In 2017, it seems as though no company, business, or organization hasn’t attempted to market itself effectively using social media. As a business owner, you should look at social media marketing as a technique associated with most successful ventures. However, since this platform serves as one of the best ways to reach today’s customers, it can be very costly. Therefore, avoid blindly deploying social media tactics without first thinking through your business goals.
Social media is a powerful tool that, if used responsibly, will generate excellent results. However, failure to understand this influential aspect can result in much more damaging effects. Many people underestimate the difficulty of marketing their business on social media, and end up making a lot of mistakes. Thankfully, these social media mistakes can be easily avoided.
With that said, some of these costly social media mistakes include the following:
1. Inappropriate or Insensitive Posts
Every now and then a company will end up posting content that receives a lot of backlash, forcing them to delete said content shortly thereafter in an attempt to avoid scandal. Such social media faux pas force the company to apologize in order to restore and save their public image.
The truth is, it is easy for your social media team to post content without realizing it’s offensive or inflammatory. A perfect explanation for this is that with social media, you case a wide net and end up catching very different people with very different backgrounds and opinions. Therefore, a post that may seem innocuous to you, could read as insensitive and inappropriate to others.
To avoid getting your company in hot water via social media, establish a valid and detailed posting policy where multiple pairs of eyes sign off on content before it gets published.
2. Going Into Attack Mode
Most social media platforms are full of Internet trolls whose aim is to bring people down. While it can be infuriating watching this happen on your business’s Facebook page or Twitter account, experts say that ignoring trolls is the best thing you can do. The secret to withholding any attention is consistency, so make sure your social media team never responds to trolls.
3. Not Having A Clear Plan
This is one of the biggest mistakes a business makes when employing social media marketing techniques. For starters, most social media accounts are free to create. Once the accounts are created, a company makes a profile, loads a lot of useful information onto it to attract attention then completely disappears.
A few weeks after the account has been launched, the page then transforms into a barren wasteland with no content being posted consistently. Aside from the inconsistent page updates, what is posted might not be of any interest to the company’s target audience. Even if you succeed in getting your target audience to pay attention, there is little hope of linking interactions with your base back to your business in an effort to create value.
A clearly laid out plan is made of the following components:
- Time investment. Make sure your company invests time into creating quality content for your social media accounts.
- Strategy and goals. Without a well-laid out strategy, failing in social media marketing is inevitable. Strategies include using SEO services to help increase your website’s rank in the search engines.
- Time for interaction. As previously mentioned, there should be clear communication between your company and potential clients. With that said, spending time on your social media accounts to interact with your customer base and target demographic should be a priority. This helps foster a bond between company and customer.
4. Failing to Identify Your Target Audience
Creating profiles and developing content is not enough. Successful social media marketing requires you to go the extra mile by narrowing your focus. Narrowing your marketing strategies to target the right people is essential. Otherwise, your posts could be a nuisance to others who may not be interested in your products or services.
To begin addressing this problem, begin by having a detailed understanding of who your target audience is. This means knowing where they shop, how they spend time, their political beliefs, and other pertinent information. With such understanding, you can easily tailor your posts to engage these users.
5. Paying for Likes and Followers
Getting your social media presence off the ground can prove to be a daunting task. After all, getting a few hundred followers can take months. This is where companies fall into the trap of paying for likes and followers. By doing this, most people translate having a lot of likes and followers as a sign of successful social media marketing, which is not true. When you pay for likes and follows, you pay to receive interactions with people who are most likely not your target demographic. Therefore, it’s better to build your number of followers organically.
To successfully market your business using social media, pay close attention to target demographic, publish content regularly, and try to build a large social media base naturally. Otherwise, you could find social media to be a hindrance rather than an asset. Avoid falling into the unfortunate mentality of companies who launch social media strategies without any true understanding of what doing so entails. Such mistakes are often costly.
Richard Aumaitre is the CEO of Florida-based company, Epic SEO. He has several years’ worth of SEO and internet marketing experience, helping small to mid-sized business owners grow their respective businesses.