There are over 3.8 billion social media users globally. Social media is no longer an optional marketing channel. It’s essential to increase your reach, build a community around your brand, and attract new customers. If you’re not already utilizing social media marketing, you’re losing out on leads and sales to competitors.
But it isn’t as simple as posting a few times a week and blasting out some ads on Facebook. It’s easy to make mistakes that cost you engagement and customers.
If you’re struggling to gain traction on social media, you may be making one of the following 6 social media marketing mistakes.
Not Having a Strategy
Like any marketing initiative, you should have an overarching strategy to guide your social media marketing efforts. Sporadically posting content here and there is not going to cut it.
Your social media strategy should include:
- Target platforms
- Audience segments
- Content types
- Tone of voice
- Posting schedule
Your strategy also needs to align with your business goals and vision. What do you want to achieve, and how will you measure performance?
Many brands fall into the trap of vanity metrics when they don’t have a documented strategy. Success should be measured by the impact on your business performance, not just on the number of followers and fans.
By defining and tracking your key performance indicators (KPIs), you can gain actionable insights into your social media activities and how your content and posts contribute to conversions and sales.
Targeting Everything and Everyone
Try to please everyone, and you’ll end up pleasing no one.
If you make the mistake of not knowing who your target audience is, you’ll struggle to make an impact with organic and paid social. You need to use your buyer personas to identify audience segments and adjust your strategy to target those users.
One of the key benefits of social media marketing is the ability to target your audience precisely. You can maximize ROI by narrowing your focus onto the platforms and people most likely to be interested in your products and services.
For example, Pinterest reaches 80% of US mothers that use the internet, while 71% of US adults aged 18 to 29 use Instagram. Choosing the right platforms is vital to the success of your social campaigns.
You can also leverage free tools to dig into audience data and find insights to guide your organic and paid social strategy. Facebook Audience Insights can provide heaps of information to inform your PPC campaigns. You can go beyond demographic data and gain detailed insights into jobs, relationship status, interests, hobbies, and more.
Using the Wrong Tone of Voice
While social media provides an excellent opportunity to promote your products and services, people primarily use social media platforms to communicate and share things with friends and family. Social media platforms are informal and personable by their nature.
If your tone of voice is bland and corporate, you’ll struggle to gain traction and forge connections with your audience on social media. When a user comments on your post or asks a question on your profile, address the user by name and avoid using a template response.
You should establish the tone of voice that aligns with the rest of your brand identity in your social media strategy. If you have a light-hearted upbeat brand image, dry responses aren’t going to appeal to your audience and align with the rest of your branding.
The Use of Incorrect Hashtags
Hashtags can be an effective way to increase exposure and get your posts in front of new audiences. On Instagram, posts with at least one hashtag receive 12.5% more engagement than posts without hashtags.
However, if you use a hashtag that doesn’t align with your brand values or misappropriate a trending political hashtag, your mistake will be amplified across social media. There are a bunch of “hashtag fails” involving brands engaging in tone-deaf marketing. Stick to relevant trending hashtags and use them sparingly.
The most effective way to use hashtags is to create unique and memorable branded hashtags that communicate your USP. You can launch competitions and giveaways encouraging users to share user-generated content featuring your products under your branded hashtag.
No matter how good your products and services are, you will always receive some negative feedback. On social media, any negative feedback is there for the world to see.
But you shouldn’t view negative feedback as a problem that needs to be hidden. It’s an opportunity to delight a customer and strengthen relationships. A huge 97% of people read company responses to reviews. 44% of people believe that responses to comments and reviews are more persuasive than brand advertising.
Negative reviews and comments are usually genuine customers sharing their experiences of buying from your company. Take on board genuine criticism and use those insights to improve the customer experience.
By responding with empathy and understanding, you can demonstrate that you care about your customers and are willing to listen to what they have to say about your brand. With the right response, you can turn an unsatisfied customer into a brand advocate.
Not Considering the Big Picture
Social media marketing should work seamlessly with the rest of your marketing strategy. It’s important to determine where social media influences the buyer’s journey and what happens once a user has left social and landed on your website.
You can leverage the advanced targeting capabilities of social media ad platforms to get your offer in front of the right person at the right time. But your landing page needs to convert your paid social traffic into sales.
For example, let’s say that you use Facebook Ads to advertise a pair of white and blue sneakers. A user clicks on your ad with the intent to make a purchase. But when the user lands on your website, they find themselves on your homepage. They can’t see the white and blue sneakers, so they click back to Facebook and keep on scrolling through their timeline. The sale is lost, and your ad spend is wasted.
You can avoid this social media marketing mistake by creating custom landing pages for your paid traffic. It’s vital that you deliver on what you promised in your ad and that the transition from the ad to the landing page is as smooth as possible.
Social media can be a super-effective marketing tool. But it can also be a drain on time and resources if you get it wrong. You need to create a documented social media strategy, set clear objectives, and establish measurable KPIs.
People judge brands and make purchasing decisions on social media. Avoid the above mistakes, work hard to engage your audience, and social media can be a key digital channel for the growth of your business.
If you’re not getting the results you think your social media marketing strategy deserves, contact Ogno today for a free consultation.