Often, businesses approach social media marketing in 2 ways: Tweet and earn profits. While this seems pretty straight forward, there are crucial first steps that should be taken to ensure that the tweet or Facebook post delivers the kind of results the marketer needs.
With the emergence of numerous social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, digital marketing has revolutionalized how marketers and businesses operate.
According to the Social Media Examiner 2014 report, 92% of marketers indicate that social media is important for their business.
Despite a great social media presence, your business is still not receiving its target profits. Here are 10 social media marketing mistakes that you probably do that have cost you.
#1 Having No Social Media Strategy Whatsoever
Companies without a social media strategy have been known to deliver ineffective messages to their audience. It is extremely crucial to ensure that your company has a social media marketing plan in place. Otherwise, having accounts in all the platforms will not yield the results that you desire.
So, what do you do?
A social media marketing strategy entails summarizing everything you plan to do and hope to achieve using social media networks.
The plan basically requires you to perform an audit of your accounts and know where the business stands in the social media.
From this, you will be able to formulate a way forward and identify the tools that you need to reach your business’s maximum potential.
How To Create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
Step 1: Create Social Media Smart Goals and Objectives
Goal setting has been proven to be an important measure of success as reported by the Harvard School of Business. The studies showed that only 3% of business people were very successful, and this success was attributed to goal setting.
Having social media marketing objectives helps your business have measurable results. A simple way for you to start is by formulating at least three social media smart goals and determining how the success rate will be gauged.
We will post 3 posts on Instagram per week to promote our business culture. Each should receive 30 likes and 10 comments.
Step 2: Conduct A Social Media Audit
The audit is essential in helping you figure out your target market, your level of engagement, the most successful social media platforms and winning practices among others.
This can be achieved by using audit templates, which work almost like the Truconversion heatmaps that helps you find out what your visitors look at and where they spend most of their time.
Step 3: Refine or Improve Social Media Accounts
Every social network has a different audience that is treated differently. For example, 60% of 50-60 year olds have accounts on Facebook while this same age group has only 9% and 6% of them on Twitter and Instagram respectively.
This means that marketing campaigns will be conducted differently in these social media platforms to engage them. Clearly, sales targeted at this age group will be more successful on Facebook compared to other platforms requiring you to change tactics in other platforms.
It is imperative for your business to also ensure that each social media account is refined and used for a platform’s purpose. For example, Instagram is mainly used for photo sharing while Twitter is used to send very short messages.
Step 4: Getting Social Media Inspiration From Competitors, Industry Leaders and Clients
You might hate the fact that your competitors are on the same social media platform as you are. While this might seem as a disadvantage, it offers an incredible learning opportunity that your business can use to develop better strategies and campaigns.
According to Jeremy Quittner, competition tends to increase and improve a company’s innovativeness by ensuring that marketers always look for better and more actionable marketing strategies.
Step 5: Formulating a Content Marketing Plan and Editorial Calendar
Jayson DeMers suggests that for marketers to formulate great social media strategies using content, they must first understand what to measure. For example, if the content is tailored to create a following, the number of subscribers should be assessed.
To reiterate, Rick Mulready suggests that big brands should create content that people want to talk about. An editorial calendar will help develop strategies on opportune time for posting particular content.
#2 Using Irrelevant and Excessive Hashtags
The Good in #Hashtags:
Hashtags first began on twitter in 2007. According to Chris Messina, the ephemerality of these hashtags is what made them compelling to use in social media platforms such as twitter.
In the detailed explanation, Chris explained how hashtags would revolutionalize how social media is used by brands for marketing purposes.
Although first used on Twitter, hashtags have been proliferated in other social media sites such as Facebook, Instagram, and even LinkedIn which experimented with them for a while.
Research has extensively advised that your business should use hashtags mainly because they increase your reach beyond people who follow you. For example, a simple Google search using a hashtag could expose your company to other potential clients.
The Unfortunate Development:
Regrettably, marketers seem to have forgotten the basic rules of hashtagging. They are now over-used and when this happens, your followers get extremely annoyed and your posts basically lose meaning.
You need not hashtag everything that you have in a post. Your intellectual audience understands exactly what you mean without the excessive pound signs.
A 2014 study by Social Bakers revealed that too many hashtags lead to fewer interactions. Additionally, too many hashtags make it harder for your business to use these tools as an organization system for social media campaigns.
#3 Posting Too Many Posts In A Short Time Span
Posting content within minutes is a good strategy, if you want to shun your visitors. Too many posts overwhelm your audience, who will ultimately ignore your business.
So, when should you post?
Through a post, Truconversion advises marketers on the best time to post on social media. Videos on Facebook for example, have two-and-a-half times more reach, whose best posting time is Fridays when people are more relaxed and gearing up for the weekend.
Generally, Fridays are a good day whereby 17% of all posts and 16% of all shares are generated on this day.
Leo Widrich advises marketers to post 5-10 times a day on Twitter and 1-4 times a day on Facebook. The trick to social media marketing success is timing your posts. What time is your audience active?
Facebook for example generates these statistics. Research studies have showed that the best time to tweet or post on Twitter and Facebook is between 8:00am to 8:00pm.
The Hootsuite autoschedule works by analyzing your social media activity and that of your followers. The system will use this data to post items to your fans and followers at the optimal time, to enhance desired engagement.
Buffer is also a great choice because it allows you to manage multiple accounts. Additionally, the buffer app offers a platform for marketers to view their past and future scheduled posts using their mobile devices.
#4 Forgetting to Proofread
An analysis of online businesses has showed that a single spelling mistake can cut online sales in half. According to Charles Duncombe, consumers begin to questions a website’s credibility when they find any spelling mistake and in some cases, halt their transactions. You do not want to have this happening to your business.
What do you do then?
- Ensure that you only employ people with an impeccable English command.
- Only employ staff who pays attention to detail. These will double check your posts before they go live.
Failing to proofread has been known to cost people jobs and businesses money.
A good example is of a contracted social media strategist who was fired for accidentally posting a tweet meant for his personal feed through the Chrysler company feed, insulting local drivers. To save face, Chrysler had to respond to this issue in a sanguine manner.
This is how the Chrysler feed unintentionally raed, “I find it ironic that Detroit is known as the #motorcity and yet no one here knows how to f****** drive.”
(Did you notice that the word read was mispelt? If not, it is time to polish your proofreading skills and learn to double check)
#5 Forgetting The Social Aspect Of Social Media Marketing
You run a busy business brand and assume that your posts are enough. After all, consumers are still buying and you have an agreeable prospect-client conversion rate. Well, truth it, this is just a ticking time bomb.
The essence of social media platforms is to enhance two-way communications. Brands reportedly fail at being social, whereby 95% of them are accused of ignoring posts on their Facebook pages.
It is recommended that wall posts should receive at least 65%-75% response rates, to avoid violating the culture of the space they occupy and try to make profits at.
#6 Only Focusing on Your Brand
While it is obvious that you have an online presence to sell your brand, you do not need to bore your followers with information that only focuses on your brand. You need more than that to maintain your audience.
It is prudent for you to share information that is relevant to your niche but authored by other people. A good way to implement this is using the 5-3-2 model for social media marketing posts. For every 10 posts:
5 Should be relative content from other people
3 Posts should be content created by you and is relevant to your target market and audience but not very sales-oriented
2 Posts should be of personal and fun content, which help humanize your brand and create a funny but enlightening relationship with your audience.
#7 Choosing The Wrong Social Voice
A business should have it own social media voice, be it formal, funny, informational or sarcastic. The wrong social voice would drive away your traffic.
For example, a serious news agency cannot afford to report serious matters in a casual way.
You might assume that acquiring a social media voice is pretty straight forward but it is not. It is imperative for you to find the best voice and tone for the online community.
Voice and tone are more than what you can track and analyze-they require plan and practice.
According to Gather Content, voice is the description of your brand; for example lively or professional, while tone is a subset of the voice, which adds flavor based on audience.
For example. Stephanie Schwab, through the Social Media Examiner, suggests a four-part formula that your business can use to understand voice and tone.
Additionally, ensure that your posts adhere to the 3 C’s of brand voice– culture, conversation and community.
#8 Uncouth Responses
Yes, the customer is right even when you are convinced that you have been pushed to the wall. However, there some marketers and business advisors will say that this phrase is wrong and overrated.
A simple business mistake would sometimes cause your clients to insult you and sometimes post unprintables. All you have to do is remain quiet.
You think keeping your cool in such situations is crazy? Watch this:
The number one reason customers would abandon your brand is due to poor quality and rude customer service, including rude responses on social media. This is according to a Customer Experience Report by RightNow.
Zappos.com received a negative complaint on Facebook from one of their clients and their response was priceless as shown below.
#9 Failing to Reward Participants
58% of Facebook users will like a page on the condition that they receive discounts, exclusive sales or promotions through the site.
Why should you reward your clients? Tangible example:
On June 6 2013, Starbucks posted a Facebook offer that was shared by 13,931 people and received 1553 comments.
This was an incentive to keep their clients interested and attract new prospects through users who shared the post to their personal feeds.
#10 Ignoring Influencers
For your business to succeed, you need to find a suitable social media influencer. This is someone who had great following and reputation, shares content that is relevant to your business and actively engages the audience.
An influencer audience does not necessarily mean influence. This means that a massive twitter following does not guarantee client action but awareness.
It gets better:
Companies such as Madewell have reached over 1 million targeted consumers by just using social media influencers.
Boxed Water also worked with influencers such as Aidan Alexander to create awareness on their philanthropic campaign with the National Forest Foundation dubbed, ‘The Retree Project,’ which led to 2,600 Instagram photos with the hashtag ‘retree’.
This photo shows the success achieved by Birchbox on mother’s day through influencer engagement.
The significance of Social Media Marketing can never be overemphasized. The online community has the ability to make or break your business.
You are advised to learn new and latest technologies and social media marketing practices that businesses use on social media to ensure that you always have a competitive advantage.