Social media is an essential component of any marketing plan. Establishing a social media presence for your business may be easy, but marketing across networks can be complex and confusing.
Read on to learn more about eight common social media marketing mistakes – and how you can avoid them to grow brand awareness, engage consumers, and generate sales.
You Post Before You Know the User Data for Each Network
Are you already tweeting and pinning and uploading six-second videos without knowing the user data for each network? If so, log out and move your cursor to some reputable research sites instead. Good places to start are comScore, Forrester Research, and Nielsen. You’ll see gender, age, and geographic information, plus you’ll learn how users engage with each platform. For example, LinkedIn is a robust B2B tool, while consumers use Twitter to pose questions to businesses. By knowing the user data of each network, you can better craft your social media content.
It’s OK to Post Something That Has Nothing to Do with Your Business
Nope, don’t do it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative with your posts. Share pictures of the communities where you source your organic ingredients. Explain an innovation that has reduced your company’s carbon footprint. Thank employees for working around the clock to fulfill holiday orders. For a start-up looking to gain traction in the market, your social media efforts should always support your business objectives.
There’s No Need to Budget for Social Media – It’s Free
Not really. Yes, social media networks are free to use, but creating content and responding to customers can be costly. You can hire a social media manager, or if your start-up budget is tight, consider social media monitoring tools such as HootSuite, Reputation.com, Spredfast, or Sprout Social. That way you can schedule messages, acknowledge comments and reviews, and analyze engagement from one dashboard.
You’re All In – the More Social Media Accounts, the Better
As an entrepreneur, you have your hands full running your business. Initially, open one or two accounts and do those well, meaning, you must commit to being social. Connect with consumers. Interact with influencers. And humanize your business.
Social Media is Just For Advertising Special Offers
Many business owners use social media to promote special offers, and that’s it. This is a mistake. A quick scan of your news feed, and consumers will think your products or services are always on sale, which undermines your brand’s value. To give the market a fuller picture of your business, use social media to share other important news, such as industry accolades or your company’s charitable work.
Ignore an Irate Customer
At your peril! Never ignore a post, no matter how damning, because it’s an opportunity to showcase your customer service skills. Always thank the customer for their feedback and apologize for not meeting their expectations. When appropriate, gently correct the record. Then encourage the customer to contact you via phone or email so you can resolve the issue offline. The beauty of social media is that your deft handling of a conflict can be viewed by a network of potential customers.
Keep All Posts Brief
Don’t be limited by character counts. If you have a story to tell that helps consumers connect to your brand, go ahead and tell it. In a world separated by screens, an anecdote with a real setting, intriguing people, and, above all, emotion, may end up driving sales more than any call to action or free shipping offer.
I Have Lots of Followers, So I Don’t Need to Look at My Social Media Metrics
You need to look at all your metrics to determine the effectiveness of your social media efforts. Are likes and favorites important How about shares and comments? Which social media platform is turning fans and followers into brand ambassadors? Tools such as Google Analytics and Inside Social can help you determine what’s driving conversions so you can maximize the impact of your social media efforts moving forward.
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