Top 5 Social Media Marketing Mistakes to Avoid
Avoid these common social media marketing pitfalls at all costs
In many respects, technology has transformed how business is conducted. One of the most affected areas is marketing. In the past, marketers and business owners largely relied on print and electronic media to advertise their goods and services.
The internet led to the rise of social media platforms that have proved to be effective marketing tools. For example, it’s estimated that more than 500 million people access Instagram on a daily basis. This shows the great potential that social media platforms present.
As a business owner, it’s on you to take advantage of various social media platforms to attract more customers and grow your business. Filing to do this is leaving leads and money on the table. Unfortunately, many people don’t take social media marketing seriously.
Many of us have personal social media profiles, so it’s easy to take for granted how effective social media can be from a business perspective. Below are some of the top social media marketing mistakes to avoid at all costs:
Mistake #1. Working without a comprehensive plan
This is the most common mistake people make when getting started with social media marketing. Most folks take an impromptu and unscripted approach when implementing their marketing strategies. While this method can sometimes work for the lucky few, having a comprehensive plan is the best way to succeed in social media marketing.
Although social media marketing may appear simple, implementation can prove to be a complex process. Venturing into social media marketing without a proper plan is like driving to a place you have never visited without a map. You need to understand your audience, the type of posts to make and many other things. Failure to do so will render your entire social media marketing strategy ineffective and inefficient.
Mistake #2. Buying followers
Social media is all about numbers. The more followers you have, the better your chances of reaching a larger audience and boosting your brand. However, sometimes reaching the right people on social media and getting them to engage is not easy. Many social media users are skeptical of and resistant to clearly commercial advertisements and promotions.
When marketers and business owners fail to get the number of followers they want, the temptation of buying followers becomes eminent. Some agencies and individuals promise to sell thousands of followers for as little as $5.
While this may sound like a good plan, it can work against you in a major way. This is because Facebook and Instagram algorithms are skilled at detecting real versus bought followers. At the end of the day, your page may be flagged or penalized, leaving you worse off than you started.
Mistake #3. Not defining your target audience
It’s important to understand that not everyone on social media is your target customer. This is another big mistake that people often make when implementing a social media marketing strategy.
Start by defining who your target audience is. Doing so will help you focus on people who are interested in your products or services. No matter how much effort you put in, if you aren’t focusing on the right audience then you won’t get the desired results.
If folks can identify themselves with your brand, then they are more likely to follow it and even engage in your posts. This is different from trying to convince non-interested people to like your page when they don’t know anything about it in the first place.
Mistake #4. Failing to engage your audience
Setting up a social media page or account should not be the end of your social media marketing strategy. In fact, it’s just the beginning! Some people make the mistake of creating a Facebook page or Twitter handle, assuming that everything else will happen miraculously.
For the best results, be active on social media and engage your audience on a frequent basis. Consider scheduling posts from Monday to Friday in advance, and have someone on your team in charge of replying to and commenting on posts from your audience. The more posts you create, the more people will get engaged and the more conversations you can generate.
Mistake #5. Misunderstanding and misusing hashtags
Hashtags are an effective social media tool to gain exposure for your brand. The best way to achieve this is by chiming in online conversations that are hot and trending in your particular industry or niche. For example, if there is a trending news topic that impacts your business, then take advantage of that and become part of the topic being discussed. Just remember to use hashtags so that other folks can find and share your post.
That said, be aware of the danger that comes with using irrelevant hashtags. Any mistake or wrong information you post will equally be seen by thousands of people. That’s why it is important to be careful when using hashtags as part of your social media marketing strategy.
The bottom line
There’s no doubt that social media has proven to be an effective digital marketing tool. Unlike traditional marketing strategies, social media marketing allows businesses to promote their products to a wider audience within a short period of time at a lower cost.
However, the way a social media marketing strategy is implemented will largely determine its effectiveness. Hiring a social media marketing company can help you avoid the most serious mistakes and take your business to another level.
If you need help implementing the best social media strategy, contact our team at Brown Bag today. We’ll work with you to grow your audience, reach and business.