Avoiding the 5 Most Detrimental Social Media Marketing Mistakes
Most successful businesses today are utilizing social media with the intention to further their business. New and upcoming businesses have taken note and many who are beginning their business or working to expand their business turn to social media with the hopes of accomplishing their business goals. Social media in all of its forms is quite simply full of opportunity yet there are very clear formulas for success that so many seem to miss out on. Our purpose here today is to cover the five biggest mistakes businesses are making when trying to use social media marketing to their benefit and how you can avoid making those mistakes. Instead, our optimism is that you will use these guidelines to find the success you seek.
The formula for social media success involves establishing goals along with strategies to achieve your goals, utilizing content properly, optimizing your networks, understanding your budget and compromises, and analyzing your results. Once you properly research and understand the mistakes you definitely don't want to make, then you are ready to earn the success you deserve.
1. Goals and Strategy
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when managing your social media marketing techniques is to not set specific goals. It is not a goal to simply exist on social media. In fact, social media needs to be a part of a bigger picture and a more relevant plan for your business. It is not a separate or individual technique to be isolated. Instead, social media should be integrated into your overall business practice and specific goals should be set to benefit your business. Neglecting to set goals in the first place is a recipe for disaster.
Every goal needs to serve a purpose. For example:
- Over the next 30 days, I want to sell 100 products/items
- Over the next 30 days, I want to sign up 10 new clients
- Over the next 90 days, I want to gain 250 newsletter email subscribers
Once you have your goals in mind you need a strategy to achieve these goals. It will take intentional effort to see these through. A strategy helps you identify what is required to achieve your goals and a simple step by step process is the most efficient and organized way to make sure you stay on track and meet your goals. It also helps you properly prepare for what is to come.
So, if your goal is to sell 100 products in the next 30 days then you need a strategy to utilize social media marketing to the best of its ability. Your step by step process will likely include staying appropriately active on your page, running promotional opportunities such as sales, discounts, and buy one get one types of offers, as well as paying for Facebook ads or paying to promote specific posts. Additionally, when you pay to promote your posts, Facebook gives you the opportunity to choose from multiple specific demographics. This can definitely be used to your advantage.
On the other hand, if your goal is to gain 250 subscribers to your email newsletter, your strategy will likely include choosing to offer promotional items such as a set amount of free ebooks with educational material to your target audience, utilizing a giveaway where extra entries are earned by signing up for the newsletter, or informing your potential subscribers of the types of tips and bonus material they'll be able to look forward to if they subscribe. Again, you are definitely able to utilize Facebook's option of paying to promote posts. In this case, you would ideally choose to promote the posts which highlight the specials intended to entice new subscribers.
Most importantly, do not isolate your practices to social media. Utilize social media marketing as a technique to further your business. Set your goals, know how you plan to achieve them, and see them through. Your mistake would be neglecting to set goals, neglecting to plan strategies to achieve your goals, and choosing to isolate your goals to social media. Remember, social media is a tool.
We've talked about content before but it is an endless, black hole of possible mistakes. Here's a thorough list of things you should never do:
- Do not over post. Flooding your page or feed is more likely to flood the feed of your followers. They may enjoy your Facebook page and your Twitter account, but chances are they also use these platforms to interact with friends and family, as well as follow a wide variety of other pages. In fact, the average Facebook user may follow a few thousand pages, so I guarantee they don't want to be flooded with just your posts. This is also bad for your page's reach. It is important to understand the difference in properly seeking opportunities to be seen in their feed versus unintentionally spamming their feed.
- Be consistent. Finding the appropriate balance between not overposting and maintaining a consistency may seem like a difficult task, but with programs like Postblazer, it's actually incredibly easy. You free up a lot of time by using Postblazer to schedule posts across multiple platforms and you can make sure that they are going up at strategic times. If you notice posts in the morning get the most interactions, schedule a post daily in the morning. Do not forget to regularly visit your page and interact with followers. Every comment, like, and share has the potential to boost your reach. Utilize Postblazer to ensure content is going up consistently but do not neglect your following. Remember, your followers are your customers at the end of the day.
- Be creative and use content that compliments your specific area of expertise. Avoid poorly done content, overused and spammy content, and instead focus on your business niche. If the products you sell are ideal for parents, then your target audience are parents. So, seek content on Facebook that will make mothers, fathers, and even grandparents, smile, laugh, and relate. Research suggests that people are more likely to stop and notice a visual image before noticing words. This is a good reason to include visual stimulants to your posts such as memes, gifs, and videos. As well, photos, gifs, and videos tend to get better reach. That definitely all ties together!
Ultimately, do not expect followers to simply fall in your lap. Be intentional in your posts and engage with your followers. It is a mistake to upset the balance between creative posts and engagement with blanket overselling. As well, spamming your followers is bad for your business and your brand.
On a side note, it is a mistake to not properly utilize hashtags in social media. Create your own and pay attention to relevant trending hashtags. They may seem silly or obnoxious if you are unfamiliar with the platforms you are trying to utilize them on, but they directly pull more opportunities into your lap. Hashtags and buzzwords trend because they are being used so frequently. For example, when users on Facebook go to their search tab, trending topics also pop up. If a user clicks on a trending topic that catches their eye there's a possibility they will see one of your posts. Pay attention to what is trending and use it to your advantage. Too many businesses and individuals do not want to use these techniques to their advantage and it hurts them in the short and long term.
3. Optimize Your Use of Networks
There is a lot of research available to suggest how to properly utilize the specific social media networks to your advantage. For example, research shows that you're most likely to see the best results from not using more than 3 different platforms. Choosing which platforms are best for you may look like only 2, or it could look like 3, but going over 3 could be a bad idea. It would be a mistake to overburden yourself or choose social media platforms to market your business on that do not properly suit your business.
Take into consideration then that:
- 74% of adults use social media
- Of that, 71% use Facebook, that is 1.28 billion users worldwide
- Twitter has 255 million users
- Instagram has 200 million users
- LinkedIn has 187 million users
- And Pinterest has 40 million users
So, it is probably safe to say that in most cases, utilizing Facebook as one of your 2 or 3 platforms is in your best interest. However, you don't need to utilize all of the others entirely. If your business is professional in nature and caters to that demographic, you would benefit most from Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. If your business was creative in nature, you would benefit more from visually stimulating platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.
Do not overburden yourself or waste time and energy on platforms that do not properly suit your needs.
Time is money my friends, but that is not the only thing you need to consider. You need to budget! You need to weigh risks versus benefits with things you want to spend money on. For example:
- It may be relevant to hire professionals in multiple circumstances from graphic design all the way to hiring people to manage your social media marketing. If you hire a professional for $500 for the month to ensure your page on Facebook stays active and it brings you in those 100 sales that total $3,500, then you have profited $3,000. I know you understand basic math but it's good to visualize this concept. It can be worth it to spend money to make money, but you need to be prepared for these costs.
- Paying to promote Facebook posts and utilizing Facebook ads will be worth it if you bring in more customers than your cost to promote your post(s).
- When you put people in charge of running and maintaining your social media marketing it is imperative to ensure proper training and guidelines are in place. When you have specific goals in mind, you absolutely need to make sure that the people you are ensuring to achieve those goals understand what they are doing. You need to ensure they understand the possible implications of what they are posting, how to maintain strong security (a mistake far too many make is NOT practicing strong security measures,) how and why to avoid trolls, and not to take advantage of crisis situations (it comes off as tacky and disingenuous.)
As long as you understand your costs and profit margins, budgeting will be easy. As you see continued benefits from properly utilizing techniques, you can increase your budget and options. Far too many people fall into the whole of shoving money blindly into their endeavors and it leaves them devastated. Wasted time, wasted money, none of it is good.
5. Analyze Statistics
The crutch and inevitable fall of many is not analyzing statistics. Facebook, for example, makes analyzing your page's statistics very simple. They show fluctuations in your reach, what demographics your posts are reaching, and helps you understand when and where to optimize your posts and helps you choose to promote specific types of content.
When you neglect your statistics it becomes very easy to make assumptions and making assumptions will not help your business. Taking the time to analyze statistics for your pages on a regular basis will help you see regular fluctuations and possibly pinpoint when you've gone wrong, how you're wasting time, and what isn't working. All of that is in addition to helping you see what is helping, when you're posting viral content, good content, and reaching the most of your target demographic.
There are few things you could do worse to fall short and waste your time and energy on social media than to not utilize this incredible tool to your benefit.
In conclusion, while mistakes are easy to make, now that you understand how they can damage your brand you know to stick to what works and you will see the success you seek!