Social media can provide a huge range of opportunities for businesses that are looking to connect with their audience, promote their brand and grow their fanbase. However on the flip side if not enough care is put into what is promoted campaigns will fail objectives won’t be met, and on the more serious side reputations can be damaged. Just one careless post, can quickly turn into a PR disaster.
.We are all human and mistakes do happen, so here we’ve listed 7 of what we feel are some of the most common mistakes companies make with regards to social media.
1. Failing to Have a Social Media Strategy
Social media marketing should be treated like any other marketing. It is not something that should be left to the inexperienced, and it certainly should not be tagged onto an already busy employee’s job description.
Here are the reasons why:
- Like traditional marketing, digital media requires a clear strategy, which takes time to plan and execute. Without a strategy, your marketing will make little impact.
- Unlike traditional marketing, social media content is posted in real-time and requires you (or an employee) to be available to interact and engage with your audience.
Social media is the most instant form of marketing and often makes the biggest impression on potential customers, who are checking you out online. Having no clear strategy and not being present will only do you a disservice by not presenting your business in its best light, reducing your reach and ultimately losing your business.
Social Media Policy
Include a separate Social Media Policy within the strategy, so everyone works to the same guidelines. This can cover aspects such as:
- Tone of voice
- Image size
- Best practice
- Dealing with queries and complaints
- Response times to comments
- Copyright law
2. Failing to Research Your Target Market
Keep in tune with current trends. Times change, people’s habits change, as we have learned with the current pandemic. Have a clear idea of the following:
1. Who do you want to promote to?
In order to reach more prospects, you need to understand who your target market is. The type of information you need will depend on whether you are a B2C or a B2B business.
- For B2C – What is the ‘persona’ of your typical customer? What is their age, gender, income level, interests, lifestyle, values, geographic area, platforms used etc.?
- For B2B – What is the type of business, number of employees, geographic area, turnover, position in business, platforms used etc.?
2. Where do you want to promote?
Think carefully about where your audience is going to be. It’s a wasted effort for example to post on Snapchat if your content is geared to the older academic market then LinkedIn would be the perfect place. If you rely heavily on visuals or video then Instagram would be more appropriate.
Having a general approach will vastly reduce effectiveness and trying to reach out to everyone will dilute your message.
3. Content Failures
- Be careful with live content, you can’t take it back once it has gone out. A brand’s reputation can suffer and credibility will take a dip if something unforeseen happens, or as seen with Elon Musk a product launch goes very wrong. It just shows it can happen to any of us!
4. Failure to Measure Results
- Failure to analyse the effectiveness of your content will mean you have no idea of a) whether you are reaching the right people, and b) which content works and which doesn’t. Have you got it right, or are you wasting your time with the content you post? Use analytical tools to help fine-tune your campaign.Use analytical tools to help you to find out:
- Which content is getting noticed?
- Which content isn’t popular?
- Whether those interacting are part of your target audience.
- Popular posting times
Tools such as Twitter Analytics, Facebook Insights, which are platform-specific, are really useful. Google Analytics, on the other hand, will provide a lot of information about visitors to your website from social media. Also remember that the analysis should always relate to your company’s KPI’s. Google Analytics has, for example, over 100 free reports built into it. The benefit being you can easily build bespoke reports and goals.
6. Being Too Self Absorbent
Don’t get carried away with your own brand. Social media is about interaction, not just about self-promotion. Your audience will quickly switch off if you constantly promote your own business. Let others know you care about them, hopefully, in return, the interest will be reciprocated. Here are a few examples:
- Think about others you would like to promote and mention them.
- On Twitter, retweet interesting information from other companies.
- Provide content that gives useful information that is relevant to your target audience.
- Like and share posts and join in Group interactions on LinkedIn.
7. Relying Too Much On Automation
Automative marketing to some is a lifesaver, it takes the effort out of having to source, manage and promote content. The only problem being the audience is human and as humans, we have a tendency to pick up on non-human elements quite quickly. So be careful if this is the root you take and bear in mind some of the following problems:
- The tone of voice can be wrong
- Content can become monotonous
- Over promoting
- Inappropriate content
- Missed opportunities to interact if not monitored closely
- Missed negative feedback