All businesses need to be aware of common social media marketing pitfalls as they attempt to navigate the tricky waters of social media. While it can be hard to enhance your presence on different social platforms, it’s not impossible. With these 10 tips, you’ll know what to avoid as you plan your social media marketing.
10 Serious Social Media Marketing Pitfalls
In 2021, social media continues to be a great way for brands to connect with their audience. While email marketing may be more beneficial in the long run, businesses shouldn’t ignore growing their social media presence to balance their outbound marketing mix.
1. Focusing on Follower Count
Followers are important in terms of building brand awareness, gaining leads and reaching new customers. However, you can’t simply collect followers like you collect antique teacups or vintage neon signs.
It’s what you do after you gain a new follower that matters the most. If you gain followers but fail to interact with them, your page won’t gain much traction. Any small amount of organic reach you may have initially when a new follower joins isn’t going to last without the proper nurturing.
Eventually, your followers won’t see your content if you’re not taking the time to build a relationship with them. In exchange for that “like” or “follow,” they expect you as a brand to make their time on your page worthwhile.
Pro tip: Followers are great, but keeping those followers is even better. Make sure you’re posting consistently — and posting content your audience wants to see (more on that next). In addition, reply to your followers’ engagement, questions, comments and customer service issues so they know there’s a real human behind your brand.
2.Too Much Hard Selling
When people online follow a brand, they do so because they either want to be educated or entertained; they don’t want companies hard-selling anything to them when they are on these social media platforms. It’s important to keep in view that though you can market via these platforms, they are very different from traditional advertising mediums.
And so, if you try to include hardcore sales pitches on social media, that can be a turn off for visitors and they will be more inclined to move out of the brand community or conversation. When you try to sell via this platform, you should do it in a subtle manner. Provide insight and input about your products, and give users a reason to interact with you. Share engaging and relevant content that will eventually lead them to your company’s web page.
3. Social Media Marketing Pitfalls: Not Understanding Your Target Audience
This is one of the biggest social media marketing pitfalls that should be avoided at any cost. Your entire social media marketing and content strategy will depend on who you’re targeting. Thus, it is crucial that you know your target audience before you start any social media marketing initiatives.
If you don’t know your target audience, you’ll just be creating content aimlessly, hoping someone will like it. And that would be a complete waste of time and money. Moreover, if you don’t understand your audience well, you might end up posting something that will trigger a negative reaction.
4. Irregular Posting
One of the biggest mistakes companies make is not integrating social media into their daily business tasks. Do you post once every week when you find the time? Or randomly when you come across an interesting article?
This won’t work. Brands like State Bicycle Company have attributed their social media success to frequent and regular posting – on a schedule.
DrumUp: If its time you’re worried about, DrumUp is a smart content curation app to use. First off, by setting keyword based themes for each account that you connect to DrumUp, the app sources the latest content related to those themes for you. You could also add your favorite RSS feeds and find all of your content on the same window. After selecting your content you could schedule them to whichever accounts with simple clicks, for weeks or even months in advance, or store them in a library for later use.
5. Ignoring Messages Sent by Your Audiences
Social media platforms allow for quick and easy communication between companies and their customers. And when customers leave comments or complaints, it’s important that you as a company respond to those messages. It often happens that companies set up accounts on various SMM platforms and then fail to respond to readers and customers.
This is one of the worst mistakes you can make when using social media marketing. Consumers view a company’s method of handling issues and complaints via social media, as an indicator of the quality of the brand’s support. Customer service is a very vital component of branding and when you ignore what your customers are saying online, it impacts your brand image significantly. It’s important to allocate some time in your day for visiting your account and answering queries. This will help you build credibility in the eyes of your target audience.
6. Not Telling Stories As Social Media Marketing Pitfalls
Telling stories personalizes your brand. Think about how personal relationships are established between people. They meet, they talk, and they begin to tell stories about themselves to each other.
Over time, they come to trust each other, and the relationship grows stronger.
Think of yourself as a person rather than a brand. What stories do you have to tell? How did your company get started? Who founded the company and why?
Who are the team members and what stories do they have?
Do you sponsor community events or support a charity? Post videos of the events.
Have you ever had a pet day at work, or do you regularly have pets in the office? People love photos of pets. Build-a-Bear Workshop is a pet-friendly work environment, and those “stories” are posted on social media.
The more stories you tell, and the more you tell them through use of visuals, the stronger your relationship will become with your followers. And those visuals will often be shared, if they are engaging enough.
7. Not Leveraging Enough Visuals
When talking about social media marketing pitfalls, we can’t ignore the overuse of text, which is a big mistake that marketers make. There have been enough studies to prove that visual content works better. People like looking at images or videos more than reading text. We all know it, and yet some marketers still can’t resist explaining things a bit too much using text.
This is a social media marketing pitfall that you really need to avoid. People go on social media to get entertained, stay updated, and discover new products/brands without spending much time and effort.
It’s the age of convenience, and long text messages are just inconvenient. Using visual or video content is, therefore, your best bet if you want to succeed at social media marketing.
8. Not Having a Brand Personality
This is one of the most common social media marketing pitfalls because a lot of marketers don’t even consider this in their social media strategies. However, all successful marketers know how important it is to have a brand personality, especially on social media.
Most people like and follow brands that they connect with or believe in, in some way. And, having a clear and distinct brand personality helps people connect with your brand better.
Dove is probably one of the best examples of a brand with a distinct social media personality. They have a purist and feminist personality and all of their brand messaging aligns with this brand personality.
Most of their campaigns and social media posts spread the message of inclusion and diversity, and encourage women to be their true selves.
9. Confusing Social Media Marketing Pitfall: Having Excessive Social Media Accounts
Another common mistake that many businesses make is that they dip their fingers into every social media jar and feel that it will help them get more exposure. The truth is that it’s far better to conduct a bit of research, identify which platform/s your audiences generally frequent and then focus only on those avenues. Managing these accounts is no mean feat; you need to be consistent with posting content and responding to comments and complaints and this can take up a lot of your time. This is why it’s best to stick to select platforms.
10. Not Using Analytics
How will you know if your social media strategy on each platform is really working? Too often, content marketers will simply keep posting what they think will be the right type, style, and tone for that platform.
The only way to determine the effectiveness of your strategies is to perform the analytics – how many shares are you getting? How many times are links coming back to your pages from which posts? What type of content is the most popular?
Google Analytics is a good tool to get this kind of information. Once you analyze it, you will know what is working and what needs to be revised.
These are some of the biggest social media marketing pitfalls that stop brands and marketers from being successful in their efforts. Avoid these pitfalls to build a strong social media presence and connect with your target audience.