5 big social media mistakes to avoid
No matter what size company you are, social media can be a powerful marketing tool which if done right can help expand your company brand. But used the wrong way it can hurt your brand costing you goodwill and prospective customers. Many fellow entrepreneurs and international companies have a presence on social media but like others they are struggling to find the right way to establish themselves. So, let’s look at what it takes to have a successful social media presence and what blunders to avoid.
1. Not having a strategy. Less than 20% of businesses say that their social media strategy is mature. Too many companies jump into social media with no plan. They grab an employee who seems to understand “the Facebook” and put them in charge. This rarely works. If you make mistakes in your social media marketing, they can come back to haunt you. Social media users are bombarded with too much information every second of the day. Businesses that don’t have a strategy won’t ever cut through the clutter and deliver an effective message to their target audience. Creating a strategy includes having distinct and measurable goals, developing a clear social media policy, and planning out a content calendar with end goals in mind. Without a clear strategy, businesses could create the best content on the web, but receive little to no engagement.
2. Trying to do it all. If you think that your company can devote its resources to every social network and be successful, you may want to reconsider. Social media marketing is meant to build and solidify relationships with your customers, bring in new customers, and ultimately grow your business. It takes tremendous resources to do this right. You are better off prioritising one or two social networks if you want to see real growth and success. If you only have enough time, money and energy to devote to one or two activities, then do it and do it well. Don’t spread yourself too thin by thinking you can conquer the social media world. You can’t. No brand can.
3. Focus on quality not quantity. Some companies are willing to do anything to get more followers or ‘likes’ from buying followers to staging fake Twitter hacks. The problem is likes don’t equal sales. While you may have to pay for ads to reach some of your audience, paying to boost your fan count is a bad tactic that should be avoided. They add very little to your campaign since they won’t be as engaged as real fans. Real fans can spread brand awareness as well as become brand advocates. It may seem like a great idea to boost the number of fans by purchasing them, but it can ultimately be detrimental to your brand. The solution: focus on quality over quantity.
4. No monitoring and interacting with followers. Reputation is your biggest marketing weapon. Customers now place more trust in online reviews than advertisements. British Airways learned this the hard way when a Twitter user decided that the world needed to know about his lost luggage. Annoyed by BA’s failure to find his lost suitcase, he paid for a promoted tweet, which was seen by more than 80,000 users. BA failed to respond for 8 hours as the message had been posted outside its customer service hours. BA’s failure to see the 24/7 nature of social media and implement some sort of crisis management meant that the problem went on for far too long.
Responding to posts helps consumers feel more connected to the brand. Businesses should have a strategy in place to respond to posts, both negative and positive, and how to use the social media platform as a part of a crisis management strategy. Responding to followers helps build trust between brands and consumers, which can affect future sales and wordof-mouth marketing.
5. Not integrating with other digital assets. Social media works best when integrated with other digital marketing efforts. One mistake many businesses make is to leave their social media accounts separate. Not only should the accounts be linked, they should also be directly tied to websites, emails and paid search advertising campaigns. Not connecting these accounts reduces the amount of reach each asset has separately. Maximize tools that will help you in managing multiple accounts, and sorting information relevant to your business such as HootSuite.
There will be bumps, sharp rights, and many unexpected accelerations but as long as you have the desire to play the game and put in the effort, you’ve got a solid chance at winning. All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new lessons.