Social Media Marketing is critical to your company’s success. Correctly asserting your brand in the social media space allows you to amplify praise from your promoters, and de-escalate criticisms from your detractors. It allows you to increase your visibility so that you can find new customers, strengthen your relationship with existing customers, and put yourself in control of any conversation surrounding your brand online. It also makes you money. Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing, confirming that building an audience can significantly increase your conversion rates while equally fostering brand loyalty. Don’t underestimate its importance, and avoid making these mistakes many brands are still making in 2016.
1. You don't have a plan.
And because you don’t have a plan, you post sparingly or not at all, you don’t have a schedule; and even if you do, you don’t really know why you’re posting, who you’re talking to, and whether or not your posts are working. This makes the experience for your followers inconsistent, and your social media efforts futile. In order to reach the audience you want, you need to develop a strategy that considers your brand’s message and sales objectives. Posting mindlessly “just to post” without understanding your core customer will only result in one-way conversations online. You must plan, schedule and post with intent. That or you become a tree in a forest of brands, and when you fall, no one will notice whether or not you made a sound.
2. You’re on the wrong platform.
You’re using networks that aren’t right for you, or missing out on the ones that are. Does a rapper need Pinterest? Does an accountant need Instagram? Should a criminal law firm really be on Snapchat? Most likely not. Perhaps you thought you were covering all your bases by setting up an account on every network that exists and now you’re posting content, possibly the exact same content, across the board. Your intentions are good but you’re spreading yourself thin. Every brand isn’t meant to be on every platform, and every piece of content you post should be crafted specifically to each relevant social media channel in order to maximize results. So how can you determine what channels are right for you? Research. Find out where your audience is, study their behaviours and attitudes, and focus your efforts on the networks they frequent the most.
3. You don’t have a team.
Having a random intern or “that guy in your office” handle your social media is a big mistake. The person in charge of your social media is the face of your company online and with that comes great responsibility. Hiring a Social Media Manager or agency will cost you money, but if you hire the right one, that’s an investment you will surely see a return on. Poor social media management can have a negative effect on your digital presence, which can in turn hurt you offline. So, do your company a great favour and hire someone who has the expertise and knowledge to make you current, creative and competitive.
4. You’re a narcissist.
And so you only talk about yourself and you don’t listen. Social media is about building trusting relationships with your followers so that when it’s time for them to buy, they won’t hesitate. Don’t be that guy in the room who only talks about himself; be considerate and mindful of your audience when you post. How do you make sure you’re not being “that guy”? The 80/20 rule. Providing useful and high-value content that is 80% informational and 20% promotional will ensure you curate a feed that is educational, entertaining and essential.
While you're finessing that engaging feed, be sure to listen to your audience; respond to their inquiries, ask questions and jump into conversations when relevant. When you get that unhappy customer, do not ignore them. Social media should be a key component to your customer service strategy. Use negative feedback as an opportunity to shine by providing prompt and thoughtful responses that will showcase your exemplary customer service and potentially diffuse a detractor, or better yet, turn them into a promoter.
5. You’re paying for fake followers and likes.
It’s hard to believe that this is a discussion that has to be had in 2016.
A fake follower is as useful as an imaginary friend. The thought of creating the ideal person who’s there whenever you need them is nice, however when the time comes for them to perform a specific action, say - accompany you to a party, or buy the product or service you’re selling - they can’t because they don’t exist. Bots don’t buy, and what’s the use of having followers if you can’t convert them? Not only are fake followers and likes obvious and embarrassing, they can hurt your reach by negatively affecting platform algorithms and your overall social rank by reducing engagement ratios. You want and need real fans who will engage, who will buy, and who will be your brand advocates. Opt for quality over quantity in your social media strategy; 1000 true fans is far more valuable than 10,000 fake ones.
Committed even one of these Social Media crimes? It's time we talk.