13 Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Need to Stop
Social media is essentially the foundation for most marketing strategies.
It’s where we go to have a meeting of the minds, check out new products and services, get the latest news, demand social justice, laugh over the latest memes, and share all kinds of content.
This is precisely what makes the various social media channels a digital marketing gold mine for businesses of all sizes.
Of course, if you’re making certain common social media marketing mistakes, then you won’t be able to capitalize on your digital marketing campaign.
Here’s where businesses get it wrong and how they can make it right:
1. Not Utilising Social Media Accounts Enough
What’s worse than having too many social media accounts for your business? Not having any at all.
Or, not putting any effort into the one you do have.
According to a 2020 digital marketing survey, social media accounts influence approximately 71% of consumer buying decisions. 18% of those purchase decisions are made directly on social media.
Additionally, at least 54% of all social media users hop on their accounts to research products and services. This part is incredibly important because it only takes a few minutes for potential customers to scan reviews and decide what they want to do—which shortens the customer journey.
From there, satisfied customers are likely to advocate for your products or services via commenting and social shares. This is also why customer engagement is so important.
Basically, if you’re not underutilizing your social media accounts, then you’re missing out on virtually your entire audience.
2. Not Having a Social Media Marketing Plan
You would think that by now all entrepreneurs and businesses alike understand the value that social media brings to the table.
Unfortunately, not everyone does—and that’s the first big mistake.
The bottom line is that you need a plan for your social media campaign, just as you do for your business in general.
The first step is getting to know how social media works. When it comes to the marketing aspect, it’s not as simple as posting photos here and there with clever captions.
You need to develop your own unique social media strategy that includes an action plan defining the goal of the campaign as well as the different types of posts you’ll be using (i.e., videos, images, hashtags, reshares, stories, retweets, etc.)
Moreover, you need to learn how to schedule these various posts and at the right times to ensure that you get the most eyes on your content.
3. Not Defining Your Target Audience
Every successful business has one important pillar in common: They all have a very specific target audience.
Think of it this way—your products or services aren’t for everyone and they’re not for just anyone. You’ve created a specific solution for a specific type of problem, which means you need to narrow down the people who share this problem and are looking for a solution.
Therefore, if you’re marketing blindly to everyone you could be wasting money and resources but more importantly the right people probably won’t get the message.
This is where you must do your due diligence to narrow down exactly who your target audience is.
What’s their age range? Does their gender matter? Where do they hang out? Where do they live? What are their hobbies, likes, dislikes, etc.?
When you’re able to define your audience, you’ll be able to target them directly with a more tailored approach throughout your social media campaign.
4. Not Engaging Your Audience
Social media is exactly that, social. It is an opportunity to engage your customers and create a 2 way conversation. If you’re not engaging your audience then you’re missing out on valuable insights and the opportunity to create a community.
Not only is engagement used as an important key performance indicator (KPI) in social media marketing, but it’s a way to make your customer base feel connected to you—which increases customer loyalty.
When you don’t engage with your audience, it gives them the impression that you aren’t really interested in anything more than their money.
This is especially true when it comes to negative reviews, which you should also never, ever, delete. When you respond to negative reviews with either an explanation, solution, or apology, it shows that you care about the customer experience.
Each and every comment left on your social media posts and business listings, for that matter, is a chance to increase engagement and social shares. So, whenever someone comments on a post, make sure you or your team respond as soon as possible!
5. Too Much Self-Promotion
Another huge mistake that many brands make is overly promoting their products or services.
Trust us when we say that your followers know what you’re selling and for the most part, they don’t really care all that much.
So, what is it that your followers really want?
They want to see interesting, fun, relatable content. That’s why they’re on social media in the first place. When it comes to relatable content, it could be anything from funny memes about life that your target audience would get, reshares from other accounts, how-to-guides, info-graphics, photos that capture your brand’s culture.
The rule of thumb here is to post one promotional piece of content for every four non-promotional posts.
This will keep your audience engaged and entertained at all times. A good way of deciding what content to promote is to remember people want an emotion connection they want to be either entertained, educated or motivated…so do your posts fall into any of those categories.
6. Not Tracking Your Analytics
Social media marketing is like any other type of digital marketing strategy (albeit, more powerful).
Therefore, you need to track your progress in real-time.
After all, if you don’t track your campaign analytics, then how do you know what’s working and what isn’t—or how much money you’re potentially wasting on non-performing ads?
By tracking your metrics in real-time, you can make changes in your social media campaign in real time and target your audience as you go. It’ll take some time to get things right, but you’ll be gathering valuable information that you can build on and use to create a stronger digital marketing strategy and posting schedule.
7. Treating All Your Social Media Platforms the Same
Many brands tend to treat all the different social media platforms as if they were the same exact thing.
They’re not. Each platform has a different “vibe,” or general aesthetic and purpose that appeals to different demographics—especially the different age groups.
Each platform also comes with its own set of unique features and marketing tools that allow brands to appeal to their audiences in different ways.
Take Facebook and Instagram, for example. The two platforms are a lot more alike compared to the others.
However, you’ll find that Instagram is the place where brands can be a bit more creative and appeal to younger age groups whereas Facebook has a bit more of a professional air to it. It’s also where you’re likely to find the older audiences hanging out.
So, to be crystal clear: The different social media platforms have different types of audiences. Therefore, you need to tailor your content towards those audiences—not duplicate it. This is part of the reason why it’s so important to learn about your target audience and where they spend their time.
Finally, you do not need to be on every platform. Having a clearly defined target audience may dictate which platforms you focus your resources.
8. Not Having a Clear Brand Identity or Voice
Your social media account is the place where you really want to nail the personality of your brand. This is especially true for Twitter and Instagram.
The last thing you want to do is make it seem like your brand is having an identity crisis by not adequately defining who you are as a business. Your audience looks for an emotional connection within a brand, so its important you identify clearly shows appropriately portrays what you stand for, your values, beliefs and mission.
You can easily spot the brands that haven’t successfully nailed down an effective identity by doing a quick scroll through social media. These types of brands will leave you confused, disconnected or you may not even notice them at all.
Your brand identity should be at the forefront of all your content. That means all your content should have a level of consistency making it instantly recognizable, demonstrating your core values, and be unique and entertaining.
It should also be something that echoes throughout all your marketing campaigns.
So, before you start posting willy nilly, think long and hard about your brand identity and voice— how do you want to come across to your audience? Remember that the attitude or persona you come up influences your content, so choose wisely but be honest.
9. Using Irrelevant Hashtags
Hashtags are the key to exposure in an overly-populated digital world. Essentially, hashtags work by separating posts into categories, so that when people type something into the search bar on a social media platform, the most relevant items will pop up.
Additionally, when people click on a hashtag, they’re brought to a specific selection of photos, tweets or videos that are all denoted by the same hashtag.
When it comes to hashtags, there are two things that brands get wrong: They’re either not using hashtags or they’re using irrelevant ones. Generally speaking, when we say irrelevant, we’re talking about the fact that they don’t make sense to the message being conveyed, aren’t trending, or are completely inappropriate.
Using the right hashtags means using the ones that are both trending and relevant to your content—and that’s how you get thousands of eyes on you. A good rule of thumb is to use a mixture of hashtags with a high following and niche hashtags with under 100k followers.
10. A Lack of Call to Actions
While it’s important not to endlessly self-promote, you’re not campaigning purely for entertainment purposes.
In other words, you need your posts to lead somewhere, i.e., a call to action (CTA). Think about what journey you want the customer to take, do you want to the lead them to a specific piece of content, back to your website or a data capture form where they can download material in exchange for their details.
Ideally, you want to lead your target audience back to your eCommerce site where they can make some sort of purchase decision. Bonus points if you integrate an Instagram eCommerce shop so your audience can click on a product in your post and be taken directly to that product on your website.
Essentially, if you don’t add in CTAs throughout your content, then your audience won’t feel compelled to do anything with the information you’re giving them.
11. Having Too Many Social Media Accounts
As we mentioned earlier, different social media channels have different features and demographics that they appeal to.
That means not every account will be relative to your brand.
The rule of thumb is to start off with one social media channel (two max) that fits the description of your brand identity and target audience.
Otherwise, you’ll waste a lot of time, energy, and manpower trying to maintain all these accounts when only one or two is effective. As with everything in businesses look at the best ways to focus resources and then scale as your presence grows.
12. Relying Too Much on Automation
While it’s important to schedule your social media posts, you shouldn’t rely on automation 100% of the time.
Because current events, news, and trends change quickly.
Your content needs to be consistently unique and up to date. If you have a promotional post scheduled for Friday at 1:30 pm, but some major world event happens the day before, no one is going to see or care about your products or services.
Customer value authenticity, they want behind the scenes, they want to put a face to the company so don’t be scared to get in from to the camera to give company updates, share your thoughts and opinions.
13. Not Having Patience
Building up your social media presence takes time. You need to be patient and really work at it—and whatever you do, DO NOT buy your followers!
$5 for a thousand followers may sound like a good deal, but Instagram’s algorithm, for example, depends entirely upon likes, shares, commenting, and saves to decide how relevant your content is to that person. In short, the higher the relevant the higher it will appear in that persons feed.
If you bought those followers, there is a good chance they will not share your values, be interested in your content or even be real people. They won’t engage with you or your content and will not add any value to your community and will not fool the algorithm’s into promoting your content.
Even if they do see your content, they got paid to follow—not interact, which essentially means they’re worthless.
So, take the time to build a real, genuine following. Otherwise, you’ll be wasting your time.
Social media is arguably your greatest asset in the world of digital marketing and eCommerce.
However, it takes a lot effort and perseverance to turn it into a well-oiled machine that works efficiently and effectively for your campaigning efforts.
Above all, it’s essential to put your audience first when it comes to curating social media marketing content. So, be sure to convey a clear message and bring value to your customer base with everything you do digitally.
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