Consumers expect companies to engage with them across social channels. But for many ecommerce businesses, social media management is often overlooked or relegated behind other tasks. Social media campaigns are everywhere! While they are meant to enhance your brand and rally your audience, too often brands simply launch social campaigns, cross their fingers and hope for the best. If you are looking to launch a social media campaign, be sure to avoid these three common mistakes. Social media marketing is something that everyone is adopting. Be it an established business or a small local business. Everyone wants to jump onto the bandwagon of making their brand presence felt on social networks. The simple reason being – that’s where the crowd is. However, there are some common social media marketing mistakes visibly noticed.
Why are all endeavors not successful? Why are all Facebook and Google Plus pages as popular? Why are your competitors doing better on SMM? What promises are you making and not catering to? There are various such questions that need to be answered. Social media marketing mistakes – no matter how minor – can cancel out whatever your business has been doing right. Give your competition a run for their money, and maximize your ROI by avoiding such common social media mistakes. While it’s great to learn about what you should do, one could argue that it’s just as important to learn about what you shouldn’t do. If you stop and think about it, social media is now a constant in almost every aspect of our lives—work, politics, breaking news, keeping in touch with friends, you name it.
Social media marketing is now a critical strategy for businesses large and small. You might be thinking, “It’s only social media, how hard can it be?” The answer is: for a brand, it can be very hard. While the ever-evolving social landscape gives us new and exciting ways to engage with our audiences, the changes require us to be agile and able to learn quickly, sometimes through trial and error. The good news is with a smart, detailed and succinct strategy, many of the most common social media marketing mistakes can be averted. Here are some of the most common mistakes in social media marketing strategy, that entrepreneurs must avoid:
Lack Of A Strategy
Deciding early on the goals of your social media presence will likely shape your strategy. Are you planning on increasing brand awareness, site traffic, and leads? Or are you looking to use social media as an additional customer support channel? For some businesses, it may be a combination of these, especially as their audience grows. Once you determine your strategy, identify platforms to use. If your company is focused on lifestyle or fashion, consider Instagram and Pinterest. Both frequently roll out new options to increase sales. What to post in your social profiles depends on your organization and its social strategy. For most of the popular channels, the days of posting your own content and hoping for traffic to roll in are long gone. Twitter and Instagram moved away from a chronological feed to one that prioritizes the content of each user. Most companies might have experienced this and you could be one of them.
The story goes like this: you decide to join the social network, make your profiles, load it with info, put great stuff out there to attract attention and then disappear. Within weeks of your ‘super’ launch your page is converted into a barren land with followers wondering what they are doing there and some people seeking answers and getting no replies. Your social media presence soon becomes a flop show! So the first step is to have a social media marketing plan. The plan should be such that it should build on your presence and not let it dwindle. Any plan would require – time investment, strategy and goals and team for interaction. You need to keep your resources in place to have the game progressing. Ensure you have a dedicated resource, such as a social media marketing manager, who can develop a brand voice, drive a strategy that aligns with your business priorities, and maintain customer relationships.
Overuse Of Automation
Automation makes everything easier for you. It allows you to regularly post updates on your social media profiles while you’re busy taking care of other aspects of your business. But too much automation can make your social media accounts feel impersonal. It also prevents you from interacting directly with your audience, which limits your brand’s ability to build genuine bonds with them. It’s okay to schedule your posts for specific times, but make sure you also set aside a couple of hours every day just to monitor the activity on your posts. During this period, you can answer any questions people have, and respond to any issues people have reported. You can also use the time to thank and appreciate loyal fans, which will strengthen their bonds with your company. While these tools can be a huge help for social media users, they can also negatively impact your engagement if overused. Too often, marketers will look to these programs as a one-stop-shop, dumping all of their content into a scheduler and blasting it across as many social media platforms as possible.
While this may be appropriate for some things, only 15-20% of your content should be treated this way. Why? Well if you take a step back, the reasons become pretty obvious. Each platform follows a different format, and therefore, the content should be customized to fit the different houses it’ll live in. Not only that, but you want your audiences to feel that the community they’re engaged with is authentic. Whether they follow you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or anywhere else. You want the messaging to make sense where they see it. For example, anything over 140 characters needs to be reworded for Twitter or your message will end up getting cut off. Instagram has a video limit of 1 minute – so you’ll probably want to mention where they can see the full version… a message that wouldn’t make sense on Facebook’s platform. These are just a couple of examples of how you want to be careful with automation. It’s a great tool to help handle your accounts, but you don’t want to come off as robotic.
One Way Engagement
Customers and prospects are going to talk about your company whether you are listening or not. So taking a proactive approach can prevent a small mishap from turning into a much larger public-relations issue. There are many social media monitoring tools to get one started, including Hootsuite, Social Mention, and Mention. But listening tools can only do so much. Product and service problems are bound to occur for most companies. Using social media channels to communicate those problems can keep customers informed. This happened a few years ago with Weight Watchers, when its mobile apps did not work due to a site-wide overall. Knowing how and when to respond to a crisis will be unique to your business. In many cases, profiles have updates but no participation in conversation. Lack of conversation with your clients and followers decreases value of your social presence and you don’t build on valuable relationships.
A lot of companies view social media as nothing more than a way to deploy content – where you put your message out there, and then engage/respond to people as they engage/respond to you. While that’s a great first step, a successful social media campaign doesn’t stop there. That means perusing your timeline and liking people’s posts, commenting on pictures, following accounts that make sense for your brand… don’t make the mistake of just sitting back and waiting until someone starts the conversation. Not only will it make your audience feel more connected to your company, but you’ll see a notable boost in your engagement. How many times have you found yourself clicking on profiles that have liked your picture, or commented on your post – to see who they are or what they have to offer? The same concept works in reverse. Talk to your audience and they’re much more likely to talk back.
Inaccurate Target Audience
This is a big mistake – keeping an active page with lot of info but no real followers. This means you don’t really have virtual support and weakens the basis of your social existence. To avoid this, it’s important to build a slow and steady network of real people. And the most important is to know your target audience. Aiming in the dark may seem like you are working very hard, but in the end, results will suffer! Are you creating social media content based on what you assume your fans and followers will like? Or do you check out your competitor’s social channels and just do whatever they’re doing? You know what they say about assumptions, right? Creating social media content based on assumptions or half-assed “competitor analysis” is inefficient and ineffective.
You need to take the time to get to know your own audience. What are they into? What do they care about? How old are they? Where do they live? This time spent reaps big rewards in the long run. Conducting thorough audience research will ensure that all of your social media marketing efforts are as effective as they can be. It will help you discover the best ways to attract and connect with your target audience. It will give you a better understanding of how to create content that will resonate with them, in a tone they’ll find comfortable and approachable. There are many tools and methods for conducting audience research. One of the most direct ways is to use social media monitoring to find out what your audience likes and what they think of your brand. This can help you measure the impact of your social media marketing campaigns, and identify engagement and improvement opportunities.
We all want our social media campaigns to “go viral,” but the truth is, there is no secret checklist to follow to make that happen. Blasting your campaign on social networks where you don’t have a dedicated audience doesn’t make much sense. If your brand has a strong social media presence on one or two networks, focus on distributing your campaign there. Additionally, share your campaign with your email list – this is a group that will likely be inclined to participate and encourage their networks to do so as well. Sharing is where the magic happens! Ensure that your campaign is easily shareable by incorporating a campaign hashtag. Include social sharing buttons on your landing page. With a majority of social media users accessing via mobile, it is important to make your landing page mobile-friendly. Also, consider adding an incentive for your participants who share the campaign with their networks.
While this is something brands should do every day on social media, it is particularly important when running a campaign. Engage with those who participate! Not only does this humanize your brand, but it shows participants that you’re paying attention. A simple “thank you for participating” can go a long way. New advancements in paid social and account-based marketing (ABM) have created a unique way for marketers to understand their audiences better than ever before to serve up relevant messages at just the right time. Customization and personalization are becoming the norm, and it’s inevitable that platforms are evolving to allow its users more flexibility in how they want to tailor their content feeds. But what does that mean for social media marketers? Establish your objectives and define how you’ll measure results. Understand who your target audience is and what they want, and then frame your thinking around your audience’s needs and interests, not your own sales pitch. Start with the basics and before you know it, you’ll be well on your way to success.