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Are You Making any of These Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes?
In today’s guest post on my blog, Juan Perez from http://www.broadbandsearch.net explains everything you should avoid when it comes to marketing on social media.
Thank you, Juan. Over to you.
It seems like everyone’s marketing on social media these days, but are they all doing it well? Not exactly.
There are a lot of mistakes that can negatively influence the direction of your social media marketing campaigns and the results you obtain from them.
Whether it’s the frequency of your posts, the platforms you use, or your lack of strategy, there are a lot of mistakes you are probably making that you don’t even realize.
Thankfully, there are ways to improve your social media game and improve the results you get from your social media marketing.
You’re trying to get every demographic
Where you’re going wrong: When you’re first getting started on social media, you may think that if you’re neutral enough, you can appeal to everyone, but that’s not quite true. Different age groups will have different interests and different expectations, so the content they see on social media needs to be tailored to them.
How to fix it: That means that you’ll need to pick a target demographic and the best platforms to reach them on. It may seem like you’re limiting yourself, but on the contrary – you are just clarifying your focus and putting more effort into the demographic that is most likely to create conversions for your brand, instead of wasting time trying to cater to everyone.
You don’t look at analytics
Where you’re going wrong: When you start running a social media page for a brand, instead of a personal one, you can’t just post anything, at any time.
There are certain tools that will help you by tracking your metrics and showing you how large your audience is, what are your most popular posts, what posts produce the highest levels of engagement, etc.
How to fix it: If you’re not taking advantage of them, you’re essentially running the page blindly, and throwing anything at the wall, hoping it sticks.
Keeping track of analytics will help you go about this in a much more logical and structured way. Based on them, you can create a strategy, which leads us to the next point.
You don’t have a strategy
Where you’re going wrong: When you’re running brand pages and going down the avenue of social media marketing, a social media marketing strategy is absolutely essential.
Without a strategy, your posts are probably more than a little chaotic, and that can be really bad for business.
How to fix it: You see, a strategy requires a clear vision for what you’re trying to achieve, on what timeline, and how.
The SMART format works best for most people, so when setting your goals, make sure they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely.
That helps you keep your eyes on the prize and keep the most important aspects of your plan in clear focus, long-term.
Your posts are boring
Where you’re going wrong: There’s no easy way to say this: if your social media marketing strategy isn’t working, your online presence may just be very boring or irrelevant to your target audience.
If you’re not getting the levels of engagement you aspire to, you’re doing one or two things wrong: you’re either not marketing correctly, or what you’re marketing just isn’t very good.
How to fix it: To achieve success this way, your posts need to be engaging, interesting, and shareable.
You want your followers to be able to skim your post and find something of value that piques their interest for long enough to share your post with their friends or followers.
Whether that’s a joke, an interesting topic for discussion, or a thought-provoking photo, make sure your posts aren’t making the worst mistake of all: being unremarkable.
You are not replying to comments
Where you’re going wrong: This one is surprisingly common, although one would think that it’s common sense: do you post on social media, but fail to engage with your followers?
Because that may be why your activity is kind of dead.
If the posts themselves aren’t open to interaction, that’s a mistake. If followers are liking, following and commenting and you’re not replying, that’s also where you’re going wrong.
Engagement begets engagement, so do your best to stay on top of every post and engage people in conversation.
How to fix it: When posting, do your best to always ask a question and prompt people to reply in the comments. That keeps things interactive and ensure that your post is shareable and interesting.
Then make sure to reply; that makes people feel more connected to you, as a brand. Whether it’s a follow-up question, a simple thank you, or even an emoji, you should make an effort to respond to as many comments as possible.
You are using social media as a sales platform
Where you’re going wrong: A lot of brands profoundly misunderstand social media, and you can tell, because they’re always trying to sell.
Now, that isn’t to say that you can’t sell on social media, but generally speaking, it’s try-hard, it’s obvious, and it’s not going to go down well. People get very tired of being sold to, very fast.
How to fix it: Sales will come, and social media can help, but you need to know how to use it to the best of its potential.
Selling is acceptable, but not too often, and not too obvious. Use these platforms primarily as a way to connect with your audience and increase brand awareness.
You have no idea what you’re doing
Where you’re going wrong: Perhaps the biggest problem of all is that you don’t actually know what you’re doing.
You haven’t hired a social media team or at least an expert, and you’re sort of winging your entire strategy. Obviously, that’s not going to lead to the best results.
How to fix it: The easiest way to achieve social media marketing perfection (or at least, close to it) is to hire an expert or a team of professionals that can take care of this part of the business, for you.
You wouldn’t try to do the accounting part by yourself, right? You’d hire an accountant.
So, why would you be the one in charge of your social media strategy, especially when it’s so important for your overall marketing? Leave it in the hands of capable professionals.
You don’t have a strategy in case of crisis
Where you’re going wrong: Raise your hand if you’ve ever done one of the following: replied rudely to an ugly comment, ignored uncomfortable questions from customers, or deleted comments raising concerns over your services or products.
This behavior is unacceptable, in general, but when you’re dealing with a full-on crisis where customers are incensed and you’re caught doing something wrong, ignoring it or responding rudely can turn it into a disaster.
How to fix it: What you need is a crisis manager, or at least someone from PR who ca set up a crisis strategy for you. It’s not even a matter of “if” it happens, but of “when” it happens.
And when it does, you want someone capable and clear-headed who will be able to address the situation accordingly and issue the right kind of statement.
You don’t have a schedule
Where you’re going wrong: You thought your social media presence was pretty great, but you only post when you’ve got time, or whenever you remember.
Sometimes, it’s on a Monday morning; other times, it’s Wednesday afternoon, or three times in a row on a Sunday. That’s chaotic, and possibly annoying for your audience.
How to fix it: For a successful social media marketing strategy, you need to have a set posting schedule. Your audience should be able to see content from you regularly.
Once a day, and even twice a day, preferably at the same time, is a good schedule that ensures that you remain at the forefront of your followers’ minds, but without overwhelming them with content.
You buy followers
Where you’re going wrong: Many companies choose to buy followers when they’re first starting out, because they mistakenly believe that the number will lend them legitimacy. You may have fallen in this trap, as well.
However, fake followers, or “bots” are ultimately a waste of money, and here’s why: first of all, they don’t guarantee you engagement or hits, so you’re not actually improving your business.
Plus, it’ll look sketchy to your real followers when you’ve got millions of supposed followers, but no comments or likes.
Second, social media platforms regularly clean up bots, so you’ll wake up having lost significant amounts of followers overnight.
How to fix it: Instead of buying fake followers, it’s worth it to promote yourself and work harder at acquiring real ones.
Focus on catering to your target audience, post regularly, and make your posts interesting and interactive.
Followers will start sharing your posts, thus growing your following organically.
You don’t publicize your accounts
Where you’re going wrong: If you have social media accounts for your brand, but you’re not linking to them on your website or sharing them anywhere, that’s a big false step.
A lot of growth comes from the social media platforms themselves, but your audience can discover you from a lot of other sources.
How to fix it: Start linking to your social media on your website, in ads, in guest posts, bios, etc.
If you want people to discover you, you have to give them a little nudge.
Sometimes, that means literally prompting people to follow you on social media at the bottom of every blog post.
While social media marketing is clearly the way to go for most businesses, the right strategy is not always so cut and dry.
There are a lot of mistakes you may be making in your attempt to improve your online presence, but the good news is that these mistakes can definitely be fixed.
You just need to be aware of where you’re going wrong and the steps you can take towards becoming proficient at social media.
About the Guest Author:
Juan Perez is a full time writer with a passion for technology. He enjoys writing about all things internet based whether that be digital marketing, blogging or offering technical advice. Connect with him on Twitter for his latest thoughts and posts.