Social media works the way the grass grows. You rarely see it working, but every week you have to mow the grass. Social media has been around for more than a decade now, so it should be easy to figure out how to leverage it, right? And avoid bad social media marketing trends, for sure. But hold on for a minute.
Related post: 10 Social Media and Business Marketing Killers
What is the importance of social media marketing trends to your business? Dialog with customers for sure. What about reading your content and remembering? Appreciating your help? Marketing? Building relationships? We believe it is all of these things, but the bottom line goal is relationship building.
Before we continue, let me ask you a question.
What social media design techniques work best for your business? We would love to hear what it was. Would you do us a favor and post it in the comments section below? Be the one who starts a conversation.
With the advent of the Internet, the number of marketing options available to both budding and experienced entrepreneurs has become staggering.
How many times have you seen companies requesting people to friend them on Facebook? Like farming followers was the name of the game. Sad but true. The truth is that social media marketing tactics are really about cultivating relationships with potential customers. Fan ‘skins’, by themselves, are of very little value.
In the ever changing landscape of social networking, you might be wondering if you are getting the most out of your business’s social media marketing tactics? Or perhaps little to no value at all. Here we define social media community engagement as the process of gaining website customer traffic, attention, interaction, and ultimately relationships through social media sites.
In part it is true, but things get complicated by all the misinformation circulating about social media marketing. From leveraging tactics to tracking issues, you are bombarded with conflicting messages, including whether social media marketing is worth using at all. And all of this misinformation creates more and more social media marketing mistakes.
Here are 15 social media marketing mistakes that we have all made at one time or the other. We’ll review them here in hopes to reduce them in the future:
Bad marketing trends … Focusing on fans, not relationships
What would you rather take? More fans/followers or an engaged community that’s ten times smaller? I hope you’d pick the engaged community. Social sites look at how much traction your post generates in relation to the number of followers you have. If the ratio is good, they will start showing your content to more people outside of your circle.
That’s how you generate more traffic: focus on getting the right followers who will become your engaged community.
Hold secrets close to the vest
Google is probably the king of holding secrets close to the vest, but they’re big and can afford to. The rest of us need to reach out and give away the farm. And avoiding secrets at all costs.
Don’t be afraid to email companies and potential customers that you think you can help. What’s the worst thing that they can do… ignore your email?
More focus on traffic compared to conversion
If social media traffic didn’t convert, do you think Facebook would be worth over a 100 billion dollars? And it’s not just Facebook, it’s all the good social media sites. These companies are worth a lot of money because their user base spends money. The users spend enough money to make advertising on these sites profitable.
I’m not saying you need to start spending money on paid social ads, but you should leverage these sites because their visitors do convert.
It starts with traffic, of course, but that is the means and not the ends. The ends are the conversions.
Not only does social media traffic convert, but you can also measure that conversion. By setting up goals within your Google Analytics, you can see how much each of these social sites is generating for you.
Not showing fans fun
It’s always appropriate for a brand to show its personality and some fun. If it’s a personality that wants to be a little weird occasionally, go ahead and get a little weird.
KLM is a great example of this tactic. Yes, most of their posts are about making customers have some fun, and its working very well.
Whether you’re a product-based or serviced based company, ask your users to send photos of themselves using your product or service in exchange for a shot at a prize, or for the honor of being featured on the page.
Future of marketing 2020 … misusing happy customers
Too many companies create happy customers and then fail to leverage their happiness. That is truly missing an awesome opportunity to turn those customers into advocates.
Contact a few of your happy customers and ask them if you can do a case study for them. This is essentially how MarketingSherpa built their business.
When a successful campaign occurred, they would then flip them into a case study. As they generated interest in their company more and more companies started signing up. Eventually big companies came calling after seeing all the success they were having.
But you don’t have to do a formal case study to leverage happy customers. Testimonials are also powerful tools. Satisfied customers are eager to share their excitement about your company, so make sure you capture and promote that excitement.
Not getting local search
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last year, search on Google has gotten hyper-personal. For instance, your results are tailored to your location.
How can you leverage local search? One way a company we know did this was to claim that Hyatt Hotel in Seattle where their office location was located.
This has led to this business to appear when you search under that keyword: “Hyatt Hotel in Seattle.”
Push the envelope was their motto.
Assume social media will make you a winner
The biggest mistake I hear about social media marketing these days is that everyone should be leveraging it. Although I wish it were true, social media isn’t a good fit for everyone.
For example, Lockheed Martin is a company you probably don’t see much of on social media. Why not you may ask? Because most of their income and revenue comes from government contracts.
Sure, they are on G+ and Facebook. They even have a blog. But none of those things help them bring in revenue. A lot of what they do isn’t public, and never can be, due to their government contracts.
Social media won’t really help a company like this.
Don’t take advantage of visual design
First and foremost, prioritize visual design in your efforts. Presenting your content in a visual format has a number of benefits. First, humans recognize and process images much faster than text; this is why visual content has much greater appeal.
A study by 3M showed that 90% of the information sent to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text.
Second, using a diversity of image types makes your content continuously fresh, which encourages readers to explore more. In a visual design the combination of photography, illustration, videos and data visualization keeps the eyes interested and moving around the page.
More time on site means more engagement with your brand.
The more you publish, the better off you are
If you have great information to share on a daily basis, that’s awesome. You should use the social web on a daily basis.
But if you don’t, then consider using it less frequently. Don’t publish average or repeat material. It can actually harm your efforts.
Focus on creating high quality updates and interactions instead of being on these social sites because you have to.
B2B strategies are different than B2C strategies
Every time I write about social media marketing, someone will comment:
“Those tactics look great for companies who target other businesses, but what should I do if I have a consumer-based company?”
Whether you have a consumer-based or business-facing company, you use the same tactics. From sharing great information to responding to people who have questions to promoting your own products and services, the tactics are identical.
What works for one usually works for the other.
Ignoring negative feedback
The worst thing you can do is ignore negative feedback. If someone isn’t happy with you or your company, you shouldn’t ignore that person. Instead, you should embrace the criticism and try to improve.
Just look at Comcast. They even have a Twitter channel dedicated to support. Every time anyone tweets something negative about them, they apologize and try to help. It doesn’t matter if it is their fault or not, they are continually trying to improve.
As a business owner, you should embrace negative feedback. Respond to it, and try to solve the problem without getting emotional. It will help your business get better.
Not focused on building trust
The world has a trust problem, and according to Nielsen, we marketers are a big part of it. Only 40% of consumers trust marketing content, but 90% trust content from their social networks. Compounding the problem, there are troublemakers among us, who have flocked to social media to expand their marketing reach, promoting the same alienating content they use in other media. And then they wonder why they don’t see a return on their investment.
It’s time to enlighten our brethren and teach them how we can collectively participate in social media in a way that puts us in a more trustworthy light.
Failing To Network
Let’s say you can’t speak at a conference. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t attend one. These events are going on all the time throughout the year, and they are excellent opportunities to meet new people, build relationships and close business.
Not everyone you meet will lead to business, but for every person you meet you suddenly know everyone they know. In other words, they might not be able to help you, but somebody they know could. You just need to ask them, but you need the relationship first.
There are a lot of misconceptions about social media marketing. Just because you read something in a blog post or hear something from a credible source doesn’t mean it is true.
Always do your own research, and try to improve. Social media marketing is here to stay, and it can drive a lot of business for you, assuming you are leveraging it correctly.
There is more opportunity to fail in social media than to succeed if we treat it like any other marketing vehicle. Social media requires us to get away from being promotional and sensational and instead treat our customers with special attention to including their thoughts in our offerings, being truly interested in what they have to say in the real world, and communicating about the things they care about — with a vocabulary that illustrates they can trust us.
Need some help in capturing more customers from your social media marketing or advertising? Creative ideas to help the differentiation with your customers?
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Test. Learn. Improve. Repeat.
Do you have a lesson about making your advertising better you can share with this community? Have any questions or comments to add in the section below?
Mike Schoultz is the founder of Digital Spark Marketing, a digital marketing and customer service agency. With 40 years of business experience, he blogs on topics that relate to improving the performance of your business. Find them on G+, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Digital Spark Marketing will stretch your thinking and your ability to adapt to change. We also provide some fun and inspiration along the way. Call us for a free quote today. You will be amazed how reasonable we will be.
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