In todays dynamic digital world, it is easy to get left behind with old marketing habits that are no longer viable to reach your audience. The days of phonebook advertisement and mailbox fliers are over. Connecting with your customers through social media platforms is not only cost effective, but can be an essential marketing pillar when executed correctly. Unfortunately, 9 out of 10 businesses fail to utilize social media, and harness the full potential of a digital presence. Here are the top 5 mistakes most businesses make when social media marketing, and how to prevent your business from making the same mistakes:
1.Posting like a Tasmanian devil, when you should be posting like goldilocks
Not too many posts, but also not too few. You don’t want to overwhelm your followers with posts. Lets face it…you are a business competing on a platform that is a source of entertainment. People don’t want their feed to be blown up with your business pictures. Unless you have a full time social media marketer who can generate engaging content regularly, try to minimize your posting to one or two posts a day. Overposting trains your audience to simply scroll past your posts when they come across them. Posting less also allows you to put more quality and effort into each post, making your overall content flow better and increasing the chances of gaining new followers.
2. Posting like a corporate robot
Perhaps the biggest mistake businesses make on social media is posting too much promotional/corporate content. To win in social media, you must entertain, not force your content on your audience. Most businesses focus on the promotion of a product or service, rather than on entertaining their audience. It can be tempting to push out those promotional ads every day to your followers. However, consistently using social media as a means to promote offers will lead to a lack of engagement and followers. The key is to build brand image and to make connections with your followers. Post things that are inspiring that people can relate to. Doing so will increase the chances your followers will share with their friends. Take a look at this recent post by Taco Bell.
The focus of the post is Halloween, not tacos….not nachos. Posts like these beg for attention. No one is going to share a picture of a taco on a table. You have to entertain your audience with relevant content that isn’t super corporate. This doesn’t mean you should never do promotional posts. Try to limit promotional posts to one out of every seven posts.
3. Unorganized content
One of the key elements to a successful social media page is an established aesthetic. When you post photos that are unorganized, it isn’t fun for users to look through your page. Look at your social media as a business storyboard, and try to retain a certain aesthetic throughout all of your posts. Not all of your posts have to have the same type of content, but something has to draw all of your posts together. We will use Taco Bell again as our example.
Take a look at how all of these posts have a punch of vibrance and incorporate some type of pattern/geometry. This makes the whole flow of the page interesting, not just the individual posts. It is important that each individual post is not only engaging, but the page as a whole as well.
4. A lack of paid Traffic
Posting organically should be the main focus of your social media strategy, however it is important to not forget about paid traffic posts. Most business pages never pay for sponsored ads on social media. Paying for posts on social media not only increases your outreach, but is a great way to gain new followers who land on your page from the ads. Through targeted facebook and Instagram posts, a business owner can choose within a set radius how far they want the post to reach. Other variables such as age, gender, and similar interests can also be evaluated, resulting in a paid traffic ad that is targeted to your desired audience.
5. You hashtag like a grandma
Hashtags are not something you should just pull off of the top of your head. Most business owners throw in a few hashtags and think they have succeeded in doing so. The goal of hashtagging should be to get the attention of other pages and groups on social media. It is important to look at pages that are relevant to your own and see what hashtags other pages use. There are many local social media pages that will share your post if it falls within their criteria. For example, here is a post our company did a couple months ago.
We researched and analyzed local hashtags and decided to include the hashtag “757_collective.” As a result, the page was able to find our picture, and they decided to share it on their page. Being featured on a local page can bring traffic to all of your digital platforms, and is a great way to build brand awareness. Lets say you own a hot dog stand at the beach, and you take a photo of your stand at the beach. Before you post your hot dog stand picture, you should look for social media pages that may share your picture. You could search for pages that post pictures from the beach you are at, or even pages that share pictures of food. Once you come up with a list of pages you would like to be featured on, you can use their hashtags and tag them in your posts.
Its not complicated, its more of a shift in direction that businesses need to take. The outlook needs to be that you are trying to entertain your audience. Put out good content, and the followers will come, along with an established reputation. Don’t forget about paid traffic, have fun with it, look up relevant hashtags, figure out an aesthetic, and you are on your way to gaining new leads through social media marketing.