We all know by now that social media is one of the largest platforms for marketing your business (and if you didn’t know that, you do now!)
You’re probably already making use of social media in your marketing plan – but there are some common mistakes that a lot of business owners make. Avoid these, and you’ll be well ahead of the crowd!
Having fake followers
If you’re just starting out with social media, it can seem all too easy to simply buy in some followers from a database. Unfortunately there is simply no value in having these accounts follow your page. The fact is your page might show that you’ve got thousands of followers, but you’ll receive next to no engagement – which is what really matters.
It’s also very easy to tell when a social media page has a fake following. If you’ve got 10,000 followers on your Instagram but only a couple of Likes on each post, that just screams fake followers. This just makes you look unprofessional, and can remove any trust between you as a business and your potential customers or clients. Be patient, put in the work, and build your following organically – it will pay off in the end.
Not having a social media strategy
You wouldn’t go into business without a financial plan, would you? Or without a marketing strategy or a business plan? So why would you start marketing through social media without creating a strategy first? It’s astonishing how many companies are trying to market through social media but don’t have any kind of plan. Without a proper strategy in place, you could end up with social media accounts that are inconsistent, unprofessional, or inactive. This does nothing for your brand!
Spend some time figuring out what you want to achieve from social media, and who your target audience is. You’ll also need to do some competitor research, figure out a posting strategy, and establish a process for measuring your results. Once you’ve got your strategy in place though, you’ll start to notice a big difference in the quality and consistency of your social media marketing.
Dealing with negative feedback
So imagine you log in to your Facebook page in the morning, and someone’s given you a really poor review, or written a negative comment on a post. What do you do? Do you ignore it, delete it or apologise? What you should be doing is using it as an opportunity to improve.
If one customer is unhappy with an area of your business, chances are others have also had this experience. They might not tell you that they’ve got a problem, but still, it means a lost customer for you. Use this as an opportunity to fix the problem!
Responding to negative feedback also shows potential customers that you’ve got great customer service, and that you’ll go above and beyond to help them and make improvements.
Too much spam or promotional content
Social media is about communication. Of course, your business needs to sell, and posting promotional material every now and again is fine, but if all you post is products or links to your website, people are not going to like your content.
It’s a quick way to lose followers, and some social platforms – including Facebook – actively hide overly promotional posts from being seen in the newsfeed. Keep your content fresh, original and interesting, and try and spark discussion and conversation amongst your followers.
Not tracking analytics
All social media platforms have analytics built in, so you can see how well your activity is performing. If you don’t check your analytics regularly, you have no way of knowing what’s working and what isn’t – whether that’s the type of content you’re posting, the times you’re posting, or how often. By understanding this information, you’ll be able to refine your strategy until you’re optimising your social media activity, leading to more exposure, leads and web traffic!
Taking on more than you can handle
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, Tumblr, YouTube, Google+, Vimeo… There are hundreds of social media networks out there. However, just because you can have an account, doesn’t mean you should. If you have too many accounts to look after, it will create unnecessary pressure for you and you’ll most likely end up with pages that aren’t regularly updated or don’t contain quality content.
The first thing to do is look at your target audience. What platform is most popular amongst your customers? For example, Snapchat is a platform that resonates with a younger audience, whereas Facebook is a good bet if your customers are a bit older.
Then think about what type of business you are. If you’re B2B, then you need to be working with LinkedIn. If your business is very visual, like an interior designer or a cake shop, then Pinterest is a must. Once you find the right balance, you’ll start to see results.
Not staying up to date with best practice
Social media best practice changes, a lot. The best way to advertise can be different from one week to the next, and it’s really important you stay up to date with changes.
For example, Facebook introduced massive changes to their algorithm in January 2018. If you haven’t adapted your Facebook strategy, you’ve more than likely noticed a huge drop in your organic reach.
To help you keep up to date with social media news, you can follow blog posts by social media specialists, set up a Google alert, or create RSS feeds. Keeping ahead of the game will put you far in front of your competition!