Top 3 Mistakes That Could Be Affecting Your Social Media Success
Social media marketing has been around for years now, with businesses of all sizes using it to increase their brand awareness and to connect with their audiences. However, as with any emerging market, mistakes are being made that could be affecting your social media success. In this blog post, I’m going to share 3 of the top mistakes I’ve noticed marketers and businesses falling into, affecting the success of their social media efforts.
1. Mistake no. 1: No planning or strategizing
I think that one of the most common issues with social media marketing is that few actually take the time to plan and strategize it before jumping in with both feet. Many will simply create a profile, start following other users and posting updates of what they see others are sharing. And this might even work…for a while. But ultimately, without planning your social media strategy ahead of time, you are very likely affecting the success you could achieve.
By creating a thorough plan, you are always ready with great content to post, you know what, where and when to post and you’re ready for all kinds of unexpected situations. To start your social media plan, perform research on the top social networks to find where your audience is most active. This way, you’re not going to be spending valuable resources on social networks that don’t bring in results. Then, you also need to research your audience: what do they care about? What types of content do they engage with the most? What makes them want to engage? What times are they usually online? The more you know about your audience, the better you can plan out the content you’re going to share with them and ultimately improve the shares, comments and likes you get. Another extremely important part of a social media strategy is to establish what your goals are:
- Increased brand awareness
- More traffic
- Customer service
- More engagement with your audience
- Increased conversions and more leads generated
Whatever your goal is, if you are aware of it from the beginning, along with the rest of your team, you will be able to strategize your social media marketing accordingly in order to achieve those goals. Establishing goals will also make it much easier to measure your social media success, as you will know which metrics to look out for.
Then, it’s time to establish the resources that will be put into managing your social media. What will be the costs? Who will manage your social media? What tools will you be using? How much time should be spent on social media? It’s also useful to plan out the content that you will be sharing ahead of time. This way, you can schedule some of your updates in order to ensure that you are always active on social media, and you are making sure that you are diversifying your updates. Not to mention, it’s a great time-saver.
2. Mistake no. 2: Not engaging enough
Another big issue that could be affecting your success is whether you are engaging enough with other users.
Engagement is one of the pillars holding a social media strategy together. The more you engage, the easier it is to achieve your goals, from increasing your brand awareness to getting more traffic to your website. By engaging, you are also nurturing potential leads, creating more meaningful connections with your audience and helping grow your follower base. You should leave some time aside each day for engagement. Whether it’s other people that are starting to engage with you, or you looking for others to engage with, there’s no denying the importance of engaging. If you’re not engaging, you’re not only losing great opportunities, but you might even be damaging your online profiles. If you’re only posting your content and others’ and generally posting more impersonal updates, your profile is in danger of looking uninteresting, at best and spam-y at worst.
If you’re struggling to find engagement opportunities, you can use social media monitoring to discover people and conversations that you can take part in. For example, set up monitoring searches for a few keywords or hashtags and check them regularly to find people that you can engage with.
Some tools allow you to take monitoring a bit further, which can be of huge help. For example, with Agorapulse, you can set up so you only get results from a certain location or in a certain language. Or, with a dedicated monitoring tool like Brand24, you can search for mentions of your preferred keywords across networks and even filter your results by influencer score, so that you can find engagement opportunities with more influential users. It also helps to share and comment on other users’ posts. This can lead to a conversation between you and the poster or other users, or at the very least, it can help you connect with more people that you can engage with in the future, as well.
3. Mistake no. 3: Only using social media to promote yourself
Another common issue is when businesses are only using social media to promote themselves, by sharing only their content, or only talking about themselves and what they are selling. This can be very off-putting, even to the most loyal of customers, as your account becomes simply too sales-y. Social media is more of an open, fun space for people to engage and share opinions, not just an ad for your business and it’s important to show this on your profile. Social networks started out as a way for regular people to engage with others, express their opinions in a public way and meet interesting, like-minded people. As a business, when you’re jumping into such a platform, you need to try to post updates in the same vein, rather than just for promotional purposes.
That’s not to say that businesses shouldn’t promote themselves or their products on their social profiles. On the contrary, it’s a great place to share your latest offers, promote your blog posts and so on. The issue is when that’s all you’re doing on social media. You should rather try to also provide other types of content: they can be funny images, videos or GIFs, interesting articles that might be interesting to your audience, discussions about current issues from around the world, tips and tricks that could help your followers and so on.
Not only will you be getting better results, but your online persona will have a lot to win, as your profile will look much more appealing to potential followers.
Social media is very much a trial and error game. What works for others, might not work for you, and vice versa. That said, some things are damaging across board, such as not engaging enough with other users or only posting sales-y updates. Avoiding these common mistakes can help you get better results from social media, and assure you get better results towards achieving your goals. What are some of the biggest mistakes businesses and entrepreneurs could make, in your experience?
Highly regarded on the world speaker circuit, Lilach has graced Forbes and Number 10 Downing Street. She’s a hugely connected and highly influential entrepreneur. Listed in Forbes as one of the top 20 women social media power influencers and was crowned the Social Influencer of Europe by Oracle. She is listed as the number one Influencer in the UK by Career Experts and is a recipient for a Global Women Champions Award for her outstanding contribution and leadership in business.