An effective marketing strategy on social media is an integral component of any successful business in today’s digital world
Particularly for new comers in digital marketing, making a good first impression on social media is extra critical as you only really have one chance to get things right.
If you happen to fail, you will be left behind by your competitors and repairing your reputation can be quite the task to achieve.
These are some of the most common mistakes businesses make on social media so beware.
- Having no social media strategy
Having a social media strategy is of the utmost importance.
What is your goal for being on social media? Is it to engage with customers? Drive traffic to your website?
Without a strategy, you will end up wasting your valuable time and resources.
Social media marketing is as much an art as it is a science. There are basic things that every business owner needs to master from the start to avoid problems down the line.
Start with a clear and actionable plan with quantifiable goals based on baseline measurements. Understand your target audience and your competition (including non-industry content competitors).
Start small with one or two networks and build from there. Post consistently, resist the temptation to include brand mentions in every piece of content, and deliver real value to your audience.
If you can master these basics, you’re well on your way to social media marketing success. This brings us to mistake number 2.
- Creating too many social media accounts too soon
Many Businesses create social media accounts on a number of websites while not having the available resources to efficiently publish quality content and engage properly with their customers.
What you want to do is not stretch yourself thin. Locate the networks where your audience gathers most. You can start with one or two networks. Always remember to be consistent with your posting. 2-3 times a week is a good way to start.
Neil Patel, a global authority recommends the postings schedule below:
All social media platforms need to be handled differently. A ”one size fits all” social media campaign will not work in your favor. You need to be diverse in your approach in all the social networks you own to make each of them work to your advantage.
Recall the first mistake about failing to have a plan. If you do have a marketing plan, you will know who your target audience is. Focus on the social media network that will enable you to best connect with your audience,that should be your priority.
When you’re first getting started with social media marketing, be careful not to stretch your social media presence too thin. Start with one or two networks where the majority of your core audience is already located and build from there.
Posting once every few weeks will never build a consistent following or boost engagement and brand awareness. Aim to post 2-3 times per week and share valuable content.
Create a balance within your posts. You can still advertise new products, but mix it a little bit with content that’s of genuine value to your audience.
If ever you find yourself stuck and out of ideas, ask yourself these questions
what are the challenges my customers face?
Are there appropriate posts that can add value to my customers?
Is there industry news that I can comment or expound upon?
- Paying for fake followers.
Just to be clear, you should never do this. I’m just as shocked as you are but it happens. Businesses can acquire thousands or even millions of followers, likes +1’s etc by paying for them.
Bought followers on Twitter are usually from fake accounts created by spammers to distribute spam links. Facebook likes can also come from hacked accounts of individuals who have no idea that they have liked your page.
It can boost the online presence of a business but ultimately, it will not result in more traffic, it won’t boost your customer engagement and most of all, it won’t yield return on investment. All your promotions will be wasted on bots that will never care.
Social media is not a numbers game. Its real value comes from engaging with people who are interested in your business. Fake followers will never interact with you or buy your products so you will simply be wasting your time. Fake accounts can be easily identified and could discourage people from engaging with you.
Worse still, you could draw penalties and have your account suspended.
- Talking too much about your brand
Business can often misuse social media as a platform to advertise. They focus more on advertising and less on engagement with customers.
The businesses that do this are missing out because people do not want to be bombarded with advertisements. Next thing you know, people will remove you from their feeds un-follow or down vote you.
Instead, you should focus on what your audience wants and make them feel special. Find out their interests, share valuable content to ensure they stay loyal to your brand.
Do not let the affinity of your brand influence the value of the content you share. Not doing that can damage the reputation of your business.
- Forgetting to proof read
This is an important one. You always have to keep in mind that your messages represent your brand so you have to always look out for errors or anything controversial that could harm your business.
At all times, keep in mind that your posts represent your brand so there is no such thing as too careful or too cautious. be mindful about creating buzz the wrong way.
Staying relevant and up to date is not easy because what’s trending today can become old news tomorrow.
A good strategy you can implement is news jacking. This involves amplifying content through popular headlines instead of creating something from scratch. Just make sure that it is appropriate lest it will turn your customers away.
6. Not being social
This ties in with mistake number 4, focusing too much on branded messages and adverting and forgetting the real reason why you are on social media in the first place, to connect with people. Be charming and relatable to your followers.
Humanize your business on social media. Don’t be afraid to share behind the scenes images or videos. It shows your followers the human side of your business and how you are just like everybody else.
Leave comments every now and then, share trending updates that your followers will find valuable.
Don’t take your customers for granted. If engaging with your customers is foregone, then you completely miss out on the whole point of social media
Make no mistake about it, in most cases, automated replies and corporate jargons can send your audience scrambling in the opposite direction. Take it upon yourself to respond to comments both good and bad from your followers.
Negative comments in particular can be shared around social media instantly and if you wait too long to respond to them, it could become a PR disaster for you. Respond to comments will make your followers feel valued. This in turn will help you build strong, lasting relationships with your customers and that should be your goal.
7. Not measuring the impact of your efforts
All sorts of analytic tools are available on the internet today to help you measure the effectiveness of your social media campaigns. What you will find is that many businesses do not put in the time to make use of these tools.
The good news: Nowadays, you have access to all the data necessary to measure the effectiveness of your campaign. The social media landscape is very dynamic.
Things are constantly changing. Daily or even on an hourly basis, you are likely to come across new trending topics, hashtags, viral content that can all capture the attention of your target audience.
If you become too comfortable with a particular strategy and not pay attention to other things, you can miss out on opportunities to capitalize on trending topics or worse still, make critical mistakes.
Always make it a point to measure your efforts. This means not just limiting performance results on the number of likes, shares and retweets alone. Those numbers alone will not tell you the whole story. You will only get the clear picture by studying all of the metrics. This list will give you all the metrics that you need to focus on
When it comes to social media, customers want to be in control. They expect businesses to know when, where and how to effectively connect with them.
While there is no shortage of ways to get to where you want to be, avoiding the seven key mistakes will help you get to your destination faster without experiencing any problems along the way
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