If you are investing time and effort into social media but not seeing results, it’s time to take a step back and evaluate what you are doing wrong. It’s true that the social space is inundated with content and that competition has become fierce, but social media marketing is still a pretty powerful tool. If you’re not getting the reactions you are looking for, it may be because you are making one or more of these social media mistakes.
Automation certainly has a place in social media. It’s okay to schedule posts in advance, and some of them can even be automatic posts linking to your website’s content. But the bulk of your posts should be about engagement, and that is not something you can automate. Sit down with a calendar and schedule entertaining, informative, worthwhile posts that will interest your target market. And ENGAGE – look at what others are tweeting, and respond personally to them, in a way that shows you actually thought about what they said, or read the content they linked to.
Paying for likes may sound attractive, but besides being “against the rules,” it won’t get you very far. Your page might show a nice number of followers, but if they are paid likes, they are not interested in what you have to say. You can post till you are blue in the face, but no one will be paying attention. Only people who chose to follow you are likely to care about your posts, so grow your audience gradually and organically.
A certain amount of repetition is necessary on social media, especially because it’s fast-paced and your followers cannot see every post. But you can’t just keep saying the same thing over and over (and over) and expect to keep people interested. Generate new content by blogging, reading industry blogs and research, creating infographics and images, searching or creating videos etc.
Your goal in social media marketing may be to sell a product or service but your audience is not following you because you sell to them. If they want to make a purchase they will go to your website or your store. They are engaging with you on social because they want to hear the interesting things you have to say. If you don’t provide them with content that engages them, they will either stop following or skim right over your posts.
Even if you’re not only using hard-sells, many brands make the mistake of talking only about the company, focusing on product information, company news and complimentary press. These types of posts, while important, must be interspersed with other content in order to hold the attention of your followers. Think industry news, controversial issues, polls and surveys, seasonal greetings, highlighting superfans and more. The more original and fun your posts are, the longer followers will stick around.
People tend to tune out a person who talks incessantly and the same is true of a social media feed that never stops. If your customer logs onto Facebook and all he sees is posts from you, he will just scroll down to see what else he can find. Social media posts should be spread out and not too frequent. You can post more frequently on Twitter where tweets have a short shelf life, but be careful there too. Overload is not going to get you anywhere.
Each social network has its own style and you should be taking advantage of that to engage with each audience a little bit differently. Of course you will want to link to your latest blog post on every network you are active on, but that doesn’t mean the post needs to be identical. You might use an image on Facebook, a provocative sentence on Twitter and a professional tone on LinkedIn, all to promote the same blog post. It’s okay to have some identical posts, but the bulk of your posts should be unique to the platform.
Your intern may be young and connected intravenously to social media, but that doesn’t mean that she should be representing your brand to the public. She might know the technical aspects of posting on social media, but that’s not enough. The person responsible for your online reputation must have an understanding of both public relations and your brand personality.
Too often, business owners choose to be active on the more popular social networks without prior research to determine where their potential customers and audience are active. It may be that niche networks are more relevant for your brand, or that your audience is looking for your content only on certain networks. Don’t automatically focus on the big three – Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn – or try to stretch yourself too thin to be active on every single network. Research where the influencers in your industry are posting, which platforms have relevant groups and where your competitors are succeeding in order to determine on which social media platforms you should focus your efforts.
The advent of social media signaled an end to brand formality. While you certainly want to be professional online, you should also let some personality shine through. Your company culture and the values you stand for are what differentiate you from your competitors. Customers are not going to follow a cookie-cutter brand; you need to give them a reason to be interested in you and what you do.
Don’t make these ten mistakes and get tuned out. Social media is an important tool in your marketing arsenal and you should be taking full advantage of it to create brand loyalty and keep in touch with your customers and potential customers. Be real, be in the right places and be engaging. You’ll find more ears and eyes turning toward you.
Submitted by Hadassah