As social media continues to have a greater and greater impact on search results and audience reach, even the last holdouts are beginning to jump on board the social wagon and integrate social media marketing within their brand strategy. If you don’t have the budget to hire a marketing firm or an in-house social media manager but would still like to get your company on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ or another social platform, you absolutely can manage your company’s social profile on your own! Just make sure to avoid these common mistakes:
1. Engaging in social media without researching it first.
Many businesses attempt to reach out to the younger generation by latching on to as many trends as they can. The younger generation can see right through this and usually reacts with skepticism. Be sincere and intelligent (or at least maintain the appearance of such) when aiming to capture the web savvy consumer. Simply joining a social network and starting to post promotional content without understanding how it works is a surefire path to failure. For example, if you want to post a link on Reddit, but do so in an overtly self-promotional way that adds little value to the average Redditor’s experience, you will be blacklisted. To use social media successfully, make sure you understand the intricacies of each social network, whether Reddit, Pinterest, Tumblr, and the rest.
2. Over-marketing to social followers.
If you try to constantly market your company through social networking, you’ll only serve to alienate and irritate the people who are following you. Businesses need to maintain a good balance between marketing themselves and providing useful information to their customers. If the information that the business provides is not valuable then most customers will see no reason to keep watching them for news and information. A good rule of thumb when using social media marketing for your business is to stick to the 80/20 rule, where 80% of the time you post non-promotional content that you readers find valuable and only 20% of the time post self-promotional content about your business. If you ignore the rule and bombard your social followers with self-serving ads, you will lose those followers, your audience will shrink and your social efforts will be wasted.
3. Inconsistent use of social media.
When interacting with social networks, you need to be consistent with your business’ social strategy. Too often a business will start their social networking off with a bang and then forget it exists. Consistent updates are the key to keeping people interested and keeping people talking about the business. Without consistent updates most people will forget about the company and some may even stop following the company entirely.
4. Unprofessional or thoughtless posts.
Just because social media is informal does not mean that you should break down to posting cat memes and what the newest intern ate for lunch. Have fun with your social media accounts (social media is, after all, the place to interact informally with your target market) but also remember to remain professional at all times. Many businesses have come under fire by letting members of their staff post opinions or comments that reflects badly on the company’s image. Business owners can even get in trouble by posting controversial opinions that later lead to problems in the market. Before you post anything on behalf of your business, consider whether the post might offend or irritate your users and whether or not it adds value to your followers’ experience.
5. Not using the proper tools to monetize and analyze social media.
Many businesses find themselves with hugely successful media accounts but no actual way to monetize it or to track how it is helping their company. A proper social strategy will help you turn your social followers into a source of financial benefit to your company, through thoughtfully designed calls-to-action which will increase your social media ROI. Don’t just jump into using social media without a solid marketing plan and analytics tools – make sure you have those tools set up so you can see how beneficial your social efforts are, analyze results and modify your strategy to perform even more successfully.
Feel like you’re in over your head? Thrive Internet Marketing can help!
If you’d like to start a social media marketing campaign for your business but aren’t sure how to get started, we’d love to help you out! We offer highly effective social media marketing strategies that can have a strong impact on your company’s online marketing efforts, so don’t hesitate to give us a call!