Social media platforms connect billions of people all around the world. As the number of people and the time spent on social media continue to go up, they also become increasingly important to marketers and advertisers.
Anyone in business knows this: if you want to increase brand awareness, promote your products and services, and improve customer engagement and experience, you need to be on social media. It may seem straightforward, but simply being present on social media platforms is not enough to achieve your marketing goals. You need to plan accordingly and avoid making the same errors that many brands on social media are committing today.
Here are some of the most common mistakes to avoid in social media marketing.
Lack of strategy
A social media marketing strategy is the foundation to everything your brand does on social. If all you’ve done is create a Facebook and Instagram page and post pretty much whatever, then your efforts will not do much for your business.
Clearly-defined goals. What do you want to achieve with social media? Brand awareness? Generate more leads? Enhanced customer service? Write them down so you can focus on them.
Action plan. How do you plan to achieve the goals you’ve set? Think about your social media brand voice and personality, content calendar, and types of posts, among others.
Metrics. Define metrics that matter to your brand and social media goals and how you are going to measure them. For example, if your goal is to generate more leads, make sure you have tracking links on social media posts to know how effective your action plan is in achieving that.
Avoiding negative feedback
Regardless of how many likes or followers you have on social media, you’re bound to get some non-fans. In fact, social media has made it easier for negative feedback to be thrown at your brand and dealing with them can be tough. Ignoring, or worse, counterattacking them will not make them go away.
The best way to go about this is to tackle the problem. Use bad feedback to improve the quality of your product or service and build trust. Ask the complainant what you can do for them, how you can do better next time, and maybe try to make it up to them—offer a discount for next time or even a free product if your budget allows for it. When you take negative comments seriously and try to resolve the problem they presented, you get an opportunity to turn an unhappy customer into a loyal one.
On social media and anywhere else, hard-selling never works. Over-promoting your products or services on your pages will only get you unfollows and unlikes, so try to keep your promotional posts to a minimum. Typically, it should be no more than one promotion for every four non-promotional posts.
Instead of spamming your customers’ timelines with “buy me” posts, consider publishing content that adds value to their lives, including how-to videos, infographics on relevant topics, or entertainment pieces. You may also want to post lifestyle content or anything that shows your brand values or work culture.
Lack of regular content
It can be a challenge to keep up with publishing content regularly when there are so many other aspects of your business and marketing efforts to stay on top of. At the same time, not having regular updates on your pages means not achieving the goals you’ve set on your social media strategy.
One solution is to spend time to plan your content, plot them on a calendar, produce them, and schedule them to post automatically for certain days and times of the week. Another option is to outsource your content marketing to social media specialists.
Lack of interaction with the community
Communication must be two-way in social media. However, many brands don’t bother interacting with user comments or reactions, giving the impression that they’re not interested in making conversation with their community.
When you get comments and private messages, make sure you respond to them in a timely manner (read: as soon as you can). Actively participating in your page community improves engagement rates and encourages follower growth.
No content optimization
Sometimes, publishing content is not enough to boost your engagement. You need to study your results, see which posts are performing well, and optimize your future content accordingly. For example, if you notice that your videos are performing a lot better than photo and text-based ones, then it may be time to allocate more resources for producing video content.
You may also want to study how your competitors are engaging with their social media community, then create campaigns based on their most successful methods. Finally, be sure to use keywords and relevant hashtags to gain more reach.
Your social media marketing strategy is never going to be perfect. However, if you want to make the most out of your efforts on social, then you need to learn from the mistakes of others and try to avoid committing the same.