While it’s easy to dismiss social media as a fad that will go away as quickly as it came, the statistics tell an entirely different story.
According to the 2018 Global Digital Report, the number of internet users worldwide in 2018 is 4.021 billion, climbing 7 percent every year. Social media users are 3.196 billion, up 13% form the previous years. In fact, 22% of the world’s total population uses Facebook… that’s a lot of people!
Social networks are so established that everyone who’s anyone knows to invest in a social media marketing strategy that leans in on online consumers and prospects, and get the expertise of a social media marketing manager who can build a campaign from the ground up. Today, more than 90% of organizations are socially active online.
So if you’ve got a heavyweight in the ring, you should know all there is to know about making sure your side wins. If your social media marketing strategy isn’t yielding the right results, then you must be doing something wrong. Read on to know the most common mistakes businesses and brands make on social media and how to avoid them:
#1. No Sense of Direction
A strategy is one of the key first steps in setting up a successful business. It’s where you map out your firm’s goals and the plan you have in set to achieve those goals.
This also applies to social media marketing. Executing a social media plan without a blueprint to follow is a recipe for disaster and will not profit your business in the long run.
In order to direct your business towards the desired outcomes you want, you need to figure out exactly what social media can do for you. Here are some of the typical objectives businesses have with social media:
With the amount of foot traffic social media platforms and apps get in a day, it would be a waste not to leverage it to gain more information on your audience and to understand what your consumers think of your product or service.
Gaining insight and research through social media is a powerful tool in today’s highly-connected age. Social Media Examiner reported that social media as a viable method for understanding one’s audience ranks as the third most valuable benefit of social media as a whole. It’s also estimated that 78% of companies intend to explore this new frontier further in future with regards to integrating data into their marketing campaigns.
Social media marketing allows companies to grow their fan base, and use customer-generated content for better-performing ad campaigns. Being able to target the right fan base means repeat and loyal customers.
Marketing online, in addition to your regular advertising methods, gives your company the opportunity to have a wider reach and a larger audience. If you want to reach 10,000 users in a single day, that’s no longer an impossible target. Having a highly interactive and sociable campaign is becoming a must.
Cold calls just don’t cut it anymore. These days, social selling is the new sales model.
Sales people harness the power of social media by answering prospective clients’ questions, responding to comments, and sharing relevant content that will allow them to educate their prospects na nurture their interest until they can close the case.
Research by IDC has found that:
91% of B2B buyers are currently on social media
84% of senior executives make purchase decisions based on social media
75% of B2B buyers are heavily influenced by social media
While establishing a rapport with end-users and providing a more accessible avenue for customer support has not been the intended purpose of social media for business, it’s unintentionally worked nonetheless. Especially when consumers seek a quick fix to an issue or to have a question answered, social media is where they turn to first.
In fact, a whopping 67 percent of customers have engaged a brand’s Facebook, Twitter, or other social media accounts for their customer service needs and requests.
This could be defined as the capacity to integrate customer feedback into your business. Nowadays, consumers are better informed and more aware of their needs and wants. This has pushed companies to view customers as valuable contributors in the creation process. Building collaborative, customer-centric environments enables companies to plan out improvements more efficiently so as to better satisfy their audience.
#2. Working Too Many Platforms
Social Media is all about targeting the right audience at the right place. Being present on every single social media platform removes from that advantage, and spreads your efforts too thinly. It would benefit you to stick to a few platforms and excel at them, rather than keep up with too many and do a substandard job.
Focusing your efforts will guarantee you a better chance at creating a more effective social media campaign.
So how do you choose which platforms are right for you?
Facebook is best for posts with links, to lead readers to your blog or website. Twitter can only accommodate posts that are less than 140 characters and allows you to interact directly and quickly with customers (best for addressing customer concerns) as well as deliver company news and updates. Instagram is good for businesses that are more visual in nature, such as clothing lines or photography services. Playing with different color palettes and fonts can catch your audience’s eyes and help showcase your brand. LinkedIn is for networking to like-minded individuals and sharing industry-related news, and attracts an older demographic.
Pick the platform that tells your company’s story and allows you to reach and engage the right people.
#3. Not Knowing Your Target Audience
If I asked you if you know your target audience, could you answer “yes” with utmost honesty?
Not a lot of brands can, apparently. Defining exactly who they are trying to reach is a struggle for most companies, which results in a confused and unorganized social media marketing strategy that does not engage customers.
But with over one third of the world population active on social media, and e-commerce sales expected to surpass $500 billion by 2020, this is a missed opportunity for ineffective campaigns. Putting effort into getting to know your target market should hold top priority.
You should strive learn the following in order to understand your audience:
What are they liking and following on social media?
Which apps and sites do they frequent?
Where are they located?
What are their interests and what engages them?
What time of the day are they most active?
It may seem like a lot of work initially, but the results will speak from themselves.
When it comes to leveraging social media for business, strategy matters. But if you feel like you’re grasping at loose straws when it comes to social media, don’t fret: get a professional to do it. A good social media marketing manager can design a digital marketing workspace that will get you the results you need without even breaking a sweat.