Social media is no longer just a trend. It’s here to stay for a long time. Lots of businesses are still learning how to incorporate social media successfully into their marketing efforts, either through in-house social media management or via a social media agency. Social media marketing isn’t a one size fits all, and you shouldn’t simply follow what others are doing on social, and become discouraged by the lack of positive results. It’s important to create a social strategy that is unique to your business and customers.
Here are some common mistakes businesses and social media marketers make:
Dismissing social marketing as ineffective
If you believe social media is not right for your audience, customer base, demographic or industry, you are wrong. With over 3 billion people around the world using social media, your customers are almost certainly active on social media, so it can be a great and effective way to reach them.
Social media marketing isn’t just as simple as pumping out content on your social channels. Curating organic content which is tailored for your audience is a great way to grow brand awareness and validity. However, it shouldn’t be relied upon to create sales. When it comes to sales paid social advertising can be extremely effective, and using ambassadors and influencers is key to growing brand and product awareness and helping to drive sales too.
Not having a social media marketing strategy or tracking results correctly
Social media marketing can be a gigantic waste of time and energy if you don’t have a proper strategy. It must be approached the same way you approach your planning for any marketing campaign.
Developing your very own social media strategy is an essential foundation for everything that follows. Having a social media marketing strategy doesn’t just mean making a certain number of posts per day. Having specific goals, budgets and a concrete plan of action that outlines what you are trying to accomplish, how you will achieve your goal, how you will measure results and what resources you will need to allocate is a must!
In order to have a strong strategy, you need to have clear goals and track meaningful metrics. Setting KPI’s is essential to be able to measure the success of your social media activity and campaigns. However, many social media marketers tend to only look at vanity metrics, such as the number of followers or amount of engagement. Although it is always good to have these numbers growing and to keep a close eye on it, it’s important not to solely base your success on these metrics. Measuring the impact your social media has on your business can be a lot more effective. - Your followers may be growing, but sales are down. Or your followers are growing and you’re reaching new audiences and raising brand awareness, which is great!
Optimise your accounts and check out your competition. For example, you may use Facebook advertising to target a specific audience and promote sales and use your organic Instagram page to share imagery and drive engagement.
To expect amazing results from your very first post or campaign could be a bit optimistic. It will always take some trials and testing before you see results on social media. Track and learn from your social media campaigns and continue toward your business goals.
Treating all social media platforms in the same way
One of the biggest mistakes many brands make on social media is to treat all social media platforms the same. Many brands post the same content in the same format with the same copy across all their social platforms. Every social platform has different strengths, features, marketing tools, and also diverse audiences with varying demographics, behaviours, and interests.
You should always bear in mind that your updates and marketing strategies for each social network should be distinctive and tailored to the audience on specific platforms.
For example, Instagram is a very visual platform, so this is the place to get creative with imagery. Whereas Facebook is great for longer-form content and for sharing user-generated content. Twitter has a small character limit and is great for broadcasting short messages and starting conversations.
Ignoring your audience and not engaging with them
All content you post on social media should be designed to engage with your audience, or provoke a certain reaction. If you are not providing your audience with engaging content, or content they want to be viewing you will potentially lose the interest of your audience and lose followers. Your overall content strategy should be designed with your audience in mind. Think of some key content pillars for which all your content should fit into. For example, a pillar could be ‘Emotion’ and content under this pillar should be inspirational or thought-provoking. Another example of a pillar could be ‘Opinion’ and content here should share your values or bring awareness to the audience.
You also need to be proactive with community management. When someone has a negative reaction to a post of yours, this is an opportunity to improve the quality of your service and build trust within your brands’ community. Many brands choose to ignore harsh negative comments and some even try to delete it or reply with a harsher statement. Try not to be defensive and take on feedback to learn from your audience.
Always be friendly and personable when you reply to a comment, this is what social media is all about. The way you reply and your tone of voice is representative of the company. If you can engage well and be personable and witty in your comments your audience will recall the brand in a positive light.
Each comment on your social media channels is an opportunity for you to increase engagement and interact with your audience. When you are actively participating in the conversation, you can expect increased engagement and it shows that a priority for your brand is having open conversations with your audiences. - An example of a brand who has great engagement on social media with us followers and customers in Wendy’s in the US.
When someone replies to your post, make sure your social media team responds as soon as possible. The more you respond, the more your customers will want to engage.
Not targeting your audience and making it all about you
When you are targeting an audience which is really broad it’s like shooting in the dark. Your posts are not going to bring any engagement if your audience doesn’t see them. You have to define a buyer persona. Based on this you can identify the different people and deliver your campaigns in a tailored and personal way. You should identify age, gender, location, industry, preferences, etc.
If you don’t understand who your target audience is, the results will be disappointing, no matter how hard you work on your social networks. Content which isn’t tailored to your audience won’t engage them.
When targeting within Facebook advertising you can be a lot more detailed in your targeting for specific demographics, location, and if you use a Pixel to track your website, you can even re-target those who have visited your site or purchased before. You can experiment with different audiences which facebook will optimise for, and make data-led decisions.
With organic, you need to tailor any copy-writing so it’s in the tone of voice of your brand and will appeal to those you are speaking to.
You not only have to speak the language of your audience, but you have to tell them what they want to hear. You should post content of a high quality, which is going to be of interest to your audience. If you’re selling a product don’t make every post about that product.
As a social media agency, Spin Brands likes to use the jab, jab, jab, right hook approach. Feed the audience the content they want to see, and then go in with a saley post about your product.
Organic social shouldn’t be used as a tool to drive sales, but more so used to create brand and product awareness. You’re likely to put people off in you only ram products in their face.
Having too many accounts to manage
Don’t try to be on all social networks at once. This is a lot to manage and can result in content being repeated on different channels which isn’t engaging. Don’t post content for contents sake, if it’s not adding any value. Many businesses make the mistake of jumping on every social network, setting up the accounts and trying to manage them all. They then realise they are stretching their marketing resources thin and producing very little results in the process.
Depending on how many people run your social media accounts, you should focus on 2-4 social media accounts and you should pick these based on where your audience are. For example, if you have an older audience they may be more active on Facebook, but less likely to be using Tik Tok. Don’t stretch your resources to reach a smaller Tik Tok audience when you could be putting more value into your Facebook content. Focus your efforts on the social media network that produces the best results for your business.
Not posting regularly
If your strategy says that you should be posting three times per day and this is what gets you the best engagement and helps you to reach your KPI’s, you need to stick with this. It’s very important to be regular with your posts because not posting for a single day can affect your impressions and engagement rates, damaging your social media marketing efforts. Not being regular means your content can get hidden from most of your followers.
A simple solution is to schedule your posts automatically for certain times of the day or week. You should also avoid posting an update just because you have to, but planning your posts on a social media content calendar will prevent that.
Don’t over-stretch yourself and think you have to be posting multiple times a day. The current trend is that less is more. Less posts of a better quality is better than posting for the sake of posting.
Believe in the power of social media for your brand. Have a clear strategy, track your results, and ensure you’re using the correct platforms for your brand and create specific content which will add value. Your audience on social media are there to be engaged with, so make content which they want to see and is specific for each individual platform.
These are just a few tips of things commonly seen when running social media on behalf of a brand. Whether managing content yourself or using a social media agency, these are all things to be aware of. Happy posting!