Billions of people use social media. Social media marketing has thus, become a powerful and valuable way to reach a vast audience. Most businesses are aware of and use various social media platforms for marketing.
However, not all enterprises apply the right digital marketing tips. If not used accordingly, social media can hurt your brand’s reputation. This article covers eight social media mistakes you should avoid. These blunders can limit your full potential in social media marketing.
1. Working Without a Plan
Social media marketing without a strategy almost always leads to underperformance. Without a proper plan, your efforts can go to waste and not achieve set objectives. Posting without knowing your end-game and the steps to achieve the same is harmful to your brand. If you create a profile, make a few posts and stories then disappear, your audience will feel lost and assume you’re not active.
Your business objectives and social media marketing possibilities should inform your plans. Your strategy needs to be tailor-made for your business and not an online template. Social media has many users. To stand out, you need to plan well, execute the plans and finally analyze the results. Your strategy needs to be fail-proof. It’s also essential to prepare corrective measures in case a mistake to avoid further damage.
2. Not Defining Your Target Audience
Another social media mistake to avoid is not to define your target audience. Understand that every brand has its audience, and targeting everyone will lead to failure. With every audience, the social media platform, content, and tone of language differ. Research, study, and be specific when you are outlining your target audience.
Take, for example, Instagram. This platform consists mainly of people between the ages of 18-34. Facebook, on the other hand, has an age group of between 26 to 54 years. Study different groups of people and understand them better. This way, you will know who is best suited to market your brand.
How To Understand Your Audience
a) Define your audience. Find out where they spend their time and the type of content they consume. You also need to know the time your audience is most active on social media. Publish your posts during the time. (eg. B2B brands may have the best results posting on LinkedIn during business hours.
b) Establish the target audience demographics. Understand their gender, age, locations, preferences and behaviours to determine your strategy.
c) Research to find out information such as the platforms they use and their spending power.
d) Analyze competitors – two simple ways to analyse competitors are by visiting their pages or using the Facebook Ad Library to view any paid ads they are running.
e) Conduct a market research.
Once you have a picture of your target audience, come up with a buyer persona. You will be able to target the right audience and convert more customers.
3. Focusing Too Much on Followers
Too many brands focus too much on their follower count. In an age where all social media timelines are tilting towards algorithm feed content, the importance of followers is becoming less and less important.
Some business owners even buy followers and likes when they have fewer numbers. However much the temptation, remember that this action is against social media guidelines. For example, in such a situation, Facebook will close, ban, or delete your account.
Then again, buying fictitious fans on Facebook will eventually decrease your reach. The reason for this is that the phoney followers don’t have an interest in your brand. These fans will not engage or interact with your business page. When your content is not valuable, an algorithmic decline will happen. Your visibility and reach will reduce.
Instead, put in place a plan to attract a genuine and interested audience. This audience will interact with your business page. Go after conversions and not subscriber count.
4. Using the Wrong Tone
There is much scrutiny on a brand’s behaviour on social media. Be careful to choose a tone that reflects your brand image. Your brand voice should connect with the target audience. Using a style that’s too official could be boring to your audience. Being too salesy is also a common mistake that turns people off your content.
Instead, try to be conversational and document your brand’s story, journey and core values. You can also add exciting punctuation and emojis that reflect your business image. Additionally, ensure a consistent brand personality. Maintain steadiness from your captions to interactions with your audience.
5. Using Irrelevant Hashtags
The use of hashtags on trending topics is an excellent way to get brand exposure. A large audience will see your account, read and comment. So it pays dividends to do some hashtag research – whether it’s exploring different hashtags on each platform or using a hashtag finder like Tags Finder or Hashtagify
6. Not Engaging with your Audience
Communication is an essential part of social media marketing. Social media is a two-way conversation. If you stay silent in the comment section, you will reduce overall engagement. Furthermore, to build your brand’s credibility, engage with your followers more often. You also create meaningful connections when you respond to their comments and messages.
Remember to respond as soon as possible so that your followers are not left hanging. When you communicate with your audience, they get the feeling that you care and like your brand. Having lots of comments on any social media platform will appeal to the algorithm.
Ways To Engage Your Followers
a) Respond to comments, messages, and tweets. Listen to their opinions and feedback and cater to their interests.
b) Host polls and giveaways to increase brand awareness and audience participation.
c) Post content that triggers their interest. You can also participate in relevant, exciting trends to kick off a conversation.
d) Comment on other people/brand’s content. Engaging with others is a hugely effective way to draw others to your pages.
7. Not Testing/Experimenting
There are millions of posts every day on any social media platform. Therefore, if your posts are dull and repetitive, your brand can easily get lost. Likewise, posting the same content over and over gets stale very quickly.
Your audience will thus, engage less. Avoid posting for the sake. If your posts don’t attract significant reactions, you need to change your strategy. To stay in tune with your audience, post a variety of content that interests them. If specific content results in lower engagement rates, change your approach.
Do not be afraid to experiment and test new platforms, types of content and social media features frequently. Repeated experiments and observation of the reactions AKA ‘Trial & Error’ is the most efficient way of finding out what works and what doesn’t with your target audience.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list of mistakes! However, awareness of these common mistakes should help steer any social media manager or individual in the right direction when building and carrying out their social media strategy.