Instagram has recently reached its goal of a billion active monthly users. Facebook, Instagram’s parent company, currently has around 2.2 billion active users. Considering the vast popularity of social media today, not having a social media presence has become unheard of in the world of modern advertising. Developing a viable social media strategy might not be rocket science, but it only takes a single mistake to completely ruin everything you have worked for. Here are some of the most pressing social media mistakes, as well as ways to avoid making them in the first place.
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Lackluster strategies and campaigns
One of the first mistakes inexperienced marketers make is running a strategy that is essentially pointless and a big waste of company resources. Every social media strategy needs to have a clearly defined goal, as well as means of accomplishing it and a timeline to follow. You cannot possibly ask for a million new followers in this day and age and expect any reasonable results.
Instead, ask yourself what exactly do you want to achieve: get traffic to your website, improve audience engagement, generate leads, increase click-through rates on your CTAs or generate or boost your sales? All of these goals might sound similar, but each of them requires a dedicated, goal-oriented strategy in order to be accomplished effectively.
Using the wrong advertising channel
The only reason why marketers use the wrong advertising channels is that they haven’t got the slightest idea who their target audience actually is. Big brands and household names have dedicated, multimillion-dollar budgets to blast their brand message left and right, but small and medium-sized businesses struggling for finances don’t have that luxury. Identifying your target audience doesn’t only mean finding out about their age, sex, and location.
In fact, a properly executed audience analysis will also tell you what social media platforms they mostly use, when they use it, how often, as well as their specific habits and interests. Now, this is the type of information you can sink your teeth into and use it to provide your audience with valuable, user-oriented and platform-specific content. It’s very easy to mess this content-channel relationship up, which is why companies often rely on digital marketing agencies to help them sort out the details.
Sharing repetitive content
Now, let’s make this one perfectly clear and understandable: maintaining brand consistency does not equate to posting the same update over and over again. Nor is it sharing the exact same post and update across all your different social media channels. Each social media platform requires a different type of content.
For example, sharing a text-only post or update via Instagram makes absolutely no sense, as Instagram is predominantly used for images and short videos. Twitter, on the other hand, is far more suitable for shorter announcements and updates, while Facebook is generally used for longer texts.
Not including CTAs
Once you’ve established who your target audience is and which channels suit your brand the best, it’s time to consider the content you plan on sharing. Keeping your audience entertained and updated might be important, but some of your posts need to include a call to action. A decent CTA can help your audience find out more about your company and the products and services you’re offering and allow them to actually engage your brand. Business, conversions, traffic, revenue, profits… All of these rely heavily on the effectiveness and versatility of your CTAs.
Not engaging your audience
As we already mentioned, it’s not about the number of followers you have, but rather, the amount of engagement you get from your followers. Why do marketers use micro-influencers with the small-to-moderate following instead of paying some celebrity to endorse their brand? Because their small following is much more engaged and loyal, whereas celebrity rarely pays attention to the average joe.
The entire infrastructure of customer support has long moved to social media networks, so don’t be afraid to strike a conversation with your users and make sure to answer any concerns and questions they might have. It only takes a single click to share an interesting post from your users, but it’s guaranteed to make their day and strengthen the bond they have with your brand.
Maintaining a strong social media presence requires a lot of work. It’s more than just having a profile and sharing updates from time to time. What you need is a clearly defined strategy that can be achieved within a reasonable time-frame. As benevolent as these mistakes might sound to the average marketer, their consequences can be quite severe or at the very least, quite costly. And you wouldn’t want to blow your entire marketing budget just so you can learn from your own mistakes, now would you?