Social media is a fantastic opportunity to communicate and engage with your customers. When businesses use it properly it can build relationships increasing loyalty and sales. It’s also possible, however, to get your social media wrong. What are the common mistakes and how can you avoid them?
The best social media campaign will fail if your customers aren’t on the platform that you are using. They also need to be using it in the right way. So, for example, most users on Facebook are using it for personal reasons so, although your customers may be on the platform if you are selling business services your customers are unlikely to engage with you in their personal space. Just as dangerous can be spreading yourself too thin across all of the different social media platforms. It can be very tempting to open accounts on all platforms to try and reach more customers. In reality, unless you have a full-time resource to devote to it you are unlikely to get the most out of any of them. For smaller businesses or larger businesses where the resource is poor, you should concentrate on the platform where your customers are most likely to be and to interact with you. Do one platform well and you are more likely to get the results that you want.
Using social media without a clear plan or strategy is one of the biggest mistakes you can make. Without a strategy, your content and messages can become confusing to your customers. Decide who you are as a brand and business and decide your tone and voice and stick to it. A clear strategy which includes your customer’s profile will help you to focus your content which, in turn, will increase the chances of your customers engaging with you. Your content should always be thought through with your customer always at the core. A content calendar will help you to plan ahead and will avoid the last minute panic to find any content to fill a gap. Innocent are a particularly good example of identifying their audience and are always consistent in the tone and nature of their content.
Businesses on social media very often oversell their products or services. If all you do is tell your customers how great your products and services are then you will very quickly alienate them. In fact, the focus for the vast majority of your content shouldn’t focus on your services and products at all. That doesn’t mean that you can’t talk about what you sell but you have to be subtle in how you do it. So, for example, if you are a fashion boutique you could post about summer trends and fashions including a link to your page but you don’t have to post just about the clothes that you sell. The spelling and punctuation app Grammarly are a great example of how you can engage with your audience without having to just sell your products. Their Facebook page is a combination to entertain their audience, helpful hints, and tips to help improve their language skills and a mix of text and images.
Forgetting to measure your social media performance is a common mistake but measurement can be critical to your success. If, for example, you want to use social media to drive traffic to your website you have to have the measurement in place so that you know how many visitors from social media you have now and then monitor how many you achieve. If you don’t it will all just be guess work as to whether or not what you are doing is actually working. Analysis can also help you to understand your audience better by showing you the type of content that they engage well with or don’t engage with at all. Repeat what works and avoid what doesn’t.
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