Five Social Media Marketing Mistakes You Must Avoid

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Social media marketing is a strategy employed by many companies. One of the biggest complaints I hear from businesses is that they’re not having much success on social media. The thing is that certain social media marketing mistakes can cause brands to fail. I’ll be addressing several issues that may be impacting your social media efforts in this article.

Are you making any of the following mistakes?

1. Posting Without A Clear Strategy

Many organizations struggle with focus when they first start using social media marketing for business. There are two problems with posting without a clear strategy. First, your results will always reflect the quality of the content you publish on social media. Publishing sub-par content to hit a quantity target will often lead to inadequate results. I’d recommend asking the following questions before posting any content on social media:

• Is this of any interest to our target customer?

• Is this useful or of value to the consumer?

• Why should the target audience care?

Secondly, people generally have an innate ability for detecting inauthenticity. So, if your content isn’t well-thought-out, your business could come off as an organization that doesn’t care about what it shares with others. This isn’t good because it can destroy trust, which is a very important aspect of a business.

2. Being Overly Promotional

Companies can turn people off or make them less interested in their content by being too promotional. The reason for this is because consumers are on social media for what they want. So very few want to pay attention to what you want. The way you turn this around is by building trust. Constantly selling to your target audience comes off as selfish, not trustworthy — even though they may need your product.

Instead, focus on building a relationship with your target audience. The best way to do this is by being helpful and genuine. The former involves sharing valuable content that may or might not benefit your business and engaging with the audience regularly. The latter involves being true about wanting to make a difference. You have to give freely without expectation. All of this can help you connect and build trust with your target audience.

However, I’m not suggesting that you don’t promote on social media. Rather, limit the number of promotional posts. One promotional content for every four social media posts works for some companies, but your business may need a different ratio. I recommend testing the audience’s response.

3. Acting Like A Robot

Some businesses follow their social media calendars on a very strict basis. However, social media marketing isn’t something that should be rigid. There should be room for creativity and inspiration. For example, you don’t have to always share a blog post from your website every Wednesday because the social media calendar notes so. Staff should be able to share something else if it makes more sense.

A social media calendar should serve as a way to keep going instead of a be-all and end-all. Your calendar helps you on those days where creativity and inspiration are absent. Furthermore, your social media calendar should be ever-changing based on outcomes. Sticking to post ideas even when they aren’t yielding results is a waste of resources. I recommend making adjustments to the plan as you receive feedback from data (e.g., the rate of engagement, views, likes, etc.). Don’t be a robot.

4. Not Investing In Your Greatest Online Asset

You’ve probably seen companies on directories like Yelp that use a social media page as their website. These organizations don’t own a website and have chosen to use other platforms instead of investing in one. However, this is a huge mistake. The problem with relying on external platforms is that you have no control. The website may shut down, or they can decide to impose fees, restrict your capabilities and more.

Also, companies usually sacrifice branding possibilities on social platforms. Your business can only do what the social networks permit. I recommend using social media to boost traffic to your website — a platform you control. Use social networks to capture the attention of the target audience and attract them to your site or related business asset (e.g., email list).

5. Not Being Consistent

Every company should be consistent with their brand presence on social media. That means keeping brand assets in line with your style guide and avoid breaking promises. For instance, stick to it if you promised to share a new article from your website every day. Similarly, colors used with imagery should be in line with brand colors. From the tone of voice to font choice to post frequency and others, maintain consistency in everything involving your brand. This way, you’ll be noticed and remembered.

Social Media Marketing Mistakes Can Be Corrected

Mistakes are a part of business and life in general, so you can probably correct course even if your company is making some of the aforementioned social media marketing mistakes. Remember to keep your content authentic, be less promotional and be more focused on the audience. Don’t follow your social media calendar too strictly, invest in your website and be consistent. Lastly, the original purpose of social media is to connect people and foster engagement. Remember that, and good luck.

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