Most of us are well acquainted with how to use social media from our own personal lives. However, it is important to remember that there is a big difference in using social media for business purposes rather than for just keeping in touch with friends and family. While your friends may forgive your odd rant or onslaught of funny memes at certain times, your business audience shouldn’t have to. There is a right way to use Social Media for marketing and business purposes and a wrong way.
Avoid the following Social Media Marketing Mistakes to help ensure that your marketing campaign stays on track.
1. Jumping In Without A Social Media Marketing Plan
This is perhaps the biggest mistake of all when it comes to executing a social media marketing campaign. After all, how can you have a campaign if you haven’t set out a plan? Have a look at our first post in this series for tips on setting out goals. This approach, often the result of unfettered enthusiasm, can result in frustration when you realise that you don’t know how you’re doing, or what step to take next.
2. Forgetting to Be Social or Fun
The name says it all – social media is about being sociable and interacting with others. It can be easy to slip into pure marketing mode and forget about the space you’re operating in. Social media is less formal than other platforms and should be treated as such. This is the place where the fun side of your brand can be revealed. Take this opportunity to breathe new life into your strategy with quirky, fun elements. Nobody likes to feel that they are being sold to, especially on social media, so remember to be sociable first and foremost.
3. Being Haphazard in Your Approach
With all elements of digital marketing, social media marketing takes time to yield results. However, random posts on an intermittent basis will not resonate with your audience. You need to be visible, regularly, to build trust among your audience. This should not only be through paid advertising, you want to build a following organically of people who engage with your page because it is engaging and they like your social media approach.
4. Not Engaging with Your Audience
This is another big social media crime, as mentioned, although you are there to market your brand ultimately you need to be sociable. When a reader takes the time to post a comment on your page be sure to engage with them. They may be a potential customer ready to convert, or they may just be a browser, either way, the way that you respond to your audience in this public setting can make or break your brand, particularly when it comes to responding to complaints.
5. Paying for Followers
This quick fix approach does not help your business in the long run. Though paying for followers may make your page appear popular and go some way to attracting others to like it. Those paid followers do not care about you or your brand, they will not engage or convert. Instead of wasting time tricking yourself into thinking that your page has a huge following, focus on starting from the bottom and building a solid base of loyal followers who ‘get’ what you do.
6. Forgetting that there is a person on the other side of the screen
When you are on social media everything that you post becomes an extension of your brand. Treat others with courtesy and treat them as the individuals that they are. Behind each like, or comment is a real person with feelings and insecurities just like anyone else. If you wouldn’t say it to their face, don’t say it on social media.
7. Littering Your Posts with Hashtags
Hashtags are a great little tool to help our posts get seen and highlights the topic of our post at a glance. However, they should be limited to three per post, otherwise, the reader’s eye line is cluttered with irrelevant material that masks what we want to convey. Choose relevant hashtags and use them wisely for best results.
8. Posting Too Often
This ties into points 1 and 3, you need to plan what you will post, and when, in advance. Failing to do so can result in a lull in posts for some time followed by a deluge. Plan your posts and then schedule them at regular intervals. Scheduling is great in that, when you’re enthusiastic and create a large batch of content in one go, you don’t have to post it all straight away.
9. Neglecting to Develop Social Media Assets
As part of your social media marketing campaign, you will need to build up a bank of material which is relevant to your audience and which you can repurpose over time. This does not necessarily mean reposting old material – though if it is solid ‘evergreen’ content, this can be ok, but it might involve turning a blog post into an infographic or vice versa. Doing this can save you time as you have already done most of the work!
10. Posting Low-Quality Content
While it is important to post regularly, avoid doing so at the expense of quality. Again, this comes down to planning. Figure out what your content will be in advance and then block out time to create or source it. If your posts are not relevant or interesting to your audience, over time you run the risk of losing them – and all your efforts to date.
Most of these may seem like common sense, but all too often, we can tend to slip into our old personal habits while on social media. Maintain your professional persona at all times and if in doubt about whether a post could be misconstrued, err on the side of caution and don’t post it.
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