Social Media Marketing – 12 common mistakes to avoid!
Social Media is not a selling platform; it is a place to earn and develop trust.
Social networking is one of the most popular online activities these days, so it makes more sense for businesses now to try to engage that audience in an attempt to increase exposure, website traffic and sales. Marketers place a very high value on social media: according to a study by Social Media Examiner in 2014, 92% of marketers report that social media is important for their business. But even large businesses with excellent marketing departments make mistakes when it comes to leveraging social media.
Simply setting up multiple social networks accounts and posting some updates is not enough to make social media marketing a viable part of your marketing strategy. You can create more opportunities from social media accounts and increase ROI by avoiding some common mistakes.
- Not understanding your audience: Know your audience first, their demographics, their needs, their problems, their challenges and the questions they might have. Keep them in your mind and try to address their issues while developing content and posting updates on your social networks.
- Not having a blog: You don’t own Facebook, Twitter or any other social media network. Even, third-party blogging platform such as WordPress.com, Blogger.com, Tumblr.com are not yours. You only own your website, so have a self-hosted blog associated with your business domain like seointl.net/blog/ as it lasts until your business lasts.
- Not converting Fans into Leads: It’s great to have a million Facebook fans; but what if Facebook declines in 2018? Can you recall Geocities.com, Orkut, MySpace? Consider a strategy to convert your fans into a database by offering them some great incentives. Once you have those leads, you can connect with them using email or invite them on some other social media networks.
- Not monitoring social media: People are talking about you, your brand, your products, your competition and your industry. Do use some social media monitoring tools such as Google Alerts, TweetDeck, and more http://www.seointl.net/social-media-monitoring-tools/ to see what people are asking about you, are they praising about you? Or having some complaints about your products. With the help of available social media monitoring tools, we can monitor the mentions about us, about our products, services, events and about our competition. We can reach to our targeted prospects and serve them in a better way.
- Buying fake fans and followers – It’s great to have thousands of followers, but they’re not very useful if they aren’t interested in your products or services. Acquire the followers ethically. Avoid buying likes or followers from cheap, fake websites, as it violates Facebook and other social networks’ TOS and you may lose your account, if Facebook notices such activity.
- Using too many social media networks – there are more than 300 active social media networks exist around the world; but it does not mean that a business needs to be there everywhere. Be selective. Start slow. Select the network your customers prefer. Choose one or two social networks to start with.
- Failing to use and optimize hashtags – hashtags are one of the best ways to broaden your reach and to attract new followers using social media. Use relevant and trending hashtags, whenever they make sense. Use tools such as hashtagify.me, trends24.in, trendsmap.com etc.
- Overselling – social media is not a selling platform; it is a place to earn and develop trust. Let the people feel comfortable with your brand; they will buy from you once trust is developed. Long term success depends on building relationships over time; constantly focusing on selling may drive a few sales in the short term, but will separate you from your audience in the long run. Consider 80/20 rule, where 80% of your updates are to provide valuable content and 20% of your updates are for promoting your offers/deals
- Not using visuals to drive engagement – images play an important role in driving engagement. Not using relevant / attractive images is a huge opportunity lost. Try canva.com and www.placeit.net to design great creatives without the help of your graphic designer.
- Not engaging – many businesses concentrates more on posting updates; but not focused enough on responding, interacting and engaging their audience.
- Not having a social media strategy – having a plan in place allows you to tie your social media efforts in with your business goals and ensure you are using social media most effectively.
- Not using Web Analytics to measure results – your business website is the main place where goals are completed. Engaging customers on social media is a good strategy; but don’t forget to track to actual performance of your sales, awareness, engagement and conversions. You need to know what’s working and what’s not, you could be wasting your valuable time and money and missing out many opportunities, if you’re not tracking the results.
By avoiding these social media marketing mistakes, businesses and marketers can prevent setbacks and further grow their online presence.
Najam Ahmed – Digital & Inbound Marketing Consultant @ SEO International (a division of Al Wafaa Group – a Google Partner firm)