By Charles Phan
For modern businesses, social media marketing has been absolutely revolutionary. Marketing reach has never before had such versatility nor measurability, and marketing trainees spend a lot of time and money trying to keep up with emerging technologies. But for many companies, the field is moving rather too rapidly, and it can be difficult to do more than pay lip service to social media marketing.
This can mean that brands attempt a ‘color-by-numbers’ approach to their social media content, and end up depersonalizing their brand. Here are six common mistakes companies make when approaching their social media marketing.
Failing to strategize
It is tempting to treat social media marketing as a gimmick, a novelty that does little more than augment your wider marketing efforts. But it is important to understand how central social media is becoming to businesses and that your marketing team should invest time and effort into creating a dynamic social media strategy.
Creating the odd blog post, snapping away for Instagram or retweeting local celebs is a great way of engaging with social media on a surface level, but in order to get the best out of it, you need to think long term. “A good social media strategy includes benchmark dates and an understanding of what you want to achieve,” adds Sophie Sarvis, social media strategist at Last Minute Writing and Researchpapersuk.
Misunderstanding your demographic
A common mistake of businesses is that they have a narrow view of what kind of people use social media. Recent studies show that those aged between 45 and 65 are an emergent social media market, and yet many social media marketing efforts are aimed at those aged between 18 to 35.
As social media becomes easier to use and the generation that has grown up with tech move into different demographic, it’s important to diversify your social media use. No longer are Twitter or Instagram novelty apps, but increasingly they have taken over from traditional advertising methods.
That said, it’s important to be temperate in your use of social media. Much like TV or print advertising, early internet advertising via pop-ups has left something of a bad taste in the mouth of consumers. Overexposure via these mediums undermined brands images when left unchecked. Though it’s absolutely crucial to remain visible to your customers, it is also important not bore them.
“It is tempting to take advantage of the sheer costlessness of social media advertising and belt out thirty posts a day. But very soon you’ll find followers switching off, sick of seeing their feeds taken up by spam,” says Robert Hill, marketing specialist at Draftbeyond and Writinity.
Forgetting the social aspect
In addition, many businesses forget that people generally use social media, not to discover brands, but to make sense of the wider world around them. Social media has opened up vast possibilities for learning about global consciousness, and we’ve seen some extraordinary movements arise from the likes of Twitter and Facebook.
You should remember that a brand that wants to remain relevant on social media has to be social. It is a difficult path to follow, however, and should be judged correctly. There are some brands who’ve opened themselves up to controversy, which may be appropriate for them, but may not be so for your brand.
Not reacting to feedback
Those brands who have misjudged the reaction to their products or the way in which they have promoted themselves have undoubtedly drawn the ire of keyboard warriors. More than any other time in history, consumers have instantaneous power to react in the most extreme of ways to things that compels them emotionally one way or the other. This can mean some heated feedback online, and, if left unchecked can create an unprofessional, emotionless image of a brand.
It’s important, then, to react to every bit of feedback you get. Whilst it’s tempting to retort and defend against negative feedback only, (and you should defend your brand if the feedback isn’t valid), it is important too to respond to positive feedback as well. Those who are prepared to openly endorse your brand without recompense are a rare asset and nurturing their compulsion is an excellent way to create brand ambassadors.
Much of social media is made up of brands attempting to piggyback their way to notoriety. It can be disconcerting to look over your Twitter followers, for instance, and notice that over half of them have ‘click, like, and subscribe,’ as part of their bio. But the bulk of social media continues to be made up of individuals.
You should ensure that you avoid falling into the trap of relying on ‘fake’ followers to support your social media accounts. It is tempting to seek quantity rather than quality of followers, but remember that it is customers you are looking for, not necessarily just retweets or likes. Target only those who are genuinely interested in your brand and you’ll soon see your social media reach extend, and your sales boost.
About the Author
Charles Phan is a Marketing Graduate with years of experience of content generation. He writes and proofreads for Gum Essays and Lucky Assignments on a range of subjects including business strategy and entrepreneurship.