Social media marketing is the trend these days and almost every business is doing it. From small startups to huge organizations, everyone is hopping on the bandwagon of making a strong social media presence. This has increased the competition between brands on social media
According to Statista, 91.9% of U.S. businesses use social media for marketing and promotions. But it’s a hard pill to swallow that if you aren’t improvising on social media, you are way behind in the game.
Social media demands experimentation and improvisation!
In the world of technology, marketing is a lot of art. It involves taking creative risks and following your gut to build your business’s social media strength. But often marketers end up receiving the bad end of the deal. This can happen when you are a beginner at social media marketing or are too focussed on the right tricks that you avoid common pitfalls.
In this blog, I have talked about the common social media marketing mistakes to avoid when building a marketing strategy for your business. Let’s dig into them one by one and prepare you to create a fault-free social media marketing strategy.
15 Mistakes To Avoid While Creating A Social Media Marketing Strategy For Your Business
1. Discarding a social media marketing plan
It is said that if you want to succeed, creating a plan will induce your progress and define your pathway. This goes for social media marketing as well. If you want to achieve success on your social media platforms, creating a social media plan beforehand will give you a sense of direction regarding where things are moving.
Firstly, understand your possibilities of scope. Moving forward, come up with a set of objectives you want to achieve, maximum and minimum budget frame, and a plan that induces actions. With this, it’s also important to know who you are talking to and what you want to communicate otherwise you are just driving on a straight road not knowing where it leads.
And as they say the building is only as strong as its foundation, your social media performance also needs a strong foundation that you can create through a social media marketing plan.
After this video went viral and touched the peaks of their benchmark, Old Spice changed its old social media tactics and embraced their new personality (hippie) that was liked more by the audience.
2. Assuming your audience is everyone
Would you give an alarm clock to a toddler or baby bath products to an old man?
Because it would be of no use to them. Similarly, your social media stories and posts should also target the audience that can be or is already interested in your product/service. There are billions of people on social media platforms but not all of them fit into the list of your target audience.
To know who fits into that list, you need to create precise buyer personas. This should include their age, gender, demographics, interests, occupation, buying preferences and other vital information. According to that, fine-tune your brand voice so that your target audience can relate to your brand.
On social media platforms like Facebook, their inbuilt Facebook analytics can help you derive the demographics of your existing audience. This can easily boost your marketing efforts on Facebook and if you need more, this Facebook marketing ebook will guide you further.
For example, if you have an ecommerce store where you sell architecture related products, you need to research what architecture students and professionals are looking for to create more personalized content. You can’t sell architecture products to a non-architect user, no matter how creative you get!
3. Failing to engage in conversations
Social media users are not looking for a one way experience; that’s the whole point of social media. They are seeking connections, conversations and interactions and as a brand wanting to succeed on social media, you need to give them the same.
Your single conversation can turn a user into a follower, and a follower into a customer. So, make a habit of replying to all the comments and enhance conversations through your content. Infact, having a conversation with your followers can make them trust as well as interact with your brand more.
Moreover, on social media platforms like Instagram, you can make their algorithm like you through a lot of comments on your posts. This is why it is recommended to never leave a comment dead on your social media posts, positive or negative.
The most simplest comments can also be turned into conversations and impact the audience. And that can happen only when you reply to all the comments like Netflix did.
4. Buying followers
This might sound tempting at first but can take a toll on your social media marketing success. First of all, buying followers is against the guidelines of every social media platform.
Secondly, you are only paying for your social media platform to lose its essence because when you make a post, the more people like and comment on it, the more the algorithm prioritizes it as a good post and shows it to more users. But when you have fake followers that won’t respond to your post, it will be seen as content that isn’t useful, educational or entertaining by the algorithm. This decreases the overall solidity of your social media content.
Ads like this can tempt you instantly but all you have to remember is that you are chasing conversions and not your followers count. Because imagine that you notice a social media profile with 15,000 followers on Instagram, and when you scroll through their posts, you only see 50-100 likes.
What will you conclude?
Either you will suspect fake followers or you will derive that the content is not good enough. Either of them doesn’t set a positive brand image. So be mindful of every action you take on social media and analyze its impact before taking it.
5. Relying too much on automation
If you are targeting humans, it shouldn’t always be with a machine. Your brand persona thrives on the human touch and when you rely too much on automation tools, you lose it.
Social media automation tools exist to help social media marketers, not to replace them. Imposing all the work on tools can make your brand sound impersonal which can result in reduced impact on the audience.
Because as a marketer you think of ways to delight, inform, entertain, and educate your audience while an automation tool doesn’t do any of that. Also, one should never deploy a social media automation tool to send auto direct messages because when you are having a conversation with your audience, it has to be personal that can develop a real connection.
If you are thinking about or already schedule the same posts on all the social media platforms then it’s time that you are definitely receiving the short end of the stick without even realizing it.
Users receive content differently on each social media platform. For example, infographics work well on Pinterest while on Instagram, it’s advisable to convert the infographic into a carousel post for better visibility and readability.
Infographic on Instagram with lower readability
Infographic converted into a carousel post
6. Using irrelevant hashtags
Hashtags are like a spot where brands and users from a common interest come together and explore. They play a crucial role in finding people of common interests and also to find potential audience for your brand.
Also, including hashtags in your post can help categorize your content but there is a thin line between using hashtags and using irrelevant hashtags. Instead of looking for hashtags with more audience, you should make SEO analysis to find hashtags that are relevant to your industry or content.
A single false step in using hashtags can lead to presenting a negative brand image in front of a large audience. Let me explain this to you with an example.
This particular hashtag #WhyIStayed talks about domestic violence and is a sensitive topic. DiGiorno Pizza used this hashtag as a marketing move and made fun of it which was deeply criticized by the audience and eventually, they had to delete it and apologize to their community.
This is what a wrong hashtag can do to your brand!
7. Treating all social media platforms the same
Every social media platform has its own set of advantages that you can make the most of. But before that, you need to know that the audience on each platform is different and they are expecting different things from each of them.
But wait, do you really need all the social media platforms for your social media marketing?
Ask yourself, ‘Does my business need to be on all social media platforms?’
For example, if you are a B2B company, LinkedIn (business-related and social) will be more beneficial to you than Pinterest (creative and personalized). Now when you have listed the social media platform your business will be at, try to know the audience on each one of them. Dig into what they are expecting from specific platforms.
Are they expecting more videos on Instagram?
Are they looking for informative content on Facebook?
As soon as you start deriving these answers from experimentation, your social media marketing strategy will start moving in the right direction.
8. Not tracking analytics
To be up to date with your social media marketing strategy, you need to know the areas of improvement. And to know the improvement areas, you need to know the exact numbers behind your existing social media marketing strategy. These numbers include reach, impressions, engagement, conversions, etc.,
Insights into the past and present social media performance can play a huge role in improving the future of your business on social media. And, analytics is the catalyst to run businesses on social media platforms with constant improvement. With social media analytics, you can easily measure the quality of your audience, quality of engagement, post’s popularity, etc.
You can begin with using inbuilt analytics features on the social media platforms and to dig deep into your analytics, there are a bunch of social media analytics tools that you can use.
Preview of Facebook inbuilt analytics
Preview of Instagram inbuilt analytics
9. Avoiding, deleting, counterattacking negative comments
A negative comment is how you look at it. If you look at it as sheer criticism, you won’t be able to change that. If you choose to neglect it, it will only harvest more negative emotions. If you choose to delete it, you are just losing on a chance to improve and provide good customer service.
58% of tweets about negative customer experiences are still going unaddressed by companies on social media and this is never going to help your business. Instead, you can leverage the situation and uplift your customer service quality and build trust within your brand community.
Let me put it straight. Responding to the negative feedback can convert a complaining customer to a loyal customer. If you receive a negative comment, have a conversation with them on the same thread and after a while take it further to their personal inbox or an email.
This will not just make the customer happy but also show your audience that you care about your customers enough to respond and provide them solutions.
Cuckoo’s Bakery is a fine example of how negative comments or feedback on social media should be dealt with.
10. Creating faceless content
Your target audience are humans, right?
And, humans can trust humans more than businesses. No matter how creative marketing messages you craft, the power of a human face on your marketing effort is undefeated.
Imagine two kinds of businesses. First is a business on social media with a bunch of posters and videos to promote their business without a single human face. And the other one is where their social media content involves testimonials, DIY videos, behind the scenes, etc. with human faces in all of them.
It is certain that the audience will relate more to the second company’s social media content. So now when you are creating a social media post or replying to a social media comment, don’t talk as a corporate machine instead, personalize it to address the user in a better way.
For example, the following content is informative, and helpful but what more can be added to it is a human face that can make the audience relate to them more. Showing a face/s in your social media marketing can get your audience’s trust sooner than usual.
11. Making your content all about yourself
Social media is called ‘social’ media for a reason. As a business, it’s not a place just to promote your business without keeping the audience in mind. You have to be sociable because with the increasing number of businesses on social media, people are almost tired of promotional content.
There is no secret formula for this. You should divide your strategy according to the 80/20 rule to avoid a social media marketing mistake. According to this rule, 80% of your social media content should cater to the interests of your audience and should be shareable i.e., surprising facts, statistics, user-generated content. While only 20% of the content should be about your brand that inspires the audience to learn about your business and persuade them to follow your call to actions.
I am not denying on sales content because of course that is your social media goal. Only thing that you have to keep in mind is to be subtle with your promotional content like Oreo.
12. Not posting regularly
If you want to be a part of your audience’s life, you need to show up for them as much as possible. You can’t simply post twice a week and complain about not getting engagement or conversions.
Remember, consistency is the key!
There are thousands of brands that are sprawling to increase engagement and to stand out, you shouldn’t miss a single chance of getting noticed by the audience.
The best way to do that is by working on a social media calendar backed by a strong strategy. You can also utilize social media calendar tools and schedule your posts beforehand. This will make sure that you are consistent on social media and you will also have a greater impact on your audience.
Moreover with a social media plan, you will be able to analyze your progress and improvement areas better. But often in the rush of posting constantly, businesses end up posting non-valuable content. Posting regularly is impressive but not until the content is impressive as well.
Content calendar features of SocialPilot tool
13. Not integrating your paid and organic social media strategies
With the increasing number of businesses and users on social media, organic content’s reach is not reaching many people as expected. Doesn’t matter if you made an interesting post, there are chances that it might not even reach the audience’s feed.
The primary goal of most of the businesses is to service and delight the existing customer through organic content and get new eyes on the business through paid ads. The integration of both can result in increased growth of the business and if you aren’t integrating it yet, it’s time to start it right away. This is how you can attempt to integrate it.
- Boost your best organic content
- Optimize all your posts (A/B testing)
- Match your organic content audience with your paid content audience
- Use retargeting ads
- Don’t pay for all the promotional posts
- Automate your posts
- Use social media analytics tools to know if any campaign needs to be readjusted
14. Not uploading videos on social media platforms
With the skyrocketing number of users and businesses on social media, the engagement rate of images and text-based content is overtook by videos.
The average engagement rate on Facebook video posts is 6.13%, which is a higher engagement rate than any other type of content on Facebook.
People looked at videos five times longer than static content.
If you aren’t integrating video in your strategy, you aren’t far away from declined growth due to this social media marketing mistake.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram are driving themselves more towards video content. Especially after the release of Facebook Live, Twitter Live, Instagram Live and Instagram Reels, the audience wants to be surrounded by video content.
Videos on social media don’t just hook the audience’s attention but also drive more conversions if you create an optimized video with a proper call to action.
Look at how IKEA promoted their anti-slip mat in such a subtle manner through a video on Instagram.
15. Sharing only your content
Marketers often feel that sharing curated content doesn’t fulfil their primary goals i.e., sales, revenue, conversions, etc. But what they don’t realize is the power of diversified content. Your existing audience might get bored of your content over time and more importantly, your content will always be in the predicted zone.
What you can do to surprise your audience is share content of other businesses, influencers, etc. This will show that your business cares about providing information and not just about getting customers.
If you get lucky, they will also share content from your social media page which can increase your brand awareness and get you more followers.
It’s a wrap
Though marketing has come a long way from traditional to social media marketing, the primary objective of it remains the same – to get more people to know and buy your product/service.
As we have entered the era of social media marketing, there is not a single formula to social media marketing success instead, it’s a journey of experimentation. There are already too many things to do around marketing and it’s certain how mistakes can be made unknowingly.
I hope after going through this blog, you will be able to avoid these social media marketing mistakes when creating your strategy.
After all, your social media presence is only as strong as your strategy!
Happy Social Media Marketing!