Like it or loathe it, social media is an immensely powerful marketing tool. Done right, social media offers an unrivalled potential reach and engagement at a relatively low cost, but for some businesses, their social media campaigns are destined to fail before they’ve even really begun.
Why? Simply because crucial elements of their social media strategy aren’t in place. In our social media training course, we go through the practical reasons why your social media strategy isn’t hitting the heights. We also focus on improving your social media skills so you can identify the cause of the problem and quickly put it right.
In this quick guide, we’re going to take a look at some of the common social media mistakes that are making it impossible to achieve your goals.
1. There’s no strategy
The single most common reason for the failure of a social media marketing campaign is because no strategy has been put in place. The term ‘strategy’ has largely been lost to corporate jargon over the last few years, but at its heart, it’s a very simple word with a very simple meaning.
A strategy is putting a clear plan of action in place to achieve a clear goal. It does not have to be a 50-page document. You just need to have clear and measurable goals, a method of achieving those goals and a clear brand voice. Without a strategy, you’ll simply be another brand shouting into the social media echo chamber and failing to deliver an effective message to your target audience.
2. It’s not integrated
A social media campaign only works effectively when it’s integrated with and complemented by your other marketing assets. Social media is not an island. Every profile you have should be linked to all your other platforms, with each providing a different but consistent type of messaging. Your social media should also be tied directly to your website, email and paid search campaigns so customers can easily access the most appropriate touchpoint to meet their particular needs at that time.
3. You assume people want to be your friend
We don’t want to take you back to lonely days in the school playground, but to succeed on social media, it’s essential you understand and accept that no one wants to be your friend. You might be the premier soap manufacturer in the southwest, but guess what? No one cares.
People are not gathered around eagerly waiting for you to post a piece of content. What they want is value. Your social media has to add value to the user in some way, whether it’s by giving them access to exclusive offers and promotions, providing customer service assistance or simply by making them laugh.
4. You don’t understand the data
Over time, your social media campaign will generate a huge amount of data. If you know how to collect and analyse that data, it will tell you exactly where your efforts are succeeding and failing and why. Success with social media marketing is not just about likes, engagement and shares. In fact, these stats are largely irrelevant when it comes to achieving your business goals. Improving your social media skills by learning how to use data analysis tools will be a huge boost for your campaign.
5. Your strategy is not your own
Social media experts are great for improving your social media skills, but what they can’t do is create your social media strategy for you. The most successful social media strategies are those that are unique and give consumers an insight into the personalities behind the brand. Authenticity is a must, and as soon as you copy another brand’s strategy or use a strategy that’s been created for you, you lose that immediately.
6. It’s all about YOU
One key to success on social media is thinking about what your audience wants and giving it to them. Too many brands use social media to post an endless stream of “buy from us because we’re fantastic” posts, without ever giving their followers anything back. That’s no way to build a community. Instead, you should follow your audience’s interests closely and always think about the WHY of content before you post it. Promotional posts have their place, but they should always be interspersed with posts that give your followers genuine value.
7. You expect success overnight
So much has been written about social media marketing that some brands think all they need to do is create a profile and the followers will come flocking. Like anything, building a successful social media campaign takes time and effort. If you want to get sales right out of the gate, paid social media ads can help you achieve your short-term goals, but there’s no shortcut to building a community. The truth is that it can be months before you see any concrete results.
8. You don’t know your audience
Researching your audience is a vital part of creating your social media strategy. This is not just true of a social media campaign but of any form of marketing. Understanding who your audience is, what they look like and what makes them tick is essential if you want to engage them.
Asking customers questions, running surveys and looking at the conversations your customers are having online can all help to build a detailed picture of your audience. You then need to think about which social media platforms they’re most likely to use and what type of posts will engage them.