While it’s true that social media marketing provides or even requires a lot of creative freedom, it doesn’t mean that everything we do is good for it. In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most common social media mistakes marketers commit for you to avoid them on your own campaigns.
Incomplete Profiles. Incomplete social media profiles, especially those used for businesses, give customers the impression that the business and its owners are either lazy or aren’t competent enough to complete them. Regardless, it gives businesses bad publicity and PR.
An incomplete profile can destroy a business’ reputation or integrity within the minds of its prospects even if the business is legitimate and thriving. It’s because the social media page is just about the only point of reference they have at that point. Remember, it’s true that first impressions last and as such, ensure that your business social media account profile is complete before going live with it. Customers are unlikely to search for more information and may outright dismiss your business entirely if your accounts appear incomplete or inactive. They are trying to figure out what your company is about and how it might benefit them, and they won’t much care to investigate further if your business profiles are inadequate.
Not Consistent. Especially if you use several different social media accounts to market your products and services, you have to make sure that all your social media accounts work together as a team and are consistent in terms of strategy, message, and theme in order to project successfully and reinforce your desired image to the public. One example of being consistent is having the same user or account name and profile pictures for all social media accounts, whenever possible. Doing so establishes your products or services in your prospects and customers consciousness. It also subtly tells them that you’re professional and put a great deal of attention to what you’re doing. If such information varies it could lead to confusion on whether or not you are even the same company, and most people dislike being confused. Additionally, it could make you look dishonest or untrustworthy- both highly negative when trying to gain new clients.
No Plans. It’s been said that failing to plan is planning to fail. It’s no different when it comes to your social media marketing campaigns. A social media marketing campaign without a plan or strategy is like a car that’s running, backed out of the garage and with no destination. Both are total wastes of precious resources. What’s worse is that conducting a social media marketing campaign without a plan or strategy can actually hurt your brand. This is because your brand doesn’t stand a chance in terms of being noticed or single out from among the competition if it doesn’t have a solid and well thought of strategy or plan. And inconsistency or poorly executed campaigns will give prospects the impression that you suck and consequently, that your brand sucks. Negative attention can be worse than no attention at all; as it can cost you even the customers you previously had the loyalty of if things are presented too poorly.
Bragging. There’s a big difference between promoting your products or services and bragging. When it comes to social media marketing, it’s better to be a thought leader instead of an audacious self-promoter, which turns people off more than draw them in. You can avoid the tendency to brag by always thinking of ways on how to construct your posts so that they give value to the readers instead of how to make your products or services look good.
When you shift your focus from your products or services to the prospects’ and customers’ needs, you subtly communicate to them that you care about them and are very much interested in helping them out instead of just promoting your products and services and running away with their money. Focusing on them- instead of on yourself, your business, and your bottom line- makes them feel respected and valued, and in turn will cause them to respect and value you and your products, ultimately resulting in more conversions and more profit for your growing business.
Pure Ads. Unlike traditional or industrial marketing, social media is significantly less direct. Unlike traditional marketing that is focused solely on promoting a particular product or service, social media marketing is first and foremost all about engaging customers and prospects. Sales are just a byproduct or a bonus of the engagement process.
If you set up your social media pages to look more like eye-catching online advertisements, chances are very low that you’ll be able to engage customers and prospects with unique and quality content. As such, you won’t be able to provide them with great value to make them want to patronize your product or service. So always ensure that you post only unique, quality and useful content for your prospects and customers on your social media pages. Make your content fun. Make it thought to provoke. Make it engaging. Do something different from the standard sales pitch to raise awareness of your company and you’ll attract and maintain positive attention from potential customers, plus, they’ll be more inclined to remember and recommend you if you do something outside the norm of standard advertising.
Pure Words. The primary way we communicate with each other is through words. But if we use pictures, will be able to paint a thousand words in just one sitting. And with all the information overload to which your prospects and customers are subjected to every day, there is but limited time and space to pitch your product and services to them. Many people lack the time, the patience, or both to sift through endless blocks of text. An interesting, compelling, or amusing picture will better catch and hold the attention of potential customers and motivate them to deem the words you do include, to be worth reading.
Because pictures paint thousands of words, nothing else works better than a picture or image that clearly communicates the message that you’d want your audience to receive. Another reason why you should include pictures in your posts is that scientifically speaking, our brains think in pictures. This is the principle behind the term “photographic memory”. Your future customers will better remember and therefore think about your business and products if you utilize images and photos instead of simply words. If you use images or pictures wisely and strategically, you can position your product or services in the minds of your customers and prospects more effectively.
Taking #Hashtags For Granted. When you see phrases or words that are preceded by the # sign, you’re looking at hashtags. These are used to put certain content under particular online conversations or topics. Using hashtags is a good way for you to place your product or services into the mainstream, online trending topics or conversations. If you use hashtags wisely and strategically, you can narrow down your target market, thereby widening your potential customer base from which you can get solid leads. You can include some diverse hashtags on any given post, so be sure to include all applicable ones that your target market might have an interest in. This will ensure your comments and posts are seen with more searches than ever before, widening their visibility and therefore that of your company. It’s free and takes up almost no time, so it’s well worth investing a minute or two to ensure more publicity.
Including URLS In Posts. Many people make the mistake all off including the URLs of links that they post on social media, particularly Facebook. Normally, this happens because after putting a link, a clickable image is created, which makes users forget that the URL is still in the post.
While including the URL in your post is not a sinful or evil act in social media marketing contexts, it may affect your product’s or service’s reputation by sending the message that the people behind your products and services – including you – aren’t well versed in social media and can make your product or service look inferior compared to those of your competitors’. This could lead to potential customers thinking you are technologically behind, uncool, or unprofessional. It might also make them less likely to recommend or like your posts if they include URLs or other such errors that cause your business to appear less eye-catching and more behind the times. It’s better to err on the side of caution and as such, ensure that you always remove URLs from your social media posts.
One Way, JOSE. Because social media is social, as the name suggests, it is intended to facilitate interaction. Your customers and prospects will ask to expect a good amount of interaction from you on social media. In order to make your customers and prospects feel a good sense of connection with your products or services, it’s best to respond sincerely, politely, courteously and promptly to your follower’s comments or posts on your page.
Don’t be caught unprepared. Always have ready and well-thought guidelines for responding to all your followers’ comments – positive or negative – and plans of action for managing potential crisis situations. A prompt and respectful response to a negative comment can work wonders for mending ties and build bridges, and witty banter, warm words, and friendliness will take you far when responding to positive or neutral comments. Be informative to queries and communicative to even the smallest comments- your customers will feel included, and their appreciation will show in your profits.
Not Enough Content. A common mistake those starting out with social media marketing are guilty of, when all intentions are good, is simply not posting enough. It is easy to start out strong on your platform of choice, posting at least once a day, maybe several times, and then become discouraged if you do not have many views, likes, and shares very quickly. This can lead to despairing or be burning out, which can cause you to slack on posting any new content, or doing so very infrequently. Like most good things, it takes the time to gain followers, so do not give in to defeat if you do not result right away- multiple studies show us time and time again that these strategies are successful, so keep at it!
Additionally, sometimes well-meaning business owners or managers start social media accounts and simply are too busy or overwhelmed to find the time to post. In this situation, if budget allows for it, it might make sense to hire someone to oversee your social media accounts and to serve as the persona of your business. If finances do not allow for such, simply set a reasonable goal for yourself. It might be recommended to make several posts a day, but even just one will work wonders for your company. Start with something you can manage and commit to ensuring you can adequately respond to and engage with your customers and potential customers. You can always post more content when and if time permits it.