Social media has become synonymous with digital marketing. It’s an integral aspect of today’s social fabric, with over 2.7 billion active Facebook users worldwide. Businesses can’t afford not to take advantage of its scale, reach and influence. For many consumers, your social media platforms will be their first interaction with your brand. And luckily for business owners, it’s a relatively cheap and easy way to advertise. While it takes some skill and knowledge to build a website, virtually anybody can create an Instagram account. Of course, there are still some common errors to be made on social media. Here are the blunders to avoid.
Every business function should begin with a well-developed, comprehensive plan. Social media is no exception. When developing such a plan, keep the SMART criteria in mind:
S - Specific (simple, sensible, significant)
M - Measurable (meaningful, motivating)
A - Achievable (agreed, attainable)
R- Relevant (reasonable, realistic and resourced, results-based)
T - Time-bound (time-based, time-limited, time/cost limited, timely, time-sensitive)
KPIs help you to measure the success of your marketing efforts. They are useful analytical tools that are essential to the long-term success of any given campaign. However, many marketers fall into the trap of so-called vanity metrics. For example, they might measure the number of fans on Facebook or followers on Twitter, and as long as these are growing, they are happy. While these can indeed provide rich insights, they’re merely the cherry on top of a very large cake. Focus instead on the numbers that matter. If your marketing efforts are having no real impact on your business, they’re not worth much. At the end of the day, ROI is king.
Every social media platform has its strengths and weaknesses. They have their own customs, language, audience and content format. Some lend themselves to online interaction, others video sharing and visual aesthetics. If you post the same content to each, your efforts will be ineffective and potentially even counter-productive. To truly capitalise on social media, understand the difference between each platform and tailor your content accordingly. This will get you the best results.
Don’t let your content fall on deaf ears. Aim to generate an online conversation with your audience. If you’re not getting enough engagement, revise your strategy and consider whether it’s in tune with your target customers. The key is to tailor your voice towards them so that your content is relevant and relatable.
If a person responds or comments, always endeavour to reply to them. Every reaction presents an opportunity to directly communicate with a prospective customer. Be friendly and personable, after all, this is what social media is all about. And don't limit your company's social interactions to the marketing department. Involve other departments that interact with customers, such as sales, customer service, billing, and production, in your social media strategy for a more holistic approach.
Believe it or not, quality trounces quantity when it comes to followers. If your followers don’t connect and engage with you, they’re not worth a whole lot. Instead, focus on building and expanding your network by attracting the right audience who are genuinely interested in your content. This will allow you access to more valuable prospects who might help to grow your business.
Getting your content in front of the right eyes is just half the battle. Make sure your interactions are meaningful, too. Networking is about adding value to a relationship. You should set aside the time to reach out and write personalized messages, engage in discussions, share and comment on other people’s content, rather than simply pushing your own. Treat these relationships the same as your real-life ones. By investing in them, others will be more likely to pay attention to what you have to say.
Nobody likes hanging out with people who only talk about themselves. This also applies online. Unfortunately, many businesses assume that customers are interested in their story. In reality, consumes only care about their own story.
Instead, speak the language of your audience by telling them what they want to hear. Empathise with them. Tell stories that resonate. Post content that they value. This is the best way to connect with your audience on a meaningful level.
While automated services are an incredible innovation and certainly have their place in the marketing world, don’t rely on them too much. Automated posts or messages are instantly recognisable. If people notice this, your brand can feel cold, impersonal and phoney. If you spam them with too much inauthentic content, you will start to lose them.
Instead, use social media to lift the corporate veil. Use a personal touch in your content that’s in tune with your brand values. In a world of increasing consumer scepticism, it’s crucial to establish an element of trust in your interactions with your customers. By posting authentic content, you’ll set yourself apart from the crowd.
Many businesses that don’t know where to begin will feel obliged to use every social site under the sun. This is a sure fire way to overwhelm your marketing department, and the quality of the content on each platform will suffer as a result. Sometimes, less is more.
We suggest using two to four dedicated social media accounts to promote your business. If you only have one social media manager, we also suggest to only focus on the “big three”:
Remember that every social media platform is different. Evaluate where your customers are, and what they are interested in. Use these insights to decide which social platforms are worth your while.
Businesses must prioritise a sound social media policy. By outlining what is acceptable, you can avoid any public imbroglios. Most businesses will prohibit content that is sexist, racist, religious, offensive, obscene, sexually suggestive, derogatory or discriminatory. Ensure that this policy is embedded into your company culture so that it’s properly adhered to.
Always limit the number of people who have access to your social media. Keep an up-to-date list of everybody who manages the accounts, too. When it comes to passwords, make sure each is different for every account. It’s not unusual for hackers to get their hands on people’s information. Change your passwords regularly, especially with employees who leave or change their roles. A single post by a disgruntled employee could be a PR nightmare for your business or company. Maintain a list of all accounts, usernames and passwords on locked Google spreadsheets so you can keep track of everything.
If you’re struggling to stay on top of your socials, reach out to the team at Elephant in the Boardroom.
Elephant in the Boardroom is a Melbourne-based digital agency helping businesses navigate and achieve growth against today’s transformative digital landscape. We are nimble, we are unique, and we dance to a digital pulse. We understand what makes the world of technology move and we evolve with the beat – designing and creating effective solutions to meet your online objectives. So, whether you need a website with an x-Factor, more visibility on Google, or have identified a gap in the market for a mobile app or new software, we have the strategic and technical knowledge to help you achieve your business goals.
Visit us at www.elephantintheboardroom.com.au.