Social media marketing is a valuable and necessary marketing tool for all the websites and businesses nowadays. It is one of the best ways to connect with the audience and increase awareness. It can also be immensely beneficial when it comes to generating leads and growing your business, as long as it is done right. The problem is that when businesses are new to the social media marketing world, they tend to make mistakes, which can prove to be very costly in the long run and not just financially. Therefore, it is essential for businesses to be aware of some of the most common pitfalls that can ruin their chances of becoming successful in the tough competition. Some of these pitfalls are outlined below:
1- Not implementing a strategy.
Social media marketing should be regarded as just any other marketing initiative, which means beginning with strategy. Many businesses make the mistake of just jumping into this minefield without any game plan or strategy to help them. They are ‘working’ social media, but their overall efforts are lacking focus and direction and have become disjointed. The success of your social media marketing campaign is dependent on proper strategic planning and should be the foundation of your moves. A business’s aim should be to align their social media marketing efforts with other marketing strategies and set key performance indicators and measurable goals for gauging success.
2- Being on all social media channels.
If a business tries to build a presence on every popular social media channel, they are ultimately spreading themselves too thin and are at the risk of being overwhelmed. Not all social media channels are suitable for every industry and business. It is best to stick to only a couple of social media channels that fit best for your business and target audience. Start with one channel and expand once you have become comfortable with your rhythm. It’s best for you to attend some social media workshops to understand how fast you should expand your social media profiles.
3- Not being consistent.
One of the worst possible things that a business can do is make a social media account and then simply abandon it or leave it dormant for weeks or even months. One way you can prevent this is to hire a social media expert as an employee and tell them to be dedicated in being consistent on the business’s social media profiles. It is preferred to make updates on a daily basis because you need to be in the minds of your audience. Out of sight, out of mind, remember? Staying active is the key to creating brand awareness and building your following.
4- Using social media as a sales platform.
Sure, social media platforms are helpful for your businesses, but it is not the place where you promote your products and services and indulge in persuasive advertising. If you are solely focused on selling, people are just going to unfollow you and stop commenting on your posts and interacting with you. You have to incorporate the elements of the content marketing strategy into your social media marketing campaign as well, which means providing relevant information and adding value to your customers. Social platforms are basically an informal space where you get to show off the thought leadership and company culture in the industry. You can provide your audience with value and keep them engaged by sharing blog posts and industry articles.
5- Getting an intern to do it all.
It is acceptable for a new business to use interns to help them in executing their social media marketing campaign. However, it is crucial for someone from the management to drive and plan the strategy and contribute in terms of content as well. If this is not done, your business can suffer because your campaign will no longer be aligned with your brand. Just like you wouldn’t send an intern to a press conference or tradeshow, you cannot give them free reign in posting content on your social media profiles without proper strategic oversight and guidance.
6- Not interacting and engaging with the audience.
Bear in mind that social media is not supposed to be a one-way street. To build a following that matters and be successful, you also have to make an effort. You need to ask questions as well as answer them. Make it a habit to retweet and share others’ posts and don’t expect anything in return. These are just some of the ways that you can be involved on social media platforms. It is better for you to engage with customers and competitors alike. The whole point of social media is to be social.
7- Not keeping track of your campaigns.
Whey set measurable goals and key performance indicators when you aren’t keeping track of the results? Social media is just like any other marketing initiative, which means that it has to be properly measured. It is a mistake to assume that simply keeping track of the number of followers or fans is a suitable indicator of your success.
Social media platforms have matured to a point where analytics play an important role. This means that you have to keep a close eye on social media analytics such as LinkedIn Page Statistics, Facebook Insights and Pinterest Analytics. Apart from these tools, there are many other third-party apps and tools that can be used for helping you in measuring your success. This allows you to make changes to your strategy if it isn’t working.
While there are a large number of businesses and firms on social media, not every company is reaping the rewards and value of their efforts. You have to ensure that you aren’t falling into these pitfalls so you can take advantage of the real value that social media can provide to your marketing strategy and business.