In 2018, the number of worldwide social media users hit 3.196 billion.
This figure means social media is a great tool for earning new customers and improving your company’s reputation and awareness.
But while everyone has a personal social media page (or several), running a social media campaign for a business is a different animal. A few novice mistakes can mean wasted time and money.
Here are some common social media marketing mistakes and how to prevent them.
Not Using the Right Channel for Your Audience
Being strategic is the key to a successful social media campaign. You need to have a thought-out plan for what you’ll do and reason to believe it will be successful.
A common sign of a poor campaign strategy is to focus on the wrong social media channel for your target audience.
Different groups of people use social media in different ways. To have a successful campaign, you need to understand your audience and what social networks they use most.
For example, teens are leaving Facebook at an alarming rate. If your product or service is aimed at teens, you’d be much better served running an Instagram or YouTube campaign.
Too often, a misunderstanding of their target audience causes failed social media campaigns.
Leaving Social Pages Dormant
It is indeed essential for your company to have a presence on as many social media networks as possible.
The more social pages you have, the more opportunities you have to cultivate a following and reach a broader group of potential customers. Having a big presence on social media can also give you some valuable SEO benefits.
However, simply owning a page is not enough. You need to be active on those pages as well.
Leaving a page dormant is a terrible indicator to anybody who stumbles upon it. What will a person think when they find your Twitter page only to realize it hasn’t posted in 4 months?
If you don’t have the resources to keep all your social pages active, consider eliminating some of the minor ones. Don’t get stretched too thin.
Dealing with Negativity Poorly
Social media can be a nasty place. Hiding behind a computer screen allows some people to overlook common decency when interacting with others.
From time to time, you may encounter a vocal critic on social media. How you deal with their negativity is important.
In all cases, you need to remain calm and think before you post.
Do they have a legitimate criticism? Did your company make a mistake that you should try to correct? If so, try to hear them out and turn their negative experience into a positive one.
If they’re straight abusive, however, it’s usually better to ignore them. Don’t try to snap back at them with the same negativity.
In most cases, it’s better not to delete negative comments, as the censorship is a bad look. Deletions may be appropriate in cases of profane remarks. For this reason, it’s smart to have a publicly available commenting policy for followers on your pages.
Providing No Value to Followers
One of the big social media marketing mistakes that small companies make is being too self-serving.
Some brands only post when they are trying to sell a product or advertise an event. The only content they share is about trying to make money for the company.
Who wants to follow a social media page full of nothing but advertisements and sales pitches?
You need to give your audience a reason to follow you. Give them something of value.
Entertain them. Educate them. Give them a discount.
Not everything you do on social media should be intended to benefit your bottom line directly. You need to cultivate a receptive following first before your more sales-oriented tactics can be effective.
You want people to see your marketing message. To accomplish this, you want to share that message as much as you can.
But spamming your message over and over is a big mistake.
Annoying somebody with constant posts will not only cause them to ignore your message but also to block or unfollow you. People are on social media to interact with friends and family. They have no interest in your posts clogging up their feed.
Understand how each social media channel’s timeline works and how often you can reasonably post. Avoid posting more than once or twice per day on Facebook and Instagram; you can post much more frequently on Twitter.
Not Tracking Analytics
As the old quote goes, “In God We Trust; All Others Bring Data.”
Analytics are critical to understanding the status of your social media. The numbers tell you about what you’re doing right and wrong. They also show you where new opportunities may lie.
For example, tracking analytics can point out what type of social posts do best. Here are a few of the many things you can find out through analytics:
- Do your followers prefer posts with pictures, with short videos, or with no media?
- If they prefer pictures, do they like more natural photos or custom graphics?
- What type of linked content do they click on most? What subject matter do they care about the most?
- What type of headlines and copy attract the most engagement?
- Do they prefer a serious tone or posts with more humor?
- What time of day and what day of the week do you see the most activity?
By analyzing and understanding the data about your social media efforts, you can better curate your future social content. Ignoring analytics means you have little feedback to help improve what you do.
Having an Unqualified Manager
In the early days of social media, companies often delegated the task of social media manager down to an intern or somebody else low on the organizational totem pole.
Those days are long gone.
Social media is now a significant part of marketing. The companies that are best at social media have large teams of experienced managers that know each platform in and out.
If your business can’t afford a full social media team, it might be smart to bring in a digital marketing consultant to help teach you some of the tricks of the trade.
Learn How to Avoid Social Media Marketing Mistakes
With the right training and knowledge, you can put your social media marketing mistakes behind you.
For more help with doing social media the right way, check out our tips and tricks blog.