In recent years, businesses of all sizes have been using social media to promote their brand and build rapport with both potential clients and established customers. While there’s no denying the positive impact that a well-run social media strategy can have on your business, it’s imperative to recognize critical mistakes you might be making with regards to managing your social network. Even if you’re satisfied with how your program is going, it’s worth finding out if you’re guilty of these five critical social media management errors.
Adopting a Purely Numbers-Based Focus
Not Recognizing Your Target Audience
The best social media strategies have specific audiences they aim to reach on each channel. While getting in front of as many eyes as possible might seem appealing, too often the content created to achieve this is too generic. A wedding photographer, for instance, would be foolish to spend a disproportionate amount of their time into building a Twitter following, where words are valued over photos. Instead, they should post content to channels where their ideal customer would be engaged best, like Instagram or Pinterest. Focused content that appeals to the habits, gathering places, and values of a specific audience entices members of that audience to engage with your organization in a way that feels seamless and familiar.
Limiting Yourself to Just One Channel
The most successful social media marketing efforts involve having a multi-channel pipeline to engage various audiences. However, companies still make the mistake of pigeon-holing themselves by pushing content on just one or two platforms. Focusing efforts on unexpected platforms can pay big dividends for companies who use those channels in creative ways. In 2016, Taco Bell created a Snapchat lens for the Super Bowl that turned its users’ heads into a taco. Over 224 million people played with this filter for an average of 24 seconds on Superbowl Sunday, resulting in nearly thirteen years of ad playtime being generated for the company in a single day. By expanding the kinds of networks where you reach users and promoting quality content catered for each additional platform, you strengthen your chance of being a familiar and welcomed brand to more potential customers.
Forgetting to Engage
The key is in the name: social media. Companies that forget to engage appropriately with their audience run the risk of sounding corporate, detached, or just plain dull. The goal of having a presence online is first to tell your audience what your company is, and then to show them who you are. Everyone knows what companies like Wendy’s and McDonald’s sell: burgers. But, companies, like Wendy’s, have become famous in recent years for managing Twitter accounts that are light, funny, and not afraid to engage with their audience and competitors on a platform-appropriate level. Executives can take join in on the social presence, too. Dan Cathy, CEO of Chick Fil A, is known for personally responding to comments and posts on his company’s LinkedIn page, which has helped further cement Chick Fil A as a familiar, approachable company in the eyes of its followers. By participating in the conversations that its customers are having, companies gain the ability to humanize their brands and prompt further engagement from their audiences.
Only Promoting Yourself
Social media isn’t just about self-promotion. If your entire page is cluttered with posts only about your organization, this deters people from investigating your channels more fully. It’s too onenote and gives followers the impression that if they’ve seen one post from you, they’ve likely seen whatever else you’re bound to post. It’s like having a friend who only ever wants to talk about what they’ve been up to. Instead, a healthy social feed should involve a mix of content that includes shared posts from different organizations in your space, news that affecting your industry, and even collaborative posts with your key vendors and clients. You can also boost engagement by sharing things your customers have posted about your business. Your social media pages should promote pride in your audience for being a part of such an innovative and interactive community, of which your company happens to be an exceptional leader.
Social media marketing is much more than merely creating some posts, adding some hashtags, and leaving it alone. Social media marketing is about getting to know your customers and letting them get to know you too, and on their terms. It’s about crafting an identity rather than a brand, and, above all, it’s about promoting a social identity that effortlessly aligns with your business’s objectives.
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