Social media marketing is no longer an option for businesses – it has become a necessity. It is a powerful tool that you need to learn how to harness to produce fruitful results for your business. More than 2.3 billion people are using social media worldwide, which has made it a primary venue for brands to build a presence and connect with their target audience.
However, you need to put in a bit more effort than before. Today’s customers don’t appreciate product promotions thrown into their faces. They are more interested in the experience that you’ll provide as a brand on social media. So, marketers who ignore the ‘social’ in social media tend to fail in their social media marketing efforts.
13 Pitfalls of Social Media for Businesses and How to Avoid Them:
1. Not Having a Solid Strategy
Having a solid social media marketing strategy and a list of achievable goals not only helps you focus on your business but also enables you to target efforts to specific results. You need to treat social media as any other marketing initiative.
Many businesses simply start posting on social media channels without forming any strategy. They create posts and upload them, but their efforts are not directed to a specific goal and lack focus. You need to know what you want to achieve within six months, one year, or five years; and what kind of content you’d create to achieve it. One simple trick to follow is a social media content calendar aiming for a solid festival season strategy.
2. Inconsistent Posting
Creating and setting up social media accounts and then leaving them sidelined for weeks or months is a big No. Posting once a week when you find the time is not going to yield results. You need to be consistent on social media to make people recognize and remember your brand. Try to post daily or at least thrice a week, for starters.
You can start by creating social media posts in bulk with PicMonkey Alternatives or Adobe Photoshop alternatives. After that, you can use a social media management tool like RecurPost to ease your posting tasks. Create a months’ worth of content in advance and schedule them to multiple social accounts together. This will keep your social media accounts always active, and you don’t even require to log in.
3. Unplanned Content
A mixture of ingredients often tastes delicious, but one wrong item can ruin the entire brew. Your social media marketing plan is like a recipe – it’s flawless for the outsiders who see your social accounts, but the internal process needs to be tightly regulated.
Will you create educational or inspirational content? Will you adopt a cutting-edge marketing tone or a formal one? You need to decide on the kind of content that you’ll put forward on your feeds. Planning your content will help you build a cohesive feed and create a brand identity.
Related: Benefits of Digital Branding and Ways to Promote a Digital Brand
4. Focusing Just on Sales
We understand that you need to get leads and generate sales for your business but keep that temptation aside for a while. People use social media to interact with others, share experiences, and develop connections. They want entertainment, education, and inspiration while using the platforms. What they don’t want is brands continuously trying to sell them something.
Make your target audience get to know you. Provide them with something valuable. Let them know who you are, what your mission is, and tell them the story of your brand. Interact with them and try to build connections – and your followers will ultimately turn into your customers.
5. Ignoring Industry Trends
Social media today is all about following trends that big brands and influencers initiate. Don’t hesitate to jump on trends thinking that they will hamper the reputation of your brand. They act as a great way of attracting more people who are not following you.
People always appreciate light humor coming from brands in the form of memes and trends. They can also help you in going viral overnight. However, make sure that you don’t touch sensitive topics, i.e., make content on political or religious matters.
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6. Not Engaging With the Target Audience
Social media is a two-way street. As we said earlier, social media users always look forward to building connections. Thus, brands that don’t engage with their audience impression that they are not interested in striking a conversation with their potential customers.
There are many ways you can interact and engage with your followers – Answer their questions. Take their opinions. Retweet others’ content. Reply to their comments and DMs. Thank them for sharing your post like their posts. Hold a QnA session – There’s just a lot you can do to build strong connections on social platforms.
If you want to take things a step further, you may also want to consider using an email marketing platform to get them on your email list and engage with them on a one-to-one basis. This can help solidify a relationship, sometimes even more than social media.
7. Being On Every Social Media Platform
There are many social media platforms available today. Some are popular; others are not. If you try to maintain a presence on every channel, you will eventually spread yourself too thin and get overwhelmed by the work you need to put in. Unless you have a huge social media marketing team to back you up, you cannot cover all the platforms.
So, find out the sites where your target audience is hanging out and focus on building a community in those selected spaces. Working on fewer channels will enable you to pay more attention to what matters the most and curate better content.
8. Treating Every Platform Similarly
Every social media platform is unique in its terms. They provide different features, sharing options, marketing tools, and have diverse audiences. On Instagram, you will post more entertaining and informal content with crisp captions. On Twitter, people come to share their fleeting opinions. While LinkedIn demands formal and professional content. And on Facebook and Facebook alternative sites, people publish long informative posts.
You can definitely use the same message, but you have to alter the style and tone for each platform. Tailoring the content for each social platform will get you more reach and engagement, as it will resonate with the audience using those sites.
9. Not Analyzing Insights
Why set goals if you do not measure the results? Simply taking note of the likes and followers isn’t enough. Analytics play a huge part in discovering how well your social media marketing efforts are performing. Every social media platform provides its own in-app analytics. Using that data, you can know a lot about your audience as well as your content.
For example, on Instagram, you can see when your followers are the most active, their age group, gender, and top locations. You can check the number of accounts your posts reached, including your followers and non-followers. It also shows likes, comments, and replies received on your stories. Thus, you can get a clear idea of the kind of posts that your audience likes and curate more such content.
10. Marketing Only to Potential Customers
We understand that as a business, generating sales and increasing the customer base is crucial. However, focusing only on potential customers is a surefire way to lose your existing ones. The people who are already a part of your tribe also need equal attention. That’s why most successful businesses run loyalty programs to reward repeat customers with exclusive perks.
This also serves as an excellent way to attract new people in the first place. It gives an impression that you, as a brand, care about your customers. Moreover, satisfied clients will always refer your products/services to their family and friends, which can captivate an entirely new audience on its own.
Related: How AI will Make the Marketing Mix More Personalized?
11. Not Leveraging User-Generated Content
The power of user-generated content is immense. A single Instagram story or Twitter post shared by a happy customer works more than ten promotional posts uploaded by you as a business. It provides proof to people that your products are genuine and your brand is trustworthy.
Social media provides many ways in which customers can share their reviews. Ask them to share a picture of your product or record a short video of them using the product. These kinds of posts get shared widely, making your brand reach more and more people.
12. Absence of Human Element
On social media, you need to be human. People want to connect with people, not brands. Your profiles are a place to show your human side and connect with your target audience. Showing people that your business is a social creature helps build trust. Tell stories – it personalizes your brand. Think about normal relationships – people meet, talk, share stories, and their connection grows stronger over time.
This is just what you have to do as a business on social media. Talk about your team members, share behind-the-scenes videos, post pictures of your employees taking a break during the day, let people know all the things you do as humans in a team besides producing a product or delivering a service.
Also Read: How to Write a Business Plan (Template + Step-by-Step Guide)
13. Avoiding Negative Comments
Avoiding, deleting, or counter-attacking negative comments is one of the worst things you can do as a brand on social media. See those comments as an opportunity to show your customer service. Tackle them smartly and let people know that you are up for solving any issue that arises. If the comment seems like a misunderstanding, provide the correct information.
Social media will work best for you when you handle unsatisfied customers upfront. It is also a chance to swiftly turn a complainant into a loyal customer by providing great customer service. Reply to their comments initially and then take the conversation ahead in DMs to deal with the situation privately.
These were the 13 serious social media marketing pitfalls that you should avoid (or stop right now!). Developing and executing a rewarding social media marketing strategy can be difficult, but avoiding these mistakes will allow you to rock your online presence. It takes a lot of time and effort to build a community on social media. Let’s not make these mistakes cost you reach and engagement!