Social media occupies a critical and growing place in digital marketing; however, with changing demographics, the constant arrival of new applications, and many terms only the tech-savvy really understand, it’s easy to make mistakes in executing your social media marketing strategy. Even for those who feel comfortable with various social media platforms, it is important to not get stuck in a rut. As new and different options and outlets become available, social media strategy must evolve. Whether you are a seasoned social media maven or are new to the world of social, avoid the following common mistakes when developing your business’s social media strategy. Here are some of the worst social media mistakes to avoid:
- Fail to develop a strategy. A sustained, promotional enterprise requires a strategy--an outline, if you will--of the how to utilize the tools at hand to their best effect. Plan the message(s) your business will promote, develop a policy for execution, and plan the implementation. Remember, everything you post on your social accounts is for your audience, not your business. Tailor your message!
- Create too many accounts, on too many platforms, too quickly. Quantity does not always equal quality. Today’s audience on social media values good content. If your business fails to generate good content, posts will go ignored, un-liked and not be shared. Too many accounts without proper follow-through also lends itself to abandoned platforms and inconsistency in content generation and upload. The three big social platforms are LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook but be sure to think about your customers and product/service - your target demographic might prefer other platforms, such a Pinterest, or Instagram. Use the platforms that best serve your industry focus and customer base. It is better to engage in a smaller number of social outlets effectively than to spread yourself too thin and create little value on many social platforms.
- Pay for fake followers. Social media leverages the power of peer pressure, especially through reviews and “likes” that validate a product or service. Many social media sites measure engagement rates, which do not include paid reviews and will ultimately downgrade the effectiveness. Experts recommend growing a following through more organic and sustainable methods by implementing a solid plan, setting realistic policies regarding employee feedback to negative criticism, and creating a system for updates.
- Use social media as an advertising mechanism. If you do nothing but post advertisements, your audience will quickly disappear. Savvy consumers will not read content that offers no value other than to persuade them to part their hard-earned money. Once again, offer valuable information that can assist them in making a decision that best suits their needs. Don’t forget to share good information gleaned from other sources, too.
- Post content too frequently. Staying in front of your audience is critical - but moderation and consistency are key when creating a value proposition. If you post content on a too frequent basis, you risk alienating your audience through bombardment. If you post content and sacrifice quality for quantity, your message can be list. Your business's social media marketing plan should include a schedule of thoughtful, meaningful content release, not just a list of topics and platforms.
- Fail to edit. Nothing makes you look like an amateur and undermines your credibility like errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar. Take a second to proof read and spell check your work, and even if you’re a master of the language, it always helps to have a fresh set of eyes review the content before it goes public.
- Ignore comments. The operative word in social media is “social.” It’s not necessary to respond to every comment received, but when you do reply it is important to respond in a timely fashion. Thank people for their positive reviews or comments, and make sure to address any negative comments to ensure your customers feel heard and respected. Your responses will show that you pay attention to your customer base, that you’re willing to work with them to resolve problems, and that you value their opinions.
- Fail to measure results. What’s the return on investment for hiring that social media director or CMO? Is your site acquiring more followers, driving more business? Figure the metrics that will help you calculate whether the social media marketing goals are being achieved and then analyze performance results.
When launching a social media marketing plan, remember that results don’t happen overnight. Sustainable, organic growth in audience and sales takes time. One or two months’ dip in new followers or sales does not justify terminating the program or that plugged-in college graduate you just hired to take advantage of internet-based opportunities. Your digital marketing strategy will benefit from careful planning and thoughtful execution.
Denver Website Designs will not only create an engaging website design that showcases your business, but we can take charge of your online promotion with proven SEO strategies, valuable content generation, events, and social media marketing. Contact us at (303) 498-9000
to discuss your business’ promotional goals and work out a strategy to achieve them.