time, this looks bad for your business. If your social media activity is in the hands of a single person, 2-4 social media accounts are likely to be enough for them to manage.
Missing a Social Media Policy
One bad post on social media can be highly damaging to the reputation of your business. So, before you get too active on your accounts, you need to implement a company-wide social media policy. Even if you intend to be a little edgy on social media, there are some things that are acceptable and some things that aren’t. For most companies, anything that could be portrayed as offensive, obscene, derogatory or discriminatory needs to be avoided. All your employees need to be fully aware of their responsibilities and the risks involved to the reputation of your business when social media is not used properly.
After reading through the nine points above, if you have recognised that you are guilty of one or more of these errors, now is the time to make some improvements. The power of social media is only likely to keep growing, so ensuring that your business uses it in the most effective way possible should be high up on your list of priorities. Check for other businesses which are successful on social media to see what they are going right, but you also need to be aware that your company needs to have a clear voice of its own as well.