In the current marketing environment, social media seems to reign supreme. But it’s a confusing environment, and for those with no background in the field it’s very easy to make some common mistakes. We’ve built a list of those mistakes, with tips on how to avoid them:
Failing to Plan
The easiest of all pitfalls to encounter also happens to be the easiest to avoid! Those that fail to properly plan their social media marketing strategy are those that often end up wasting hundreds of dollars and hours with unsuccessful campaigns. Here’s a few things to make sure your plan covers:
1) Your target audience. Really narrow down your target customer. What do they like and dislike? What influences them? What expansion tactics are they most likely to engage with? How can you best reach them? If your audience is 20-something women, for example, recognize that the trend is bringing them towards Instagram and away from Facebook and adjust accordingly.
2) Your content type. What’s the aim of the content you’re providing? Is it to entertain, to motivate, to educate, or something else entirely? Focus on the *value* you’re providing to those that follow your accounts.
3) Your goals. At what rate do you plan to increase your follower/like count? How do you plan to do this? Will you use bots to mass follow and like, or focus on organic growth? Which influencers will you pay to promote your content and brand, if any?
4) Your posting frequency. Keep reading for more on this!
5) Your budget. With the popularity of Facebook ads and Instagram now offering sponsored content, many will be tempted to pay for ads directly through the platform. But this may not be the most cost-effective option! Often, if you can identify influencers who are willing to promote your brand through paid shout-outs, these forms of advertising can be cheaper while converting at a much higher rate. Get creative!
Irregular Posting Habits
Would you subscribe to a newspaper that delivered on random days at random hours? What about magazines that came some months and not others? Of course not. Unfortunately, many small business owners don’t understand that the same content principles apply to their social media marketing strategy as well. People like regularity, especially in content delivery. If they know they can expect new content from you twice a day, every day, they’ll learn to expect and anticipate it, making your job that much easier! Conversely, if you only post at random times, your audience will be far less receptive to what you have to say.
Using it Only to Sell
If we go back to the magazine example, would you subscribe if it was filled with nothing but advertisements and no real content? Again, the answer should be absolutely not. The same applies to your pages. If every post is a desperate plea to buy your product, there’s no real incentive for potential customers to follow you. Plan to promote your products intermittently, but focus the majority of your posts on real, valuable content.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but covers the majority of beginner mistakes. Always be on the lookout for ways to refine your strategy, and never be afraid to experiment with something new!