Social media, with its direct interaction with potential customers and search ranking benefits, is a vital component of any online business plan. Most corporations have a social media department dealing with marketing and customer complaints, but even a smaller business can implement some simple strategies to develop a strong online presence. For all the social media success stories, though, there have been numerous mistakes — both minor and catastrophic — that generated bad publicity, or simply had no impact with the desired audience.
Avoiding the most common mistakes will ensure you don’t deter potential customers from your products.
Too Many Sales Pitches
Most social media sites have an element of advertising involved, but it is the way you approach your promotions that will count. Some businesses have suffered from an overly promotional stance, leading to them burning out their audience. It is worth considering that many people will be using social media as a break during the day, so any pushy marketing effort can create a bad impression. Rather than directing followers to a sales page, for example, you may get better results directing people to a blog post which then leads people into your product.
Not Funneling People To Your Website
As mentioned above, you can achieve results if you direct people onto an external site, but many businesses view social media as an isolated space. While it is important to brand yourself using social media, your goal should be to move people into a marketing funnel which eventually leads to a sale. Quality content is probably the most effective way to move someone from a social media page to your own site, whether that is an article, video, or downloadable content. Away from social media, it becomes easier to engage a person in traditional sales tactics, implementing analytics to track and test for improved conversions.
Relationship building takes time, so you should be prepared for a longer timeline between first engaging a follower and making a sale. In order to keep people engaged you need to work to a consistent schedule, but it is common to see people give up before their work comes to fruition. Most marketers are used to dealing with tangible results and trackable metrics, but social media is harder to gauge.
Updating profiles and adding new posts should become part of a daily routine, along with answering questions and listening to feedback.
No Engagement With Followers
Many businesses use social media to post links to their website, product images, and other generic content. This style of posting can provide you with a social media presence, but it ignores the personal engagement factor that draws people to use these type of sites. For most businesses, you don’t need to be actively communicating all day, but adding a personal touch will let people know they are dealing with real people. It is also usually a mistake to ignore negative customer feedback, with social media allowing you a chance to turn a negative experience into a positive one.
Trying to Cover All Bases
The final mistake many businesses make is attempting to be active across every possible social media site. There are so many different sites, all with their own slant, so it is difficult for the average business owner to keep up. This often leads to people spreading themselves too thin, failing to achieve results on all fronts. Consider which sites are most appropriate for your brand, for example, Instagram and Pinterest work well if you can showcase images, whereas LinkedIn can facilitate networking if you do business with other professionals. Focused effort on a few sites will work far better than a broader strategy.
Most business owners understand the need to include social media promotion in their plans, but all too often the same mistakes are made. To achieve any discernible results, social media needs to be part of a well-thought-out campaign, rather than employed as an afterthought. More businesses are choosing to take on marketing companies to assume control of their accounts and campaign strategies, ensuring their brand is represented to its full potential. Outsourcing won’t be possible for everyone, but avoiding these common mistakes can ensure you achieve positive results with your social media efforts.