No business can afford to ignore social media. Regardless of your industry, the chances are good that a majority of your customers are active on one or more social media platforms. If you can engage with them there, you can build customer loyalty and grow your business.
However, if you’re going to use social media to market your business, it’s important to do it in the right way. Many business owners end up making crucial mistakes in their social media marketing. With that in mind, here are five of the most common social media mistakes – and some ideas about how to fix them.
Mistake #1: Using too many platforms
There are a lot of social media sites to choose from, and you might be tempted to think that the best strategy is to use all of them on the theory that you’ll be more likely to find your customers than you would if you stuck to just using one or two. The reverse is actually true. It’s important to remember the social aspect of social media. If you’re going to use a site, you have to be engaged and post regularly. You can’t expect people to follow you if you don’t make an effort – and an inactive account is worse than having no account at all.
The Fix: Pick one or two platforms and fully engage
Instead of trying to be all things to all people, do some research about your customer base and learn which platforms they are most likely to use. There’s no point in spending a lot of time on Snapchat if few of your customers are there. Pick two, or at most three, of the sites that you think will yield you the highest returns. Deactivate any other accounts you have and put your energy into building a following on the sites you have chosen.
Mistake #2: Failing to post consistently
One of the biggest mistakes companies make on social media is forgetting that sites like Facebook and Twitter are meant to be social, first and foremost. The algorithms used by Facebook and Twitter mean that not everybody will see the content you post. Inconsistent posting will decrease the number of people who see your content and cause you to lose followers.
The Fix: Make a social media schedule and stick to it
The best way to keep your social media posting consistent is to create a posting schedule and stick to it. You can use community events like Throwback Thursday and work around them to decide what to share and when to share it. Using a social media management tool can help you do all of your scheduling at once so that you don’t have to interrupt your day to post content.
Mistake #3: Spamming your followers
Social media is meant to be fun. Nobody follows a company on Facebook or Pinterest because they want to be spammed with an endless stream of sales pitches – yet a lot of companies make the mistake of doing exactly that. Your social media followers will quickly tire of being hammered with aggressive marketing material.
The Fix: Follow the 80/20 rule
The 80/20 rule is simple to follow. What the rule says is that 80% of the content you post should be informative and entertaining, with no direct marketing pitch included. The other 20% can include direct marketing, calls to action, and so on. In other words, four out of every five things you share on social media should be posted with the idea that they will be interesting to your followers – without any agenda on your part other than to keep your name in front of them.
Mistake #4: Not engaging with your followers
The people who follow you on social media want to interact with you. If they had no interest in you or your company, they wouldn’t be following you in the first place. However, some businesses make the mistake of thinking that they don’t need to respond to comments or share any content other than their own. The result is a disengaged following of people who think you don’t care about them.
The Fix: Embrace the give and take of social media
One of the best things about using social media to market your business is that it gives you the opportunity to turn your customers into brand ambassadors. You can’t do that if you don’t incentivize them to talk about you and your products. The answer is to follow influencers in your niche or industry and share their content when it’s relevant to your followers. It’s also a good idea to think of your social media accounts as part of your customer service department. When your followers ask questions or make comments, reply to them and help them as much as you can. Even the people who don’t comment will see that you are engaged and care about your customers. Your responses will help build customer loyalty.
Mistake #5: Not tracking and testing your marketing campaigns
When it comes to marketing on social media, it’s not enough to post content and look at the number of likes you get as proof that a campaign is effective. If you do that, the chances are good that the majority of your content is simply not engaging your customers – and if you keep posting similar content, you may end up losing them.
The Fix: Use Facebook metrics and other tools to optimize your campaigns
When you share content, boost a post, or create an ad on social media, you get a great deal of information about how customers see and interact with what you share. If you want your campaigns to be effective, you must use that information to help guide your social media policy going forward. For example, if you notice that the videos you create and share on social media get twice as much engagement as other forms of content, it makes sense to reallocate funds from your budget so you can produce more video content. You should also be split testing your campaigns to make sure that they are working the way you want them to. If you do these things, you can grow your following – and your business.
These five mistakes are common, but you don’t to make them. Using the fixes provided here, you can fine-tune your social media campaigns and get the engagement and revenue you want.