By Aditya Kathotia
Let’s start today’s blog with a simple yet startling fun fact: Currently, the world is home to 3.48 billion social media users. That is equal to half the world’s population!
No, wait. That’s actually equal to a huge target consumer base for your social media campaign. The world is the social media marketer’s oyster, isn’t it?
To make the most of this huge potential consumer base, you create as much as content as possible. New content is generated every day by your creative team and it is posted out on different social media channels.
Good strategy to have. But have you been able to achieve the goal you intended to? Let me guess. No, right?
There’s a reason for it.
According to stats, 90% of businesses in the U.S. use social media as a marketing tool. Further, 80% of companies think their social media customer service is exceptional, while only 8% of customers agree to that.
Why the huge gap?
Because you might be making social media marketing blunders without even realizing it.
Most of the time, despite putting in their best efforts, brands do not see the results they expect. In such cases, it’s their social media marketing strategy to blame.
To err is human, though. So don’t be too harsh on yourself. Learn lessons from them instead and you’ll be well on your way to a winning social media marketing strategy.
In that spirit, here are 10 social media marketing mistakes you should never make.
1. Not Devising a Proper Social Media Marketing Strategy
Despite the power social media holds as a marketing tool, several up and coming businesses don’t give it the priority it deserves. They direct their attention on an SEO strategy alone and hope for outstanding results.
However, it is important to note that most successful businesses rely heavily on social media to connect with their consumers and promote their services and products. And customers use social media to reach out to the brands they love.
So if you ask me, having a proper social media strategy in place is a must, no matter the tone and personality of your business.
Get a social media manager on board and chalk up a definitive plan of the number and type of posts you intend to put up each week. A social media manager will also help you know which social media platform you should be most active on, depending on your brand and the type of product you sell.
What’s more, you’ll gain insight on the kind of audience you should reach out to so you can achieve your strategy’s objectives and get the best results.
All in all, the social media strategy you devise should have clearly defined goals coupled with an action plan.
2. Following the Same Old Stale Strategy
So you’ve had the same social media strategy for eons and not gotten the results you desire. Why continue with it then? It’s time to shake things up!
You need to realize that social media is a very powerful tool. It can help you develop a sound brand image and create a favorable impression on your audience. That means you can’t just carelessly post anything you want to and then expect it to work. There has to be a thought, or reasoning behind it.
Hence, if you see that posting on Facebook is not working for you, maybe try Instagram. Maybe your brand needs a prominent presence on LinkedIn to get traction via social media. Whatever it is, keep changing your social media strategy with time to keep up with the new objectives and trends of the presiding year.
3. Trying to Please All Kinds of Audiences
You can’t please everyone. So don’t even try. Period.
However, you can please a few very well and that’s what you should focus on as far as your social media campaign is concerned.
Figure out who your target audience is and direct all the content you post on social media at them. After all, it’s not about engaging everyone. It’s about engaging the right kind of people so that leads generated can turn into conversions.
Focus on only the numbers and you may have a large number of social media followers, but it’ll be useless since most of them will not be willing to buy your products. So prioritize quality over quantity and aim your social media campaign at your target audience only.
You can take inspiration from Convince & Convert, a social media content marketing website. Their social media strategy is on point. Taking full advantage of the B2B nature of their business, they mostly target LinkedIn for their social media promotion as they know they’ll find the right audience on that platform.
4. Not Tracking Your Campaign Results
The whole point of having a social media strategy is for it to work. The strategies you implement should fulfill the objectives you intend to achieve. However, you will never know if your hard work is paying off if you don’t keep track of your campaign results.
That’s why you need to find yourself a good analytics tool. Regular analysis of your campaigns will offer you insight into what’s been done and the lessons you can learn from it to have a more improved campaign in the future.
Moreover, by keeping track of your analytics, you will be better equipped to develop targeted marketing strategies that will help you gain the right followers for your brand. You’ll gain other valuable info as well including conversions, customer engagement, buying trends and the influence you have in your niche.
5. Not Establishing a Connection with Your Audience
It’s not the social media platform you choose that forms the core of your campaigns. It’s your audience that does. That said, many brands do not establish a connection with their audience on social media platforms.
Time-saving though that maybe, it can make your audience feel as if your brand is not interesting in engaging in conversations. This can lead to a distant and aloof audience – one that ends up having a negative impression of your brand.
In that case, it doesn’t matter how many posts you churn out. If your audience does not get the attention they deserve, they will not share your posts or comment on them.
The only way to fix this is to respond to user’s comments on your post. A conversation at the end of the day is a two-way street. And people tend to respond positively when an emotional connect is established.
Not all publicity is good though. So keep in mind though that you engage your audience in positive conversations rather than those with negative connotations. You don’t want your brand to lose reputation in the market.
6. Treating Each Social Media Platform the Same Way
When it comes to social media mistakes brands should avoid, this one just takes the cake. Even though it’s a grave mistake to make, most brands are guilty of it anyway.
It’s common tendency for brands to post the exact same content on every social media platform, thinking that the same copy will help brands get the traffic and audience engagement they desire. You’ve done it too and you know it.
Why this approach fails is because NOT all social media platforms are the same and hence, can’t be treated as such. Content that works on Instagram will likely not be suitable for posting on LinkedIn and vice versa.
You have to play to the strengths of the social media platform concerned before posting on it. For example, videos work well on Facebook, photos on Instagram and authoritative articles on LinkedIn. By posting the tailor-made content on different platforms, you can reach a wide audience with varying interests and behaviors.
7. Being Heavily Dependent on Automation
Automation is, no doubt, a major life saver! I usually rely on AI-based tools to do all my social media postings. It saves me a lot of time and hassle and ensures there’s a regular stream of content on my social media accounts.
However, of late I’ve noticed that relying excessively on automation has made my content lose that human touch. This has been troublesome as it has negatively impacted the audience engagement on my posts, which is on a steady decline.
What was also alarming that automated updates can be easily misconstrued, leading to embarrassing moments, which are hard to recover from. This happens especially frequently if you use traditional automation tools that are rule-based.
Hence, it’s vital to control the use of automation when posting on social media. Sending out personalized messages instead will lead to greater customer engagement, lesser embarrassing moments and more success.
8. Deleting, Avoiding or Counter-Arguing Negative Comments
Negative feedback is awful to get. Nobody likes being criticized and when your brand has to bear the brunt, it is a cause for concern. However, deleting, avoiding or counter-arguing the negative comments you get on social media is not going to fix your brand’s image.
If you avoid, delete or reply back with a harsh comment, chances are the disgruntled consumer will not recommend you. Other members of your audience who see such behavior from your end may follow suit and stop using the products of your brand. Not a pleasant scenario to say in the least.
A simple way you can escape this mess is to reply to the negative comments you receive in a manner that addresses the complaint made by your customer. When you resolve the issue, the consumer concerned has no cause to complain. In fact, offering exceptional customer service can help people turn into your brand’s loyal customers.
So take harsh comments seriously and use them as a chance to turn dissatisfied customers into loyal ones. Escalate issues privately and you will see a dramatic improvement in your brand’s perceived image.
9. Focusing Excessively on Self-Promotion
Over-promotion on social media is a thing. While it’s good to keep up the frequency of your social media posts, over-promoting your brand can have the opposite effect.
If you spend most of your time promoting your brand and its products, social media users may start disliking your brand. Instead of ensuring you get more followers, putting out extra content may lead to dwindling numbers.
That is not to say you shouldn’t promote your brand at all. A good formula to follow is to put up 1 promotional post on social media for every 4 engagement-based posts. That way you get to promote your brand and increase customer engagement without your strategy backfiring.
10. Abusing Hashtags
Using hashtags for the first time can be nerve wracking. You will want to use as many hashtags as you can so people can search for your content easily. But then you’d run the risk of over-tagging. Well, if you want my advice, less is more when it comes to hashtags.
Most social media platforms will not allow you to use too many hashtags. They have their own guidelines on hashtag usage and generally, following them will keep you out of trouble. You could also do some homework to find out the number of hashtags you should ideally use so you never overdo it.
Also, ensure that the hashtags you use are brand specific and actually convey the message you want to convey. To prevent yourself from overusing hashtags, check the ones you’ve listed for relevance. If any of them seem irrelevant, they probably ought to go.
Just remember to include both broad and specific hashtags along with popular and brand-centric ones and you’ll be good to go.
Each of the mistakes listed above are easy to avoid. A simple solution that works for all of the mistakes listed here is planning. If you lay down your social media marketing goals, your plans and target audience in pen and paper, you will have a better idea of what to do. If you’re still stuck though, hiring a social media manager will help you get out of the rut and back in the game.