Recent statistical data shows that around 95 percent of small businesses prefer to network with their customers online. It is the internet which has given them an effective way to promote services and products and engage potential customers, more frequently and with less effort than ever before. When it comes to online marketing, you can’t avoid the power of social media.
Social networking is one of the most effective and popular ways to market your company; however, business owners make several common social media mistakes when attempting to engage these consumers. Those small repeated mistakes can lead to missed opportunities. That’s why you need to make sure that you are getting the most from your social media efforts. If you are making one of the mistakes in this article, it may be time to reexamine your social media management.
1. Over usage of hashtags
The majority of business owners misuse hashtags. More than 3-4 hashtags on a single post is completely unnecessary. It is important that your hashtags serve one of two purposes: First, tracking engagement or categorizing your content. Second, taking advantage of already trending topics or hashtags to gain a larger audience. Think about hashtags that make the most sense for your prospects on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Etc. Think outside the box on how you can connect your content to topics that are already trending to widen your reach.
2. Failing to create a social media strategy
Too many companies have no plan for their social media activities. They create their pages, throw up a profile photo and some never even utilize all fields of information that they are offered to truly introduce themselves to an audience. Then months go by and there are little to no posts, zero relevant communication, and the page is dead or nearly dead. Your social media efforts should always begin with defining your goals for each platform. What do you hope to accomplish by opening an account? Do you hope to sell your products or services? Do you want to increase brand awareness? Do you want to conduct market research by having interactions with consumers? Next, you need to identify who you target audience will be. The campaigns, graphics and language you need to use in your social media marketing will greatly differ in terms of the age, income, interests, etc. of your ideal audience types. Also, consider the amount of time you are willing to invest into your social media management. Coming up with content, dynamic graphics or video, and engaging with audiences all requires time. You may want to post several times a day, but do you or your team have the time to invest into the platforms? All of these things need to be considered before you even begin to post on social media. If you aren’t addressing these items, you are likely wasting a lot of time and effort and will fail to see any positive results.
3. Using templated responses when engaging with audiences
Four of five companies who obtain a negative review or a less than positive comment on one of their social media posts, will reply with a templated response claiming to care, and asking the unhappy customer to privately contact them. By doing this, they think they are taking the negative conversation out of the public eye, and saving some face. This is the standard in dealing with online complaints, and while taking the conversation to a private message is the appropriate step, how you do this matter – and what you say and do once they privately message matters. Consumers read. They will know that you say the same thing to every unhappy customer. People want to feel special. We are all individuals. When customers reach out privately, and you fail to solve the problem, or worse, can’t even address the problem accurately, you make your own brand look incompetent, and anger the customer even more. If you are going to reply to an unhappy customer, be human. Consider each person and each problem as a singular event. If you reply to a negative response or review, be prepared to put your money where your mouth is and actually exert effort into solving their problem. Actions speak louder than words. If you don’t actually care, the customer is going to know it and share it with their friends.
4. Too much self-promotion
Nowadays people are overly critical of commercial messages in social media. To acquire the trust of consumers, you must offer something of value. Only five to ten percent of your tweets or status updates should be related to self-promotion. Your other posts should offer information, resources, etc. If all your posts relate to a product or service and sales – your likely going to be scrolled past, just like when we fast forward through commercials. If you make your page about enriching and educating consumers, and make your page a destination for the industry you are in, you can sprinkle in products and services posts because you have already gained the audience’s trust.
5. Failing to diversify content
If you are posting the same content and types of content, your feed will become stale. Imagine if a television station showed the same episode of your favorite show for months, and nothing else. How many times can you watch the same show without becoming bored and changing the channel? Content should not only be unique, but it should be delivered using different methods. Video, blogs, external links, and shares of other relevant industry news or pages are all ways to keep your content delivery methods fresh and appealing to audiences.
If you want a social media strategy that works and a team of experts to implement across your social platforms, ODDS Marketing is a digital marketing agency that specializes in social media marketing, social media management, paid social media marketing and social media strategy. Contact us today and see how we can revitalize your digital channels.