Think of social media like a gun; you can use it to kill your competition or just kill it in general! Social media has become one of the most potent tools in the digital marketer’s arsenal. It provides a way to access a wide and varied fan base with a personal touch and a level of intimacy that no other medium can match. Still, a tool is only as good as its user and it’s possible to make some serious mistakes when using social media that can cause brands to lose face, fans and customers; i.e. money!
1. Narcissism-Everything isn’t about you! Sure, SM is a great way to show everyone your brand’s personality, expertise and content but when was the last time you paid attention to the fellow who couldn’t stop talking about himself at a party? All your posts shouldn’t be only about you. Engage in wider discussions and don’t ignore people, even if you don’t like what they have to say. People use SM to reach out to people, to help them solve problems. Help them by engaging with them and using those opportunities to push your brand. Engage but don’t bombard people with your content.
2. No Images, No Videos; No Interest –
Even Twitter, which was built on text based posts is now incorporating images and video. No one wants to read ‘dossiers’ of text and mindless drivel. We’ve all heard about 8 second attention spans, online noise and content overload. Images and (short, please, short) videos can cut through and help you stand out.
3. Focusing on the Wrong Metrics & Showing Off – It’s not
entirely difficult to become obsessed with things like retweets, likes and
follows and then use them to show off to the world about how great
your SM marketing is doing. But this is a big no, no. These
metrics are good and indicative of success but aren’t usually related to
business growth and profitability. Focusing on metrics
such as leads, conversions and cash flow generation
is where the real action is at. It’s important to keep
track of engagement levels, but don’t show off
and don’t forget what really matters; sales!
4. Too Much Automation – Who doesn’t love setting and forgetting but while robotics is advancing in leaps and bounds, it’s important not to become over-reliant on these technologies. Things like scheduling and automation are important, especially when you are marketing to a global audience that may be wide awake when you’re dead to the world. Too much automation will be noticed by your fans and make them less inclined to go along with you. There’s no real way to automate spontaneity just yet and that’s a lot of what SM is all about. By all means automate where necessary, but have a human presence as far as possible.
5. Being Thick Skinned – To succeed in business a thick skin is essential, but not when it comes to SM. In the old days people could only complain directly to companies or in worst case scenarios make it into a newspaper or to court. But with SM, even the smallest issue can escalate out of control if you don’t react properly. Therefore, never ignore criticism and don’t try to put up a defense unless it’s truly warranted. Safer and easier to accept there was an issue; apologize and at least ‘appear’ to make amends. After all, people will soon be outraged over the next outrage and a minor, well-handled complaint will be long but forgotten. Not so for a badly handled one; no one wants to be negatively immortalized in a meme
6. Too Much Planning – Always have a plan but
don’t over-plan! A comprehensive plan is essential to
executing any successful marketing strategy but SM is unpredictable. News events will unfold, the herd will move
from one outrage to the next and marketers will need to be prepared to be flexible within the framework of their
strategy to cope with this. Ignoring the unexpected
developments that will come your way can lead to
your brand looking ‘out of it’ and ‘out of touch’.
So plan, but leave some room for flexibility.
7. Thinking SM is Free – There are no free lunches! Yes, it costs nothing to get on a platform but it costs vast amounts of time and effort to build a following and then sustain it. Doing this requires creating great content, which isn’t free. Like any other channel, SM requires commitment, content, strategy and application; none of which are free.
8. Delegating & Forgetting – Often, it’s easy to just leave the task of SM posts and management to an intern or an inexperienced, junior member of the team. The idea that millennials just ‘get’ digital is often thrown about. Never do this! Through your posts and content, SM is a window into your brand, its practices and the people behind it all. Thus, your SM channels must be treated with the appropriate importance. Nothing wrong with letting the new intern handle it, as long as they’re supervised and following a structured plan. Don’t delegate and forget!
9. Concentrating on the Wrong Network – You want to be where your customers are and different SM platforms attract different groups of people. You should research where your customers are and distribute your resources across those networks instead of blindly putting everything into just one or two networks. Also remember that content that works well on one network may not work well on another as the ways in which users interact with content will be different
10. Thinking Too Small – SM is a global platform, thus when you get on board, your organization becomes global too, even if you don’t sell your product globally. Anyone from anywhere can follow you and interact with you. Therefore it’s best to acknowledge the existence of all these people and speak to them sometimes too, in addition to your native audience. Take a look at your analytics platforms and see where you’re getting attention from and maybe make a few posts that may resonate with your wider audience.
Don’t fall victim to these easily made mistakes. Think carefully, plan well and you’ll be killing it! But remember, there’s only a fine line between killing it and killing your fan base!
What do you think? What are the biggest mistakes you’ve made with SM? Let us know in the comments below.