What are some common social media marketing mistakes to avoid?
Can you go wrong with social media?
Social media has become essential to marketing for any kind of business, no matter the size. And while you might think it is an easy task, there are many intricacies that go into creating a successful social media strategy. There are also many mistakes people make, some that could even land them in legal trouble.
Some specific things to social media marketing include: always following laws regarding social media to the letter, and creating a solid marketing plan that never results in having to stretch the truth. You will also need to be on the lookout for influencer scams while developing clearly defined goals for your social media pages. The more detailed your plan is from the beginning, the better use of social media you will have, and from that, you should naturally see better results.
What it all really comes down to is this:
Understandably, there are many ways to use social media to your advantage, you just need to know what works for you and what doesn’t, while not being afraid to take calculated risks.
Common Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Since social media seems to be an easy and simple way to reach your audience, there are many mistakes that can happen without proper planning. The number one social media marketing mistake companies make is not having a marketing plan.
For example, you should never create blog content without thinking ahead, or post just what you think might be interesting — instead, use a content calendar built around strategic market and competitor research. You must also have a clear idea of who your target market is, as not understanding your audience can lead to your social media efforts falling by the wayside.
Another Common Social Media Marketing Mistake is to Post and Never Engage
Actively seek out and answer follower questions, while engaging in conversations and inviting newcomers to see what you’re offering and ask questions of their own. Ensure you’re responding to all comments, even the negative ones. Just remember to be polite and friendly, never argumentative — after all, word of mouth spreads quickly, and even more so when it is posted online for all to see.
There are tools you can use to automate your social media pages, but it is important to find a balance so your followers never feel like there is no one on the other line.
Some of the most popular social media automation tools include the following:
- Sprout Social
- Zoho Social
It’s also important to keep a temperature gauge on what and how often you’re advertising a specific product or service, as too much could come across as robotic or impersonal.
Consider every platform and every interaction as an individual chance to reach your audience, and therefore, an individual chance to leave a positive impression. A mistake that many brands make is treating all audience members the same, posting the same information across all platforms, and ignoring the benefits of branching out and diversifying to attract different groups of interested people.
Further, it is essential to grow your following organically and to avoid the temptation of purchasing or otherwise attracting fake followers to have an artificially high follower count. Having a high follower count can seem like an attractive solution to boost your credibility, but it can hurt your social media growth and credibility. Building a following can take time and a lot of effort, but you must be patient and trust the process, as the benefits far outweigh the potential repercussions and broken trust.
You may not be able to have a full-blown social media team from the beginning, but it is essential to have at least one person in charge of your social media accounts. You will also need to have a clear and concise social media policy, ensuring your employees know how to present themselves when interacting with customers, followers and acting as the company’s face online.
Social Media Strategy
The most critical tactic you should invest in to avoid significant mistakes is your social media strategy. A good plan will outline your goals and achieve them while also keeping track of those goals and progress over time. Your strategy should outline goals for each social media platform, intended content to post, which ad networks to use, and a unique branding guide. After all, different accounts may have other goals to achieve, especially when different social media platforms attract different types of people.
When you create a goal, you should ensure it hits all of the S.M.A.R.T frameworks.
The plan must be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and leave enough time to find success without rushing through the process. Your goal should not focus on superficial social media metrics like the number of followers. You can have thousands of followers but garner zero sales from those followers if they are not legitimate.
You should instead focus on click-through rates, engagement, and conversion rates when it comes to social media
Further, you will need to learn about your target audience to better reach and appeal to them. Getting to know them is only half the battle since you will need to create posts with graphics that they will interact with and enjoy. You will need to consider average age, interests, location, income, occupation, and more. You may be wondering how to do this well. You will need to gather data on trends and what your audience uses to get their social media content.
You are more than likely not the only business in your area or industry, either. To stay with the competition, you will need to know who your competition is, including through strategic research into how your competitors use social media, whether good or bad. You can then get ideas on how to use your pages. This will also help you find what is and isn’t working for your social media accounts.
Fake pages are everywhere, and you will need to verify your business page and take down any imposters. Fake pages can steal information, mimic your company, and cause harm to your customers.
Here, you can see a month or yearly view of what’s happening and what is appropriate to post. You can also plug in premade posts, so they are easier to access and schedule such posts via services like Hootsuite and Buffer. You should also determine the best schedule for your brand and choose the right mix of posts, as a mix of personal and product posts will drive engagement and get people interested.
Once you create a strategy, make an effort to revise as the need arises. Look at metrics and find areas that can use some work. Continue to do what works for you and change what doesn’t. Keep your team updated on any changes, so everyone is always on the same page. Your strategy can change over the years, and that is perfectly acceptable.
The Dangers of Influencer Marketing
We have all seen social media influencers promoting various brands and products and making substantial money. You may be inclined to bring on a social media influencer to get your product or service to more people. However, you will need to do your research and ensure that it is a legitimate social media influencer and not an influencer fraud. You never want to find yourself in a situation where you are out thousands of dollars or more due to an influencer scam.
There are different types of influencer fraud for you to look for, the first being fake followers. This is when an influencer “builds’’ a following by buying followers and then markets themselves to companies as a person with a broad reach. In reality, they bring in no new customers and run off with your money. Another fraud is fake engagement, where influencers buy likes and comments from fake accounts. This is another way they can make it seem as though they are a legitimate person with influence.
Next, you have influencer pods where several influencers get together and engage with each other to create a sense of having real followers. They then encourage people to follow them. You will also have to be aware of fake giveaways where the influencer promotes a giveaway before, when they get enough engagement on their posts, they change the comment. These are hard to identify because things do not change until after the influencer has gotten what they want. Influencers will also use fake sponsored posts to attract real sponsorships.
When you are considering a social media influencer, do your research extensively. Use tracking tools to see if they deliver on what they promised they could. You can also work with nano or micro-influencers who have smaller followings but have higher engagement.
Check their social media profiles and even ask for examples of previous work that includes metrics.
Staying FTC Compliant
Before social media became an essential part of your marketing efforts, it was simply meant for people to keep in touch. Since times have changed and people have found ways to make money on social media, laws have had to be enacted to ensure that posts are not fraudulent or misleading. These laws are not new as advertising has been around long before social media, and there were laws to govern television ads, billboards, radio ads, and more. Now, social media joins the spectrum.
In general, FTC laws state that an advertisement can not be deceptive and must always have factual statements. Any statements made in an ad must have proof that the business can readily provide if need be. A company can be sued if its advertisement was misleading and even caused harm to the buyer or user. You will need to be aware of state laws, which vary by each state.
When it comes to marketing your brand on social media, you want to use every avenue to reach as many people as possible. This means venturing into marketing strategies you may not have considered before. One of those is social media marketing. Since it’s still a newer marketing method, it can be tough to navigate the terrain and easily make mistakes. Be consistent with what you are posting and always have a plan in place.
Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Here’s a quick brief of the most common social media marketing mistakes to avoid;
- Have no social media strategy in place
- Not having a social media plan or goals
- No content distribution strategy
- Make sure that your posts are FTC compliant
- Not using influencer marketing
What other social media mistakes you have in mind? Share with us below
About Guest Author;
Jori Hamilton is an experienced writer residing in the Northwestern U.S. She covers a wide range of topics but takes a particular interest in covering topics related to business productivity and marketing strategies. To learn more about Jori, you can follow her on Twitter