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Over the past few years, when meeting with prospective clients their initial statement usually sounds like “social media just doesn’t work” or “we’ve tried it but it didn’t bring us the results we were expecting…Every time, my response is that “perhaps we should review why social media didn’t work for you, or let’s review your strategy for social media to see how we can improve its effectiveness…”
That’s when I get a blank stare (or hear crickets).
Even in 2018, most companies fail to integrate social media marketing as part of their overall marketing efforts.
Often, these companies were simply jumping on the bandwagon like so many others. But, as soon as the money and clients didn’t jump through the screen, they became discouraged and stopped.
So let’s make 2018 the best year for social media!
Today, nearly 20% of consumers use social media for information about any business. If having a strong social presence is so important, perhaps learning what to avoid will help make this the year that brands see more leads and sales via social media.
Here are the top 11 worst social media marketing mistakes to avoid in 2018.
1. Undefined Goals or Not Having a Strategy
2. Vanity Metrics
3. Sporadic Posting
4. Audience Confusion
5. Spreading the Brand too Thin
6. No Brand Personality
7. Not Integrating UGC
9. Doing everything manually
10. Respect the Platform
11. No Video Content
1. Goals and Strategy:
Every aspect of marketing involves a sophisticated strategy, social media should be no different.
An effective social media strategy is the foundation for success.
Posting content without a clear map of objectives, content calendar, and data will ultimately fail. Data should drive all social media decisions and irregular content sharing is ineffective.
Any brand that wants to succeed on social media needs to have a series of well-defined goals, a budget to support paid efforts, a series of metrics (KPI’s) to define success, and a solid course of actions that maps out the steps to achieve these goals.
2. Quantity over Quality!
During the process of defining the indicators for social media success, the most common mistake is that brands look at follower count as an important metric.
In today’s social media landscape, a brand with one follower can run an equally effective campaign as a brand with millions!
Because a well-defined ad and target audience can be created by any brand. So measuring fans or followers is not a realistic metric for defining success.
With vanity metrics comes buying followers. Fake followers are similar to non-existent ones. They serve no actual purpose except for making some CEO’s happy, that is until they yield no sales.
Avoid the simple solution. Build a page that’s driven by the quality of the community not the quantity of thumbs.
Again, social media marketing is like all other marketing efforts. Measuring the impact of a campaign should surpass just the number of fans of a page. The number of fans shouldn’t be the determining factor. The level of engagement and involvement of the audience is much more important.
3. Irregular posting of unengaging content.
Having social media accounts is important but so is making sure that you update them regularly.
Content should be regular based on your content strategy.
Well, social sharing platform Buffer offers a great analysis of times for optimal engagement.
What should posts look like?
Brand content should be carefull to engage your audience. Content should be customer (not brand) focused. If branded content does not elicit engagement, comments, or likes then it’s time to revisit the content strategy (there’s that word again) and fine tune it.
With regular content updates comes community management and customer engagement. View every comment as an opportunity. This is the core advantage of social media.
Customers will engage, sometimes with negative responses, but that doesn’t mean a brand can’t turn the ‘haters’ into brand ambassadors.
By viewing social media as the springboard for deeper conversations, brands can involve the entire customer success team (from sales to production to customer service) to improve the relationship.
What happens when a brand gets negative feedback?
Don’t ignore it.
Customers and prospective customers turn to social media to learn more about a brand. If the brand responds in a real (non-automated) way, then customers appreciate honesty, response time, and how well the customer is managed.
Any brand that wants to activate and utilize social media as a valuable marketing tool should have a crisis plan. This plan should outline how to respond, in what manner, and which teams should be involved.
4. Not converting followers into paying customers.
Social media is useless if a brand is translating the content into real insights.
Any aspect of digital marketing can be tracked!
Analyzing the performance of social media enables a brand to identify engagement opportunities, the optimal time of posting content, and business related metrics.
At the simplest level, brands should review the primary sources of traffic via Google Analytics. Measuring the traffic sources, the quality of the content and the interest of your audience to different content styles will help any brand design a stronger marketing campaign.
By developing and clearly defining the Key Performance Indicators, that includes demographics, time of day, audience relevance, and other factors of engagement, the process to associate marketing goals and social media becomes much easier.
5. Focusing on too many channels.
Your brand has decided to go social!
As the social media manager, you sign up for Facebook.
Good move. Then, you add an account on Twitter. Don’t forget Linkedin, Youtube, Pinterest, Instagram, and what about Snapchat?!
Social media is not based on just signing up.
The best results on social media marketing come from investing the time, energy and resources to actually produce valuable content and engage with the relevant audiences.
Rather than spreading the brand too thin and probably yielding minimal or zero results, put maximum efforts on one or two of them.
The limited social media efforts on two platforms will yield much stronger success.
Many businesses make the mistake of jumping on every social network possible. In an effort to be everywhere, they end up nowhere.
In my experience, one social media professional can only manage 2-4 accounts effectively. Start with the core of Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. You can always diversify.
Part of avoiding a social media platform meltdown is to assemble a strong social media team.
Don’t have a social media team?
Every member of a team is valuable. Each person brings a core strength to the brand. Some people ‘get social’ and, well, others not so much. These people will rock social media, reach and surpass all goals and expectations.
Looking to build a social team?
A core social team is comprised of an analyst, a writer/ Marcom, a product guru, and some form of coordinator/team lead to assist everyone.
6. Having no brand personality.
We all remember that iconic, award-winning- Oreo post during the 2013 Super Bowl.
It shared a simple image but behind it was a brand that stressed its personality, its quick-thinking, and its creativity.
For some reason, even today, approximately only 22 per cent of brands see any value in adding a layer of personality to their social content.
Why be boring? Your product or service is unique, so share that!
Speaking of unique and having a distinct personality….
7. Not Integrating User Generated Content
Every brand wants to build trust with its customers and humanize the brand in a creative fashion.
Social media enables brands to do just that!
By adding a human layer to the brand, the content comes across less like a sale and more of a recommendation.
Especially for marketers who are still seeing minimal interaction or low levels of engagement, it’s time to consider User Generated Content (UGC).
User-generated content is a prime source of top content from a customer, follower, or a brand enthusiast that has experienced the product.
With a simple ask, brands can repurpose the customer content and amplify it across larger consumer channels.
What customer wouldn’t enjoy a little love from the brands they use? Top that with stronger brand affinity and brand interactions, all which lead to revenue opportunities.
Want an example of how to use UGC to grow your Instagram page? Here’s how Buffer did it with impressive results.
The most successful social media pages do not spam or self-promote.
They engage, offer valuable content, interact with their audience and actually listen.
Simply sharing a link across all social media platforms is counterproductive. The spammy links, or fake versions of engagement, won’t work. Broadcasting on social media is just going to backfire!
Allow the customer or interested party to initiate and take them on a journey.
Social media isn’t just another channel for self-promotion or spam.
9. Doing everything manually.
Attempting to manually post content across social platforms is not a way to optimize any workflow.
Today, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of tools that can make social media distribution significantly more efficient. With so many to choose from, it can be overwhelming but using several of them (3-5) can make any brand’s social media experience positive.
Here are the ones that I use but every manager should find the tools they’re most comfortable with.
- Buffer, Hootsuite, or Sprout Social (for content scheduling)
- Post Planner or MeetEdgar (for resharing, optimizing and scheduling top-performing content)
- Canva (for producing graphics, Facebook Ads and other digital media)
- Tailwind (for Pinterest)
Automation certainly reduces the burden, but there needs to be a structure.
10. Broadcasting the same message across multiple channels.
“Customize and Optimize the content for each platform”
While social media content should be shared across platforms, it needs to be optimized for the specific platform.
Each platform is set up differently, which means that the audience has different expectations for the style and format of content shared.
As an example, Instagram and Twitter are the best for hashtags to increase exposure and reach.
On Facebook, hashtags don’t work.
Brands should understand the unique strengths of each social platform and maximize its potential.
11. Not Integrating Videos
“Native videos are shared more than YouTube videos on social”
After analyzing over 6 million videos, Quintly found that videos uploaded natively to the social media platform receive significantly better performance than a link to Youtube.
According to a recent report by Social Media Examiner, for 60% of social media professionals, video is the most important form of visual content.
Why is it so important and popular?
It’s engaging, it’s dynamic, it’s creative!
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