In the digital age of smartphones, mobile apps, and 4G wireless Internet connections, a business cannot thrive without some form of social media marketing. If you don’t have at least a Twitter profile and a Facebook page, your online presence is virtually nonexistent. But these days, it isn’t enough to simply have a few social media profiles that you check weekly. If you think it is, you could be making some or all of these social media marketing mistakes, and your business could be suffering because of it.
Improper Social Media Marketing Staffing
One of the first and biggest mistakes you can make is to leave your social media marketing to an already overtaxed marketing team. When you plan to expand your marketing efforts, you have to expand your team as well, if only by one employee. You could also consider outsourcing to a qualified freelancer or business; don’t leave all your social media marketing needs to a marketing team who also has to deal with television and radio ads, snail mail marketing, etc.
Not Thinking Locally
While the world is more connected today than it has ever been, the majority of people still live, work, and think on a local level. Use targeted topics and conversation starters that are relevant to your area. Even if you are a nation-wide or global company, you can have multiple platforms to target different localities or demographics.
Failing to Have Interesting Conversations
Many small business Facebook pages basically serve as a company website with a few snippets of information and the occasional comment. However, consumer interaction is key to any social media marketing campaign, even if you are a B2B company. Have your marketing team start meaningful, useful conversations that will keep your clientèle coming back to your profile.
Separating Your Social Media Techniques from Other Marketing Techniques
You know enough to invite customers to your Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter pages whenever possible. However, you can put social media into their minds in other ways, as well. Include relevant hashtags and conversation starters in brochures or snail mail, incorporate video posts into your email marketing efforts, and challenge your social media marketing staff to work with other marketing team members to come up with new and interesting ideas.
Underestimating the Power of New Tools and Apps
The social media marketing realm is a swiftly changing virtual world, and you need to keep up-to-date with the tools and apps that are at your disposal as a marketer. Facebook Insights, for example, is a free tool that can help you keep up with the demographics of your followers, the content that is most often viewed, and other useful information that can help you create a more targeted approach to marketing. SocialBro is an app that monitors Twitter activity, so you can learn which tweets are most effective and what times of the day or week your followers are most likely to respond.
Leaving Your Audience Out of the Marketing Process
If you really want to know what your customers want, the best way to find out is simply to ask! You can send out emails with links to brief research surveys, include an easy-to-find customer feedback form on your Twitter and Facebook pages, or start a conversation asking for their help (#whatdoyouthink). Consumers and businesses are more likely to develop a loyalty to your brand when they feel as if their opinions are being heard.
Failing to Establish Industry Authority
Social media is about consumer interaction, being relevant, and having fun. But if you fail to include blog posts or conversation pieces that demonstrate exactly why you are the best in your industry, then you have missed the whole point of social media marketing! Obviously customers don’t want to read dry articles on Facebook that have nothing to do with what matters to them, but you should always make sure to show what sets you apart from the competition. Give out a limited number of free ebooks, offer can’t-beat promotions to people who like you on Facebook, or host webinars that teach useful ideas or concepts attendants won’t find anywhere else.