Social media is one of the most lucrative platforms for any business today. It provides a medium that encourages real time user interaction and engagement. Yet, not many businesses are able to leverage the power of social media successfully. The fundamental reason for this is the fact that they don’t understand the nature of the medium. In this blog post we are trying to address the 10 most common yet deadly mistakes that brands make on social media.
1. Not having a plan
Any effective Social media effort needs a solid strategy. The strategy will help you focus on the long term goals that you hope to gain from your Social media efforts.
A good Social Media strategy should clearly list out measureable goals that you are trying to get from social media. It should also include the time period that you are allotting to measure the results. These factors will keep you focussed and avoid any distractions.
A great social media plan allows you to understand the needs of your target audience and then create content that can cater to that need.
2. Trying to reach everybody
“When you market to everybody, you are marketing to nobody”
Determining who your target audience is essential in creating the right kind of content that entertains and engages them. Great social media strategies always include complete details about the target audience like gender, age, location etc.Finding out more about your target audience will also help you decide which social platform to focus your efforts on.
For example Each social platform has an age demographic for its primary audience. If you can determine the age of your target audience then it will help you identify the ideal platform that will give you the best benefits. Here is a list that analyzes and classifies the social platforms according to the age category of it’s members.
3. Having multiple accounts on Social Media
Social Media has become the address of your brand in the digital world. A lot of potential customers will identify your brand through your social profiles. Having multiple accounts on the same social media platform will confuse your audience.
All major brands have their Social media accounts verified by the respective platforms. Having a verified symbol lets your followers know that they are following the official account. The first step towards getting your account verified is to have a single account that is consistently updated.
For example, the Nike Facebook account has a blue tick mark against its name as an indication that it is a verified account. This way the Nike followers and fans can make sure that they are receiving updates from the official Nike handle and not any other fake account.
4. Cross posting all your content
Every social media platform has a native content format, for example Instagram is a photo platform and twitter is a micro-blogging platform that lets you express your thoughts in 140 characters.
Cross-posting the content that you create for one platform on the others is definitely recommended. Yet you need to exercise caution in this process. Cross-posting all your content without adapting to the nativity of each platform might damage your online reputation.
5. Posting too much/too little
Consistency is the key to success in the Social Media world. Every Social platform has its own ideal posting frequency. Posting too much or too little can affect the reach of your content.
Here is a list of recommended posting frequencies for each major social platform.
Successful brands on Social media, select a posting frequency for each platform and stick to the frequency throughout. Several powerful tools such as Around.io can help you maintain your consistency on social media by letting you schedule your posts before.
6. Not focussing on Grammar
Social Media is a great place for a casual conversation. It is a great place for brands to let it loose and make an informal communications with your audience.
Yet the content cannot be too casual. Brands need to stay clear of using too many abbreviations and make sure that they communicate effectively. Spelling and grammar checks are also an imperative.
Simple mistakes such as grammar and spelling mistakes creates an impression that you do not care or you are not serious about your content. This kind of impression can seriously damage your online reputation.
7. Buying followers/likes/comments
Social media is an opportunity to create real and meaningful relationships with your audience. But, some abrands try to take a shortcut by trying to purchse followers.
There are several problems with purchased followers.
- Bots: Several platforms such as Instagram is getting infested with bots that like, comment on your posts
- Disinterested followers: When you purchase followers, you cannot be sure that these followers are interested in your service/product or the content that you are creating.
If you create content and only bots are engaging with it, then it will not help achieve your goals. Similarly the followers that are not interested in your content will eventually fallout, even if you make them stay they will never convert into customers or even qualified leads.
8. Using social media only for marketing
Successful brands on social media utilize the platform to create real conversation with their audience. Though promoting your product or service on social media is acceptable, marketing cannot be the sole purpose of your online existence.
Any successful social media effort should focus on providing value to the user. It might be entertainment, fun or any other sort of value proposition.
9. Not being social on Social Media
A lot of brands restrict their social presence only to the extent of posting on their account. Expecting your audience to engage with your posts when you refuse to engage with theirs is not fair.
Successful brands tend to be more social. They go out and comment on interesting posts, share posts that their audience will be truly interested in, take an honest stand on issues that they believe in.
Sharing user-generated content is another very important strategy to gain the trust of users and create a personal rapport with them. Here is a great example of how brands use User Generated Content.
Wayfair is an e-commerce company that sells home goods. They have created a separate hashtag on Instagram solely for featuring the images of their customers. Customers of Wayfair upload images of their products in their homes with the #wayfairathome. This way Wayfair gets a consistent and unique content for their feeds and their customers get the satisfaction of being featured.
10. Refraining from using Humor
Social media loves humor. Even with the brands they follow people expect a little humor and surprise elements that can put a smile on their face. So it is not necessary that you need to be formal all the time with your official account.
Some famous brands across the globe have embraced humor as their USP. Millions of people follow these brands on social media, just for their quirky comments and one-liners. One such brand is Wendy’s- a fast food giant.
Here is a famous example of Wendy’s conversation on Twitter
Social Media success is all about consistent and well thought out effort. It is the ultimate opportunity for brands to create a real relationship with existing and potential customers. Avoiding these simple pitfalls will help you boost your engagement on all social media platforms. Did you face any other social media pitfall in your experience? Go ahead and share them in comments.