Despite the wealth of information available, many marketers still struggle with social media marketing strategy. In 2018, we saw many trends take shape in social media, and we expect even more of marketing’s power to shift to social media platforms in 2019, so this is no time to take a “shot in the dark” when it comes to your social media marketing campaigns.
By identifying what should and should not be done, social media marketers can develop and implement a successful social media plan that leads to increased awareness, more engagement, better lead generation and higher sales revenues.
Let’s take a look at the most common social media marketing mistakes to avoid in the coming year, as well as the strategies you should use instead.
Even the best marketing campaigns will fail if they’re directed at the wrong audience. Social media makes it much easier for a brand to target the ideal customer and craft messages that are designed to resonate with them, yet so many businesses fail at this.
Before designing and fine-tuning your campaign, you must first identify your ideal audience and set clear goals for what you hope to achieve. Otherwise, how will you even know if your efforts are successful?
Once you set clearly defined goals with social media, such as increasing engagement or subscribers, you can use those goals to tailor your strategy and create your marketing plan. After that’s in place, you can then identify your ideal audience and ensure that your campaign aligns with the needs and wants of your customers.
Too Many Business Pages
If you’re looking to increase your reach by creating multiple business pages or profiles on every social media platform, you’re only confusing your customers and wasting your time and resources.
Instead, focus all your efforts on one profile that communicates everything about your business, so followers can easily find you and learn what you’re all about. Ideally, you want one profile for each relevant social media platform, then tailor your messages around the expectations of the platform for maximum results.
Too Much Promotion
The appeal of social media is the connection to others and the ability to communicate easily, leading businesses to tap into this potential for generating leads and sales. Unfortunately, many businesses have used this as an opportunity to sell themselves and bombard followers with too much promotional content that doesn’t serve their needs.
Of course, some promotion on social media is necessary, but businesses will get much better results by focusing the marketing campaign on solving the customers’ problems. Instead of thinking about sales and promotion with every social media interaction, look for ways to craft content that addresses your customers’ needs. If you do that, then followers, visitors, engagement and sales will eventually follow.
One of the strengths of social media over other marketing outlets is the direct connection between the brand and the customer. Now, customers feel as though they’re interacting with actual people, rather than a nameless, faceless business. Many businesses have taken advantage of this by offering customer service on social media and directly interacting with the customers.
Unfortunately, ignoring your customers on social media has many consequences. Whether the feedback or engagement is negative or positive, choosing not to participate in the conversation only hurts your brand and makes customers believe that you’re not there for them.
Whenever possible, interact with your customers by answering questions, addressing concerns, responding to negative feedback and thanking them for positive feedback. While it’s unlikely you’ll be able to respond to each and every comment, consistent interaction with your customers will help your brand grow its online presence and attract more followers and visitors.
If a business were to create a profile, launch a marketing campaign and suddenly disappear, it wouldn’t do much for customer trust and engagement. Followers will question why the business suddenly appeared, only to disappear as quickly, diminishing the trust they may have. Think about it — would you want to spend your hard-earned money on a product from an online business that doesn’t seem to exist from day to day?
Before you create your profile and develop a marketing campaign, be sure you’re ready to maintain consistency with your goals. Identify your target audience, compare competitors in your industry and define your intent so that you’re prepared to stick with the plan and work toward your goals.
Too Much Automation
Automation can be quite good for social media marketing, but it needs to be incorporated into a larger campaign strategy. If you are constantly using automated link posting, this will give your followers the impression that you’re spamming them, which doesn’t do much for your customer trust or engagement.
Automation can be used to boost your marketing efforts and alleviate some of the work for your team, but it should be used sparingly. Also, automation is detrimental if it’s done at random, so be sure any automated tasks you have are on a consistent schedule.
We already know you’re setting goals, but how do you know if your efforts are working? Just like SEO, PPC or email marketing, analytics are necessary to track and assess the performance of your social media campaign and make adjustments for success.
Most social media platforms offer their own analytics, but you can also use an external service or software for additional insights into your campaign’s performance. By measuring the engagement, followers, reach, influence and other metrics, you can gain valuable data that will inform your future campaigns.
No Paid Advertising
In a perfect world, your well-crafted campaigns will reach your target audience organically, but with all the content flooding social media, this is highly unlikely. On top of that, followers are more likely to lose interest in your content if they’re always seeing self-promotion.
With paid advertising, you can pay for your content to reach your target audience and ensure that you’re not overloading your followers with content that isn’t relevant to them. Paid advertising can also increase your brand awareness, boost the traffic to your website, generate leads and increase engagement with your followers, depending on the specific goals for the campaign.
Videos get far more engagement on social media and influence the purchasing decisions of customers. Even if you’re not entirely comfortable with using video in your marketing campaigns, it’s clear that the value of video will only increase, so now is the time to get on board.
Video is generally more expensive than other content types, but you don’t need to start with professional videos. Smartphones and webcams are a great way to learn your way around video marketing, and many social media platforms offer a live video feature.
That said, it’s important that your videos are still good quality. Even if you’re using a smartphone and making an amateur video, it’s important to use a script and avoid videos that have poor sound quality or resolution.
Now that you’re aware of the most common social media marketing mistakes, it’ll be much easier to avoid them and focus your efforts on a successful campaign. There’s no doubt that social media already plays an important role in business success and will only improve from here, so your business can’t afford to fall behind.