Frustrated as you might be, you might find some comfort in the fact that your failure is not that unique after all. If you come to think about it, most businesses tried the same way before you did. Still, few of them actually succeeded at using social media marketing the right way.
As it turns out, playing by the book and social media marketing guides doesn’t always show great results. Why? Because no matter how hard you try to tick all the boxes, mistakes are bound to happen. So, to help you prevent them, we have put together a list of the most common social media mistakes you need to avoid if you want to get the best results from your efforts.
How to avoid most common social media marketing mistakes
Given that there are approximately 4.48 billion active social media users, there’s hardly a more effective way to market your business, services, and products than on social media. Really, if you come to think about it, there’s no better way to expose your business to a vast audience. And millions of brands that are present on social media already know that. Considering the competition, it’s easy to see why it’s crucial to be at the top of your game once you decide to take the plunge and start building your social media presence. So let’s waste no more time, and let’s have a look at what you need to pay attention to in order to get to the A-team.
Create a social media content strategy
Whatever you do, don’t base your strategy on spur-of-the-moment decisions. As the proverb says – well begun is half done! So make sure you are on the right track when starting your social media marketing. The best way to do it is by creating a content strategy that will pave your way towards success by helping you set and reach your goals.
Be hardcore specific. Think of your content strategy as a blueprint that will help you build a strong social media presence. A sound content strategy should include all there is to know about your business’s objectives. That means it should provide all the answers that will help you produce content that converts. To get to that point, first, you need to ask yourself questions such as:
- What are your marketing goals?
- What are your priorities?
- What kind of content do you want to produce?
- How many people in the team do you need to achieve desired results?
- What do you want to achieve with your social media strategy?
- What audience do you want to address?
- What kind of actions and reactions do you want to provoke?
- Who is in charge of social media content creation and calendar?
Planning your work, staying goal-driven, keeping track of your progress, and discovering new opportunities are just some of the reasons why you should create a content strategy. Keep in mind that a good social media presence has nothing to do with luck. The not-so-secret formula to success is the quality of a content strategy.
Know thyself. And your audience, too.
This kind of brings us to the chicken or the egg situation. What comes first – creating content strategy or identifying your audience? Well, actually, they come together. Knowing your audience will prove to be crucial when figuring out what content to produce. So basically, you need to identify whom you’re talking to in order to know what to say. But deciding what to say will also greatly depend on your business’s goals and objectives. After all, as we’ve already said, you do want to produce content that converts.
Bit mind-boggling, right? Ok, let’s try it again—this time in layman’s terms.
Why is it important to know your audience? (Take 2 🎬 ) Because your audience is what ultimately influences your social media content strategy. Knowing your audience will help you better understand what messages people care about and what type of content resonates with them. Once you know what to say, your audience insight will dictate the right tone and voice of your content and your message.
Be all ears – listen to what your audience is saying
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when running social media is playing a deaf ear to what your audience has to say. Social media allows you direct contact with your customers, so be sure to use it to your advantage. Find that sweet spot and promote your brand by sharing information that is relevant to your social media followers. Invest your time in understanding their interest and pain points. By doing so, you won’t annoy them; instead, you’ll make them look for more. Simply put, you’ll be able to produce first-rate content that attracts and offers solutions to whatever problems your customers might have.
Also, don’t forget to add a human touch. Engage your audience in meaningful conversations to find out more about them. Don’t just listen; offer answers and aim for two-way communication. Remember – if your audience is the one who has to do all the talking, then it’s not communication. It’s frustration.
Track, measure, and analyze
Not measuring information that lies behind your social media activities might be one reason that keeps you away from achieving your marketing goals. That’s why you need to track, measure, and analyze available audience insights regularly.
Numbers don’t lie. As a matter of fact, they tell you all you need to know, so be sure to make the most out of them. Use this info to determine what time of the day you should post. Find out where your audience is, i.e., on which social media platform and be there. Don’t talk in vain. What’s the point of having great content if no one will see it? Check the stats regularly to find out what type of content gets the most engagement. Don’t just force your ideas on your audience and take into account how your audience responds to them. Do they find your content valuable enough to share with their friends and family? Do they just scroll over it or react to it? There’s no need to second guess. Analyze the numbers and know for sure.
Follow social media rules
Being the new kid on the block is never easy. Especially when the block is a social media platform you aren’t familiar with and everyone is looking at you. But that’s ok. These things take time and a lot of research on social media etiquette. Sure, you might want to experiment in the beginning to find out what works and what doesn’t, and that’s perfectly understandable. Trial and error are more than welcome. In fact, there’s a hardly better way to find out how to reach your social media marketing goals. However, you need to remember that intuition is not necessarily your friend when it comes to social media surroundings. Bear in mind that each social media platform has its own set of rules and best practices you need to understand.
To better illustrate this point, let’s have a look at the giveaway trend for a second. If you are a regular Instagram and Facebook user, chances are you’ll come across at least one each time you check your social media feed. Now try to remember when was the last time you saw one on LinkedIn?
Remember, social media faux pas instantly go viral, so make sure to avoid them. We’ll all agree that there are much better ways to promote your brand. 😃
Mix and match different types of content
Remember what’s already been said: don’t annoy your audience; make them look for more.
Don’t bore them to death with the same old monotonous content. If you want to produce top-ranking and engagement-provoking content, text-based updates are simply not enough; no matter how relevant and valuable they are. Why? Because no one will notice them among all other eye-catching content social media users are constantly exposed to.
As a matter of fact, statistics show that video has overthrown blogs and infographics from being the most commonly used format in content marketing. So if you haven’t yet, make sure to include promotional videos and brand storytelling in your content strategy. Of course, this doesn’t mean promo videos are the only content you should use. Again, you don’t want to be monotonous. Mix and match. Organize Q&A sessions, conduct polls, prepare slide decks and presentations, re-post/re-share/re-tweet. Whatever you decide to do in the end, just make sure you give your audience what they want – engaging and compelling content. Because if you won’t, well, your competitors will.
Ask for help
You know, it’s ok not to be able to do it all by yourself. After all, it’d be irrational to expect everything from a single person. Once you realize you need to have specific people for specific tasks, a lot of troubles and mistakes will gradually disappear. So this might be the right time to start considering hiring a social media team. Besides allowing you to focus on running your business, hiring a dedicated team of social media experts will also take a lot of responsibility off your shoulders. Working with experts will ensure you reach your marketing goals and get your brand in front of the targeted audience while staying relevant to your industry. Last but not least, employing such a team ultimately means there’ll always be someone standing by to help, looking after your reputation on social media.
Whatever you decide to do in the end, don’t let the fear of making mistakes prevent you from taking advantage of social media marketing. Remember, social media mistakes are not that rare and can happen to anyone, even global brands and major corporations. Take comfort in the fact that being familiar with the most common mistakes can help you avoid them and keep going. After all, you could be just a few posts away from your next great business success.