Brands, both big and small, use social media as a way to promote their brand, connect with the customers, and build awareness. Unfortunately, there are a lot of brands out there that are still making simple social media mistakes. So how do you match up? Go ahead and take a look at the social media mistakes that catch a lot of brands off guard.
The Social Media Mistakes You're STILL Making
No matter how long you've been managing your social media strategy, it's always a good idea to make sure that you still have all of the basics covered. You might even be surprised by the fact that your brand needs a do-over. Below are 10 social media mistakes that you should keep your eyes peeled for...
Mistake #1: You Focus On Social-Media Only Objectives
A lot of companies start using social media without even taking the time to create a clear strategy. Sure, these platforms are in place to connect with their customers, which makes sense. So they join that platform without a second thought. However, this becomes a problem when they base their performance on vanity metrics. Vanity metrics include the number of likes, followers, and comments. These aren't always great because they don't always let you know if your customers are actually having a positive experience.
So unless you use social media to connect to larger business goals from the start, ROI (return on investment) can be incredibly difficult to figure out. As a result, your social media account ends up being something you do just because. Sadly, it doesn't offer any real value to your brand. Here's the thing. Each social media channel needs to have its own strategy. One that is based on key performance indicators that relate to your overall marketing goals. You need to think in terms of referral traffic to your site, content downloads, e-letter sign-ups, etc.
Instead, you need to focus on goals that align with your marketing efforts.
It's more important to focus on increasing your brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, and building a community.
Mistake #2: Your Social Media Is Run By An Intern
Interns can be great, but it's never a good idea to let them have free reign of your social media platforms. A lot of brands who take this route end up with grammar issues, poor spelling, and content that doesn't align with the brand.
Just because someone "understands" media doesn't mean that they should manage your brand's public communications without supervision. When it comes down to it, true social media management has a few solid requirements that you shouldn't overlook. Such as a complete understanding of your services, products, overall business, editorial strategies, etc. If you do choose to maximize that intern, make sure that they get some supervision.
Mistake #3: You're Only On the Super Popular Social Media Channels
Being on the popular social media platforms is a must, but it isn't a good idea to limit yourself to only them. Social media marketing success is rooted in having a variety of social media accounts. However, a lot of brands are only on ONE popular platform (think Facebook and Twitter). Then they'll ignore other great platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, and Pinterest. You never know where you'll find that highly engaged audience, so it's a good idea to spread your social media wings.
Your brand might even find some success in a more "niche" social media platforms, like Periscope or Reddit. If you know your customer personas, go ahead and do some research on where they spend their time and invest in adding those channels to your social media strategy. But please, don't feel like you have to be on every single platform. Just choose a few that work best for your brand and audience. Then you can focus on the quality of the posts. Trust me, it's a lot more important than quantity.
Mistake #4: You Use Social Media JUST for Marketing
As you might already know, social media is a fundamental part of any digital marketing strategy. But it isn't just for marketing. Your social media can address customer service issues, recruitment posts, etc. Let's elaborate a little more on using social media for customer service... You should consistently look to see if your brand is mentioned, and if so, respond quickly to both comments AND complaints. Replies that are helpful (even to negative comments) can reach new customers, increase repeat purchases, and even improve your brand's image.
The stats below show just how important a quick social media response really is.
Mistake #5: You're Leaving the "Social" Out of Social Media
Yes, your brand's ultimate goal should be to keep the social in social media. What's the point of even being on there if you aren't using it the way it was intended? A brand's social media page shouldn't be only about sharing branded content. How boring! You also need to react to and engage with your audience too. It's not just about sharing YOUR content every chance you get.
Therefore you should have a decent mix of retweets on Twitter, curated content from other brands, and conversations with your audience.
Mistake #6: You're Boring
Have you ever took a moment to think about why no one seems to engage with your social media posts? It's probably because you have boring content. Are you only posting the title of an article and sharing the link? If so, stop - now. This type of content isn't engaging at all. Or maybe your posts are always text-based with no images to be found. Images get a lot more engagement than text-only posts. The same thing goes for videos, meaningful quotes, and statistics. Before you post something go ahead and take a few moments to think about the type of social media content YOU click on. Then take a look at your brand's account from an outsider's perspective.
Mistake #7: You Lack Focus & Consistency
Whenever you launch a campaign, you need to know your target audience. The same thing goes for knowing the target audience with an ad or email campaign. But what about your social media? Are you putting your content out there and seriously targeting an audience? It's never a good idea to advertise your business anywhere and everywhere and hope that it pays off isn't always the best tactic. What you need to do is focus on connecting with your current customers and potential ones.
Once you're focusing on the right people, the next step is to think about how often you post. It isn't a good idea to leave your channels without activity for days or weeks at a time. Once you determine a schedule that works for you, you need to stick to it. Go ahead a create a social media calendar so you can create messages for a week or a month ahead of time. Granted, it takes some time, but it can also save you a lot of time in the long-run and give you more time to focus on more important things.
Social media marketing is a lot more than just posting content and hoping that your customers react. There needs to be a proper strategy in order to successfully align your efforts with your overall objectives.
Mistake #8: You're Not Tracking Analytics
It's so not worth it to use social media if you don't have any actionable insights. You need to track and assess your performance metrics on social media, just as you do with your SEO and email campaigns. You can measure the quality of your followers, the extent of your influence, and the popularity of your posts. All of this will help the future of your social media marketing efforts.
But the trick is to define the social KPIs, demographic filters, and engagement factors. Whenever you do this, it makes it easier to identify the details that are useful to your campaign. You can even start to monitor engagement, customer conversion, and trends in buying decisions. The following insights are essential.
- How do your followers react to your posts? How do they interact with your brand? Is there any drop or sudden increase in engagement?
- Are the customers happy? What do their communications tell you about the experience they had with your product or service?
- Is your campaign geared towards a particular demographic segment on different networks? It should, especially for Pinterest when more than 80% of users on Pinterest are female.
- Don't forget to analyze purchases made by customers. It's a great way to get some key marketing insights. It can help you figure out which customers are open to cross-selling and which aren't.
Mistake #9: You're Posting Too Much With Little To No Interaction
Here's what starts to happen when you start to automate things on social media: you become more conspicuous. People really start to notice when you have a ton of posts, but little to no interaction with your followers. If you experience this, it's a good idea to pause the automation, at least for a little bit, and dive into the interactions. If you don't reply to your comments (both good and bad) your followers will think you're a robot. Especially if they continue to see updates from you in their timeline.
The downside to not interacting is that you start to look spammy, which is extremely bad for business. It can lead to your customers feeling as though you don't really care about them. This is one thing you really don't want your followers to feel, ever.
You need to engage with them and that means you need to take the time to reply to their messages before they start to see new posts in their feed. This is where "assisted automation" comes into play...
The Assisted Automation Approach
Yes, you can still automate your posts! Honestly, whatever makes it easier. But that doesn't mean that you can just take a social media sabbatical for however far out you've scheduled your posts. With an "assisted automation approach" you need to make it a point to check-in on your feed once a day in order to handle comments. Take the time to engage and you'll see a lot of improvement with customer interaction. The goal is to capitalize on the moments when people start to interact with your posts.
Mistake #10: You're Not Using Custom Headlines When You Share Content
Custom headlines are great for when you need your content to look like one of a kind. Trust me, this is something you want to do because it will help you stand out in the sea of updates that people get on their feed every day. For example, if your content is titled "How To Market Your Brand" you can easily create a custom headline like, "Wondering how to market your brand in 2018? Here's how." This is a great way to for your posts to get a lot of attention. Best of all, it isn't boring.
Avoid these simple mistakes by taking a look at a rough blueprint of what your social media strategy should look like:
- Define your audience. This is pretty basic but it really helps to know who you're trying to talk to. If you don't, your message will be off.
- Consider your brand's tone and voice. Your brand needs a highly defined social media personality. Will yours be serious, playful, comical? Decide how you'll talk to your audience and have it in writing.
- Set goals. Setting goals and objectives are a great way to define the majority of the content you share. Which is why you need to figure out what you want to achieve ahead of time.
- Define your posting strategy. Now that you've set goals, it's time to figure out when you'll post and how often.
- Create policies. The last step is to put rules in place on how to respond to questions, comments, and criticisms. If you don't, you'll be forced to create them on the fly and this isn't always a good idea.
As you can see, it's easier to make a social media mistake than you might have already thought. Hopefully, this guide has given you some insight on what not to do and how to improve your social media marketing. Have you made any of these mistakes before? If so, which ones? Let us know in the comments below, so we can discuss.