Social Media Marketing Strategy: Top 30 Mistakes That Ruining Your BrandShahraz Khan
Ok, who’s willing to be honest and admit they get confused about social media sometimes? I know I do.
With so many changes & sites coming at you, it’s no wonder many small biz owners feel like they’re in a sinking ship when it comes to figuring it all out.
Add to that all the marketers pushing training products, live events & webinars and you’ve got a perfect recipe for confusion. It’s no wonder so many businesses just give up on social media before they even get started.
Right now, more than 90 percent of businesses use social media.
But, simply opening an account or sending out some tweets is not enough to make social media platforms a viable and profitable part of a marketing strategy. By avoiding some basic missteps, many businesses have the ability to increase ROI and create more opportunities from social media accounts.
When we used correctly, social media sites can be a great place to interact with other small businesses, generate new sales leads and to keep your customers up to date with your latest news and offers. When not used correctly they can become a scary place where you can destroy your online reputation.
To ensure you’re not damaging yours read the below given tips highlights things you could be doing wrong that you should correct immediately.
Well, Get Web Services Online is here to help!
1-No Strategy for Social Media
Less than 25 percent of businesses say that their social media strategy is mature. Social media users are inundated with information and messages every second of the day. Businesses that don’t have a strategy won’t ever cut through the clutter and deliver an effective message to their target audience. Creating a strategy includes having distinct and measurable goals, developing a clear social media policy, thinking through a brand’s social media voice, and planning out a content calendar with end goals in mind.
Without a clear strategy, businesses could create the best content on the web, but receive little to no engagement. If you don’t know what your goals are and what resources you are going to devote it, there is no way to measure success.
2-No Content Strategy for Social Media
Have you ever gone to a page and noticed that they haven’t posted in 2 months? How does it make you feel? For me it lets me know this page owner isn’t serious about their business, or is perhaps out of business!
Have a content marketing strategy and post at least once per day. Maybe your page is new or you are a small business owner strapped for time. That’s fine. Sit down on Monday morning and pop open the Post Planner app and schedule a post to go out at least once per day for the whole week. Or maybe even the whole month! If you aren’t posting, then no one is finding about your company on Facebook.
Content leads to conversations, conversations build relations and relationships drive ROI.
3-Too much automation
I often see Facebook pages that have blog posts automatically posting to their page. But what tends to happen is the app they’re using posts 25 updates in about 10 minutes! This causes me and other fans to unlike the page or hide it!
Or they have Twitter posting to Facebook or Facebook posting to Twitter.
Post to each site differently as the language, context and culture on each is different. There is nothing worse than seeing the @ symbol in a Facebook post referencing a Twitter username. It’s a huge turn off to Facebook users and tells me you aren’t really engaging on Facebook, just feeding it content.
Be careful of automatically posting blog posts via the different apps out there. Sometimes you may get too many posts all at once which will kill your Edge-rank. And when I say don’t automate I don’t mean that you shouldn’t schedule your posts with a tool such as Post Planner. Scheduling is different than automation. Scheduling means you are in control of your posts. Automation means the app is in control. So use automation wisely.
Social media works best when integrated with other digital marketing efforts. One mistake many businesses make is to leave their social media accounts on islands. Not only should the accounts be linked together through profiles, but they should also be directly tied to websites, emails and paid search advertising campaigns. Not connecting these accounts reduces the amount of reach each asset has separately.
A strong email list, a blog or content website and rich media assets like videos, info-graphics etc. are all essential elements of a well-rounded Social Media presence for any business.
There is a kind of an unwritten code as to how often you should post on the various social platforms. So you need to be careful about violating it and turning off your fans and/or losing them for good!
Spread out your posts and plan them accurately. The general rule of thumb is on Facebook a page getting good engagement should post 1-5 times per day. Spread your posts out through the day to see when the best time is for your page though.
Twitter and Google+ are completely different than Facebook however. People consume information there faster and are not sitting on it staring at the newsfeed like on Facebook. So my recommendation is 10-15 posts on Twitter per day and 5-10 on Google+. The great thing about Twitter is you can get away with re-posting the same tweet twice in a day since people may not have caught your early morning rant about the lack of coffee at Dunkin’ Donuts!
6-No Consistency in Branding
There isn’t much worse than to go to someone’s Facebook page and see a certain color scheme or logo and then to Twitter and it’s different… and then to their website and it’s different again. Then you find their YouTube account and it looks different. Have you ever run into this?
Ensure your branding is recognizable on all platforms and consistent throughout. You’re going to have variations of backgrounds, etc. on the different platforms, as the specs are different on each. But your branding should be clear when someone bounces around to your different accounts.
There are many inexpensive resources out there to get consistent branding. If you’re serious about your business don’t just throw it together and hope no one notices… because they will.
7-No Use of Images
Images on twitter cause tweets to take up more space on the feed and help drive engagement. Tweets that include an image have 300 percent more engagement than tweets without images. While an image may not be appropriate for every tweet, businesses should include one whenever possible to help draw attention to their message.
8-No Fun for Sharing
It’s important for brands to remember that when it comes to social media we are visitors whom our audience has invited into their circles. Social Media is where they share personal stories and photos. Where they connect with friends. Where they go to relax and have fun.
9-Not Giving to Get
“Giving to get” is the path to success in social media. This strategy requires a generous spirit. Small companies succeed in social media when they go out of their way to help people by providing useful content, sharing other people’s content, jumping into conversations where they can lend a hand, and making it easy for people to try their products and services.
10-Not Using the Platform at All
Google Plus may be the most underutilized social media platform today. It is directly integrated with Google search results, making profiles an integral part of any digital marketing or search engine optimization strategy.
As soon as you create a social account for your business, whether it is on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn or any other platform, make sure that you completely fill out your profile.
12-Not linking to Product Page
Businesses should strive to make it as easy as possible for shoppers to go from browsing Pinterest to buying a product. To do that, businesses should link directly to product pages instead of home pages or other non-related content. The more links and moves a consumer has to make before buying a product, the less likely they are to make a final purchase.
13-No Focus on Quality
It is important to focus on providing content that others want to read and share, instead of simply jamming your page with as many posts as possible. If there is no valuable information, you will lose your audience quickly.
14-No Use of Hashtags Effectively
Hashtags are a great way for businesses to insert themselves into conversations and trending topics that make sense, while also doubling engagement. For example, businesses can use the hashtag #GetWebServicesOnline or #SEO to cash in on one of social media’s longest lasting regular business conversations. For this hashtag, it makes sense to post an old image or ad, because it flows with the conversation. Using a new ad or product image would stand out and seem promotional. Using strategically chosen hashtags can help businesses find their target audience, reach non-followers in large numbers and help grow a brand’s influence.
15-No Regular Updates
Update your page regularly, change out your cover photo and profile image every few days or weeks and engage your users daily. Once your page goes dead it is very difficult to get it back up in the Edge-rank.
16-Not Interacting with Followers
Social media is meant to be interactive and consumers expect a certain amount of responsiveness from businesses on Facebook. Responding to posts, thanking consumers for commenting and addressing complaints helps consumers feel more connected to the brand. Businesses should have a strategy in place to respond to commenters, both negative and positive, and how to use the social media marketing platform as a part of a crisis management strategy. Not every comment needs a response, but responding to followers helps build camaraderie and trust between brands and consumers, which can affect future sales and word of mouth marketing.
17-No Human Element
Treat people the way you would treat them in real life. Be human. Make friends. Be kind and remember that whatever you say, no matter how casually you say it, becomes part of your image and your brand.
18-No Attention to Facebook Comments
The faster your response time, the happier you will keep your fans. These are your customers and prospects and that’s money in the bank!
19-Selling Too Much
Social media users don’t like the hard sell. As a matter of fact, many use social media to escape commercialism. Don’t try too hard to sell your products and services; there will be a backlash. Again, social media is social. The best path to generating sales is to build relationships with your social media community, and then introduce the idea of doing business together.
20-Not Utilizing Circles or Communities
Circles on Google Plus allow businesses to segment followers into groups and address each segment separately with unique content. If circles aren’t utilized, each piece of content goes to every single follower. To increase conversion rates and engagement, instead of pushing content to everyone, businesses should create content that appeals to specific audiences and then post that content to the applicable circles and communities.
21-Buying likes or followers
Buying fans or followers is risky business. Some brands still believe that padding their numbers by paying for fictitious fans is a harmless endeavor. But did you know that buying Facebook fans can actually hurt your brand by decreasing your overall reach?
Fake fans will never interact or engage with your page, signaling to Facebook that your content isn’t interesting or valuable to your audience. This leads to an overall algorithmic decrease in your post reach and visibility. You could also find your account being closed, banned or deleted should Facebook find out about your schemes.
It’s far better to focus on attracting real, interested fans who will engage with your posts.
22-No Regular Engagement
Do you have a schedule for when and how often you post? Do you have a consistent voice that you use across all your social media profiles? Do your profile and cover photos convey what are you brand is about? How do you respond to negative feedback or criticism?
The best way to be consistent in your social media marketing is to have a strategy in place. This will include, among other elements, guidance about how and when you’ll use social media:
- Guidelines for how to respond to negative comments
- A frequently asked questions document that various team members can refer to. This will help ensure consistency in messaging.
- A repository of brand-related images staff can use for profile photos, cover photos, etc.
- A posting schedule for each social media channel
Too many businesses get all amped up about their shiny new Facebook page, but then 2 months later have already forgotten to update it. Embrace social media as a part of your business every day.
23-Not Using Active Images
Pinterest is all about visual stimulation, but many businesses are using static and uninspiring images to portray products. Instead, businesses should use colorful images that show the products in action. For example, instead of a picture of a sweater on a table, use an image of someone wearing the sweater doing something fun. Looked at a half million Pinterest images and found that factors like color, white space and even the inclusion of faces make a difference in terms of engagement.
24-No Strategy for Generating Leads
Ensure your branding is recognizable on all platforms and consistent throughout. You are going to have variations of backgrounds, etc. on the different platforms, as the specs are different on each. But your branding should be clear when someone bounces around to your different accounts.
25-Not Removing the URL from a Post
When you put a link in a Facebook update, the social networking site automatically creates a clickable image that also works as a link. Because of this, businesses don’t need to include the URL in the post. While having the extra link doesn’t hurt anything, it does show to some users that the business doesn’t understand the capabilities and features of Facebook, so it’s best to delete the extra URL.
26-Being a One-Trick Pony
Posting the same types of content again and again can convey the impression that your brand is boring, uncreative or just not in tune with your audience. Instead of posting link after link or quote after quote, change things up by posting a wide variety of content.
When you get hung up on posting the same types of content again and again, your followers will become less engaged and are more apt to think you simply don’t care about posting engaging content.
27-Not Providing Content Users Demand
Many businesses decide to use Instagram as another way to push static ads that could be posted on any other platform. However, Instagram is best used when businesses give consumers a behind-the-scenes look at what is going on and give insight into the personality of the brand. Instead of posting a touched up photo destined for the pages of a magazine, businesses should use Instagram to send out a picture of the photo shoot, the models laughing, the chefs cooking, or the crew eating some pizza around a big table. Businesses can stay on message and keep a consistent digital voice while still allowing followers to feel personally connected, which in turn fosters more sharing and increased followers.
28-Not responding appropriately to negative feedback
Negative feedback is going to happen. You can choose to ignore it, fight back or take it in stride. How you respond says a lot about your brand.
Some brands operate under the assumption that they can simply delete negative comments without repercussions. Others believe that ignoring negative or inflammatory comments is the way to go.
Rather than avoiding, why not use these situations as opportunities to shine? Respond thoughtfully and promptly to negative comments, and use them as opportunities to showcase your commitment to customer service.
29-Social Media Overload
Just because a social networking site exists doesn’t mean you have to use it. Spreading yourself thin by committing to too many networks can mean you’re not using any of them effectively.
Instead of spreading your valuable time and resources between eight sites, consider choosing the top five, three or even two sites that are the best match for your target market. It’s better to fully commit to a regular posting schedule on a few networks than letting many lie dormant.
If once you’ve mastered that one you want to branch out and add another. But don’t feel like on day 1st you have to open an account everywhere. Because doing so usually means you get overwhelmed and they all end up failing.
30-Forgetting to Measure Your ROI
Committing your company to a social media strategy is a huge time commitment. It may not cost you any real cash, but never forget that time is your most expensive investment. That means you need to make sure you get a return on your investment.
A lot of ROI discussions center around website traffic, likes, shares and retweets, but it’s a mistake to focus only on those measures—they just mean you’re getting a return on media (ROM). And although they’re important, they don’t help you figure out your ROI. ROI means you can track the financial returns on your time investment. Using tools like Google Analytics with set goals can help you determine what’s really happening as a result of all that ROM you’re getting.
Good years have passed, since social media has joined the marketing mix. It’s time to do things with proficiency, strategy and planning, no more Mary-go-rounds. There is no real guidebook for the perfect social media presence.
Avoiding these mistakes all comes down to ensuring your team is properly trained, using your resources wisely and responding to your fans and followers in a professional manner. When it comes down to it, treating your social media followers the same way you’d treat in-store customers or clients will help you avoid the worst of these mistakes.
For direction on how to correctly run a social media campaign, check out GetWebServicesOnline’s Social Media Marketing Services.