Thinking of creating a social media business page, or optimizing existing ones? Perhaps you are struggling to see the results from your current social performance because of some common social media mistakes.
If done right, social media could be one of the most cost-effective marketing tools for your business. However, all too often social media is used without a clear strategy, which could be doing your business more harm than good. If you are having concerns around your business page’s performance, this blog will give you a few potential issues to watch out for, and some tricks on how to fix them.
1. There’s a disconnect from the marketing strategy – big social media mistake
Your social media objectives should be the same as your overall marketing objective, ensuring that all campaigns work together to achieve the desired business outcome. If your focus is on driving traffic to your website, there are several both paid for and organic strategic tools you can use. These include conversion pixels on Facebook advertisements, or simply placing a shortened link within your post.
Facebook Display Ad Example
Whatever your marketing strategy is, focus on targeting the right people with the right messaging. If you are new to social media, it is important to establish your desired tone of voice, aligned with your overarching marketing strategy. If your brand is a fun, conversational brand at large, continue that tone. If you want to portray a corporate edge, show that in your copy.
2. There’s misunderstanding of the platforms
Each platform requires its own strategy, all interlinked with concise, unified messaging. There is no need for your business to be on every platform, particularly if you do not have the free time to cater to each platform’s audience. Think about what you want to get out of social media, and what assets you have available to support your messaging.
B2B marketing for Twitter and LinkedIn
Both Twitter and LinkedIn have great uses for B2B marketing. LinkedIn is predominantly a platform for stakeholders, employees (both current and prospective) and internal communications. If you want to focus on building relationships in your industry, LinkedIn is a professional playground of contacts. Twitter is a time-sensitive platform, requiring an always-on approach. With its shorter character limits, content should be news-focused with fast and interactive business updates.
B2C marketing for Instagram
Instagram’s initial use was a photography platform, with many businesses latching onto its popularity, and so Instagram’s business function was formed. Keep up to date with a consumer-targeted audience on this platform. Content must be visually effective and not text heavy, using relevant industry hashtags to get your message out to the widest possible audience.
The all-rounder for Facebook
Facebook is the people’s platform. Its social media domination is widely recognised, with the network raking in $9.16 billion dollars in the second quarter of 2017 alone.
Both B2C and B2B businesses have a place on Facebook, but either way, if you’re wanting to branch out onto Zuckerberg’s money-making machine, make sure you are prepared to compete with the best. Successful Facebook campaigns rely heavily on a strategy which uses videos, images, and snappy, concise copy.
3. There isn’t a quick enough reaction
Social media is known for its always-on approach – meaning that if you are unresponsive or delayed on your pages, you may be doing your business a huge injustice.
When someone decides to follow your page, there is a certain expectation that responses will have a fast reaction time, otherwise, that customer may choose to use the phone or email, instead of talking to your social media pages. A quick response time can be a great buffer for complaints, and can quickly turn around negative brand sentiment if dealt with quickly and efficiently. Programmes like Hootsuite are great to keep an eye on multiple platforms at the same time, allowing you to delegate responses to the best expert in your team.
If you do not have a dedicated social media manager at your business, the responsibility to check the pages should be spread between the team, all unified with the same brand tone which has been pre-decided in your social media tactics.
4. There’s no social media crisis comms plan
Online networks add an overwhelming complexity to crisis communications. As well as the speed of posts, there’s a level of user control and real-time delivery that can be intimidating to a business. Having a company-wide plan in place will empower you to act quickly and effectively when a potential crisis occurs. Instead of wasting time debating how to handle things, you’ll be empowered to take action and prevent the crisis from escalating. Your social media crisis communications plan should include:
- Roles and responsibilities list for every department
- Approval processes for social media content management
- Copy of the company-wide social media policy
- Pre-approved external messaging, images and/or information
- Up-to-date contact information for employees in each field
- Guidelines for identifying the type and magnitude of a crisis
However, cliché, fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Having a crisis communications plan in place means that you may be able to mitigate issues before they snowball into a full-blown brand crisis.
5. You’re too close to the brand
In order to reach the widest possible audience, your social media strategy needs to leave internal opinions of your business to one side. The audience doesn’t want to know how great your products are, instead they want to understand how your product or service will benefit their lives. Before posting you need to ask yourself: why would the audience want to read this, and is the post engaging/educational/thought provoking?
6. Social Media is Run by an Intern
Letting your intern(s) take control of your social media channels is asking for trouble. Many companies have been burned by interns using poor spelling/grammar, sharing personal opinions that don’t fit the brand they’re managing, and showing a lack of knowledge when speaking about the business.
Just because someone went to college and “understands” social media, doesn’t mean this person should be managing your company’s public communication channels with little to no supervision. True social media management requires a complete understanding of your services, products, overall business, editorial strategy, and more. If you want to train an intern, that’s fine. But make sure that they are properly supervised by a social media professional with several years of formal work experience.
7. Not Using an Authentic “Voice”
Social media creates a personal, direct connection with your followers, so it’s important to humanize your social media presence. Before you begin posting and tweeting, think about your brand history and identity and how that translates into a social media “voice.” Once you’ve found your authentic voice, use it consistently in all your posts.
Of course, your brand voice doesn’t have to be stuffy or serious; in fact, this is one marketing channel where it’s OK to show your humorous, quirky, casual side.
8. Lack of Consistency & Focus
When your PR department launches a campaign, it probably knows its target audience, much in the same way you would know who you were targeting with an ad or email campaign. But what about social media? Are you truly targeting an audience or putting your content out there for anyone and everyone to see and respond to? This “spray and pray” type of approach (advertising your business anywhere and everywhere, hoping that people will notice you and praying your hard work pays off) doesn’t often lend the ROI businesses are looking for. Focus on connecting with people who matter to your business – your customers and prospects!
Once you have found your focus, it’s important to consider consistency. How often are you posting? It’s not ideal to leave your channels with no activity for days or weeks at a time. Determine a schedule that works for you and stick to it. If you have a chance, create a planning calendar so you can craft your messages for the week or month ahead of time. It takes some time, but it can save you hours in the long-run if you have a plan and strategy in place from the start.
9. Posting the Same Content Across Every Channel
One of the great things about the different social media platforms is that each draws a different audience and is uniquely suited for different types of content. For best results, you should tailor your posts to suit each channel and the interests and characteristics of the people who follow you there.
A deep dive into a recent Supreme Court decision would be appropriate for a law firm’s LinkedIn page, for example, but probably not for its Facebook page, where the audience is less technical—and likely less interested.
Great images, infographics, and videos, however, are the exception to the rule, since this type of content performs well across all platforms, but it’s still important to keep your audience in mind. Remember to write fresh blurbs for each post, specific to the platform, and pay attention to optimal character counts and hashtag preferences for each.
Where complaints are concerned, anyone that is passionate about their business will defend it where necessary, but unfortunately, social media is very different to sorting out complaints in real life. It requires both sensitivity, solid conclusion and restraint. In short, it’s important to leave your own views out of the equation.
If you think your business’ social media pages could do with a fresh pair of eyes, contact us today for more details on our social media marketing services.