Social media marketing is a modern phenomenon, but it isn’t always successful. Many businesses invest in social media in a bid to drive traffic and increase sales, but they don’t get the results they desire. There are multiple reasons why strategies and campaigns fail. Here are some common mistakes to avoid and some tips to ensure your social media marketing strategy doesn’t miss the point.
Failing to identify objectives
If you’re launching a marketing campaign of any kind, you need to make sure that you identify clear objectives. What are you hoping to achieve from this new campaign, and what are the primary goals? Are you looking to gain more followers on Twitter or Instagram? Are you eager to attract more email subscribers? Are you keen to increase traffic to your website? Do you want to boost orders and client numbers? Are you trying to reach out to a wider range of customers or a new demographic? If you plan ahead, and you know exactly what you’re aiming to do, this will enable you to work efficiently and identify the best ways to achieve your objectives.
If you’re not an expert in social media, and you don’t have digital marketing executives on your team, it pays to consider outsourcing and investing in social media management. You could ask somebody to take over your Facebook account on top of their normal job or hire an intern, but it’s preferable to seek expert advice and let people who have skills and experience in this area take control. Social media marketing agencies can analyze your current strategy, make improvements and run your campaigns for you, leaving you free to focus on the tasks that match your skill set and increasing the chances of achieving results. Managing social media campaigns is not as simple as sharing a post a few times a week or asking your friends to share your pages. There’s an art to ensuring your content reaches the right people, and you should find that paying experts increases your profits. If you do choose to outsource, take your time to look at potential candidates for the job, look at previous work and browse portfolios and search for agencies that have experience in your field or industry.
Casting your net too wide
There are very few products or services that have global appeal. In the vast majority of cases, company bosses have a target customer in mind when they create products or start to offer services. When you’re marketing your business and raising brand awareness, focus on your target market. If you’re casting your net too wide, and you’re posting adverts that have no defined audience, for example, you’re going to waste time and money. Take Facebook as an example. Facebook has an audiences tool, which enables you to define the groups you want to target and invest your money in adverts that will reach people who have a genuine interest in your brand. With social media, it is usually best to avoid adopting a scattergun approach and trying to cover all bases. Concentrate on creating and targeting an ideal buyer persona.
Using the wrong platforms
When you think about social media, which platforms spring to mind? The number of options for businesses looking to market their company via social media is growing all the time, but this doesn’t mean that you should be using every site or app. Facebook is the largest social network, but it’s not the most popular among every demographic. If you’re looking to target young people, especially if you have a retail, beauty or hospitality business, you might find that Instagram and SnapChat are more lucrative. Research the market, look at how your target customers spend their time online and focus your attention on channels and platforms that are used by the audience you’re hoping to reach.
Using social media purely for marketing purposes
Social media marketing can be hugely beneficial for businesses, but opening accounts and setting up profiles and pages should not be focused solely on promoting and advertising products and services. Take advantage of the popularity of social sites and apps, and use them to engage and interact with customers. Answer questions, ask for feedback, and get to know your customers. You can use these channels of communication to form relationships with clients and enhance your brand reputation. It’s also a great idea to utilize your accounts to showcase your products in a way that involves the customer. If you’re selling a self-tan product or a clothing range, for example, upload and share images your clients have sent you after tanning or wearing one of your pieces. This helps to promote your company at the same time as strengthening bonds with your clients. In the fashion and beauty industries in particular, it can be refreshing to see natural, normal photographs, rather than glossy magazine shoots and this can make your brand more authentic and approachable.
Lacking imagination and originality
There’s a huge amount of competition to get noticed on social media, and many people flick through pages and scroll through feeds for a matter of seconds. If your content is drab or repetitive, you’re going to struggle to attract and hold a potential customer’s attention. Freshen up your feed, be original and creative, and use feedback to create content your followers and friends will love. If you get a really positive response to a video clip or an image, for example, this gives you an idea of the kind of post your audience wants to see.
Is your social media strategy falling flat? Are you struggling to build a following or generate or convert leads? Social media marketing can catapult brands into the spotlight, but it’s not guaranteed to generate incredible results. To succeed, you need to be clear about your objectives, you should consider working with experts and you must cater for your target market. Use market research and data analytics to reach your target demographics, be creative in your approach to producing and sharing content, and use social media to connect with your customers.