As the year comes slowly to a close, it's important to reflect on our year and work hard to learn from our marketing mistakes. Everyone wants to kick off the new year with a good, solid strategy, and IF this is your goal, you have to really look at the fundamentals of your inbound marketing plan. Aside from making sure you have stellar content, you should also take an in depth look at your social media presence.
Social media is one of the most difficult aspects of marketing in general due largely to the fact that it's an ever evolving beast in and of itself. Everybody makes mistakes on social media. It's part of life! Here are the six largest blunders that many involved with social media marketing are making regularly and what you can do about it.
1. Your business is way too automated. If you're automating more than scheduling a few content shares here and there, you are automating too much. As we mentioned before, being too automated can really turn people off, making it harder for them to engage with you on a personal level. Engagement is king when it comes to social media, and if you aren't engaging with people personally, you're going to look disinterested in them. Automate the essentials, things that you must do every day, such as sharing a blog post or a specific type of engaging post, but remember the importance of being personal.
2. You're not being social enough. If you're not completely depending on automation but you're still not seeing the engagement you need to get that ROI on your social media efforts, it may be wise to look at how often you go out of your way to engage with your followers and fans. Odds are, with all of the other things involved with keeping your profiles updated, having a conversation on twitter with a stranger is the last thing on your mind. However, regularly engaging with your followers, showing them the love, and tossing them the occasional coupon or freebie can make a world of difference. There is no magic number of conversations you should be having since every industry is different. Try to respond to any questions, comments, concerns, and reviews. Try getting into the habit of engaging in at least one relevant conversation per day.
3. You're being too social. On the other hand, are you talking too much? If you're posting nothing except for replies, answering reviews and messages, you're spreading yourself too thin. You need to have a good balance between sharing your brand's story with your following, and getting in their heads. It's all about engagement.
4. You're seeking engagement in the wrong places. Most small businesses are completely sold on using Facebook and Twitter as their two main platforms because they have the largest number of active monthly users. However, the problem is that while there is a larger amount of people to scream at, you may not find your target audience here. For example, if you're a photographer that specializes in weddings, you may find that a better defined, more engaged audience will be available to you on Instagram and Pinterest. You may be reaching fewer people, but the few people you're reaching may be people that are more likely to buy from you. Run a targeted analysis on your industry to determine where key industry leaders and your buyer personas are hanging out.
5. You're overselling yourself. Obviously you're using social media to sell your brand in a non-traditional way. Keep in mind that the users you're trying to convert on social media are on social media because they don't want to be sold to in a traditional way. Social media exists for the users. They are there for the content, interactions, and the rawness that comes along with people just being people. If all you ever talk about is why your product is so cool, it turns people off, especially through social media. You should be avoiding asking for the sale at all costs. Save that for when it's time to throw your audience a special coupon or promo code.
6. You're not taking an interest in your audience. If you think about it, it's easy to sometimes imagine yourself as a newsie in the middle of the street screaming today's headlines, while the busy New-Yorkers walk right around you. This is because you're not engaging with your audience properly. Social media gives people this feeling of being with people without being with people. Think of it like a coffee date, or sitting with your family around the dinner table. It's a place people exchange ideas and thoughts and questions with each other, and you're pretty easy to drown out if you aren't building relationships properly. If you're not taking interest in your audience, they aren't going to take an interest in you. 67% of consumers go online for customer service. Make sure you're answering all of your messages and reviews, and make sure your content is designed for your audience. It's your job as a social marketer to love and nurture these potential buyers into happy customers.
Remember, social media is one of the most difficult, nit-picky, ever-changing collective messes to ever hit the marketing world. However, life wouldn't be fun without a challenge! So don't get discouraged, everyone makes mistakes. As a top marketing firm based in Colorado Springs for more than 20 years, we know a thing or two about tackling the social beast, and we would be honored to help get your business back on the right track with social media.