Social media users are growing at a massive pace. The number of active social media users has already surpassed 2.5 billion users, and that number is only expected to rise in the coming years. These people spend a lot of time on various social media platforms, which forces both small and big businesses alike to spend a lot of money on social media marketing campaigns.
According to a 2015 study from Regalix, 94 percent of B2B marketers surveyed said the key objective of social media marketing was to increase brand awareness. But, there are numerous businesses that have not been able to get the desired return from their social media marketing campaigns. The key to getting a greater return from any marketing campaign is a strategy. You need to have an effective strategy to get the return you’re looking for. When creating a strategy for social media, it’s important to first take note of common mistakes and avoid them.
What are the top 10 mistakes to avoid?
There are plenty of mistakes you can make while launching a social media marketing campaign. If we listed out all the minor mistakes often made, we would be here all day. Instead, we will only focus on 10 common mistakes that you are more likely to do when you start getting involved in the social media marketing.
1. Ignoring data
In today’s world, you cannot expect to see success in any business without a plan and analysis. To know what actions to take or what types of strategy may work out, you need to analyze the data.
Thankfully, getting your hands on data is not as difficult as it used to be in the past. Nowadays, you can easily get required information within a matter of minutes. All you need to do is search and find the right kind of tools. There are plenty of studies done by the researchers, and there are plenty of tools that can provide you with real-time data on your performance. For example, Facebook offers an “Insights” section on pages that offers a variety of statistics on how well posts on a particular page are performing. There are also many third-party tools that can be utilized for measuring your social media marketing campaign’s performance. AgoraPulse and Keyhole are two excellent tools that allow marketers to track their social performance. Dig deep into that information before you start making a plan for your campaign.
2. Being careless with your stories
Remember that what you share on your social media accounts contributes to the image of your brand. Whether you share your story on Facebook, Twitter, or other social media accounts, you need to make sure you make a good impression and connect with your audience. You do not want to leave your audience with a bad impression. Before sharing your stories, you should ask yourself some important questions:
- Is my story interesting?
- Does my story provide value to your followers?
- Are my posts only asking people to purchase your products and services?
When people decide to follow your page or channel, they expect you to post something of value. Do not only promote your products and your company. Instead, you should post something interesting and start engaging with your followers. For example, you could write a blog post about an interesting topic related to your niche and then post a link with a creative call-to-action on your Facebook page. You could also post interesting “behind the scenes” moments to help your customers connect with your business on a more personal level.
3. Going off topic
It was already mentioned that you need to cover interesting topics that relate to your product but are not explicitly your product. While you do that, it is important not to go off topic. While ensuring your posts are always interesting and keeps the follower informed, you should try to keep the information you post on your social profiles relevant to your niche. For example, if you own a business that deals with financial products, your followers do not want know how cute your dogs are or hear about that tasty recipe you found.
4. Posting content that does not spark engagement
The idea of social media marketing is to convert your followers to customers if they aren’t already. The more customers you have, the more money you make. Thus, the more people you reach on social media, the more potential your social media marketing campaign has. If you post boring content on your social profiles, then your followers will not engage with your content and they will not be likely to click. You may even lose followers. If you post interesting content, however, followers will be more likely to click and, of course, share the content you post with their friends. Try posting engaging content and include a compelling call-to-action. If you want your followers to share a post, then ask them to do so. If you want them to click on a link, then tell them to “click here.”
5. Being impersonal
A common mistake that businesses make when they set up social media accounts is the use of auto responders to help speed up the process of responding to their followers—or their potential customers. Customers want to feel like they are talking to a person that cares about their concerns, questions, and business. It is important to approach customers on a personal level. If you own a small business, then you can reply to customer requests personally. If you own a larger company, then you could invest in a decent chatbot that is able to address customer queries in a professional, yet personalized manner.
6. Not being transparent
Being transparent helps you win the trust of your followers. According to one study, businesses that are transparent with their customers are more likely to have more loyal customers.
If you publish your company’s information on your social media page or channel, there is a chance that the people will use it against you. Thus, there are risks involved with choosing to be transparent. But, if you commit to personally responding to follower’s questions and concerns, you can guide the interaction in a positive way.
7. Outdated content
Millennials are the most brand-loyal customers. Furthermore, they are America’s largest generation. If you want to win the loyalty of millennials and other people, you have to prove you’re worth following.
You should consistently publish posts that will keep your followers engaging. This will keep your followers happy with your social media page/account. If you have a company blog, share relevant articles. It’s OK if they are older, as long as they are evergreen and remain relevant. Don’t post something about 2008 tax code, when it’s likely it’s already out of date.
8. Avoiding negative feedback
There will always be people who provide negative feedback no matter what you do. Many companies decide to ignore it, but you shouldn’t. Instead, accept the criticism and respond with care. If you receive negative feedbacks on your posts, you should thank the individual who posted the feedback for pointing out the particular problem they are having and address the problem in a professional way. There are many companies that deal with customer service on social media very well, including Nike, JetBlue, and Starbucks. Responding to negative comments also gives you an opportunity to be transparent with your followers and customers.
9. Collecting followers for the sake of having followers
A lot of companies tend to aim for quantity over quality when it comes to followers. In the end, it is not a number of followers an account has that counts, but rather the engagement rate. To attract higher quality followers, brands should utilize the various tools made available on social media tools, such as Facebook Insights, and customize their posts to maximize engagement. Social media tools, such as Buffer, can be utilized to assist with posting the right content, at the right time and on the right social media channels.
10. Acting like a robot
People who follow businesses on social media and ask questions in that space want to get a response, according to a HootSuite study. If you want to answer the queries of your customers via your social media accounts, then you need to like a real person. Spambots already run rampant on social media platforms—you don’t need to sound like one, too. Stiff, robotic social media interactions are the fastest way to alienate your followers. Act like a real person with emotions, and you can win the heart of your followers.
If you’re just starting out with social media marketing, you’re bound to make some mistakes here and there, but the more you know of the common pitfalls of social media, the less likely you'll be to repeat them.
You cannot expect to get a better success by copying the same strategy that worked before. Do not expect to get instant success of your campaign as well. You may need to experiment with a lot of stuff before you manage to get a huge return from your social media marketing efforts.
So, now that you’re aware of 10 common social media mistakes, you can go forth with your social media campaign with confidence.
Stevan Mcgrath is a digital marketing professional with expertise in brand design and development. Stevan is passionate about utilizing his diverse skill sets for new and innovative online marketing strategies. He has worked as a freelancer and a contributor to Provenseo. Despite having a wide influential reach, he seeks client satisfaction as his topmost priority. He also writes blog posts on recent digital marketing trends. To know his work and more details you can follow him on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.