Mistakes are ok if you are learning. But avoid these social media and business marketing killers.
Many of our small business clients are new to social media. One of the requests we get from them is to provide a simple system to do the work. Unfortunately, the truth is that there is no such system.
Related post: 17 Cardinal Sins to Avoid in a Social Response Strategy
Every situation is unique and social media is as much an art as it is a science. However, having said that, there are some general social media mistakes that provide a framework of wisdom–wisdom that you can apply in almost every unique situation to capitalize on social media opportunities and maximize your potential for success.
“Vanity metrics” (friends, followers, “likes”) are the most common metrics marketers use to measure the business impact of social media.
But just 14% of marketers tie vanity metrics to sales levels.
I get it. Seeing your follower count grow and grow and getting a lot of likes on Facebook feels great.
While there are many mistakes to learn from out there, here is our list of the most important ones to learn from:
Social media and business … ignoring content marketing
Don’t make the fatal mistake of using more ads to compensate for not employing content marketing (or bad content). Rather, create quality content to convert on your ads. If folks don’t like your content, they are not going to stick around long enough to be converted (i.e., perform an action such as clicking or subscribing). Likewise, more social media postings and links won’t compensate for bad content and poor headings either!
Little value added
Social media is like a bank account. You simply cannot withdraw more value than you deposit into your account. Too many people view social media as an auto-pilot technique for marketing messages. I assure you… it is not. It requires effort and careful planning, and you will only get out of it what you are willing to put into it. Remember the quote, garbage in, garbage out? Well, it certainly applies to marketing messages.
A quick splash of value-free marketing will only produce quick and limited results at best. Quick social media splashes with little meaning or value add, always will be worse than no marketing at all.
No timeline consistency
Social media is a 24/7 marketing and customer engagement process—not a once a week occasion. You need to monitor constantly and interact with customers. You can’t pencil in “social media time” on your Google calendar once a week and hope to be successful. And remember it takes a lot of time and energy. Don’t start if you have little to spare.
Lacking emotion and enthusiasm
Social media, like most marketing, must be emotion-driven to be successful. People’s behavior (e.g., sharing your content or buying your product) is based on emotional responses. Your social media marketing should appeal to their hearts more than their heads.
Being everywhere and doing everything
Don’t go to social media platforms because of their image. Go to where you fill find your target audience. For example, Facebook–although it’s well-documented and highly touted popularity–is the last place some small businesses should go. Don’t chase after the “best” or “most popular” networks—chase your audience! Find out where they are and live there. And you can’t be everywhere and do everything. Start small, learn how to do it well, and then add on more networks a little at a time.
Social media marketing killers … ignoring results and learning
You must know what is working and how well. Consider each thing you do as a small experiment. Look at measured results against your objectives. Do more of what is working, and stop doing things that aren’t.
Measure selectively. Just because you can measure something doesn’t mean you should. Not all metrics are created equal—or even worthwhile. Carefully select those metrics that provide feedback related to your social media plan and objectives. Remember what Einstein reportedly said, “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
New digital marketing ideas … lack network integration strategy
To be successful in social media requires understanding and mastering the inherent differences between social media networks. For example, Facebook embodies the spirit of pure social interaction, while Twitter is all about communicating news and information. Understand the difference and decide what is important for your marketing. Be sure and be consistent across platforms by integrating your objectives and messages.
Social media marketing killers … no storytelling
Marketing always has been and always will be about telling stories… stories that influence behavior and convince people to act. Make sure your social media marketing tells a story and that your story is compelling and relevant. Pay particular attention to attention grabbing headlines.
Social media and business … assume all marketing is the same
The nuances of social media marketing are entirely distinct from that of traditional marketing. Just as it is important to understand the differences between networks, it is equally important to understand how and why social media marketing is different from traditional marketing. Hint: stop interrupting what your customers are interested in and be what they are interested in.
Related post: 13 Social Media Marketing Trends Sure to Reduce Business
Ignore customer experience
Strive to keep your customers experience consistent, enjoyable, and simple. Give them something worth remembering and telling their friends. Not paying attention to customers experience is a very bad thing. Customers will always have an experience, and implicit ones won’t be good ones.
In summary, there are many social media marketing mistakes from which to learn . As you follow your competitors, look at their strengths and weaknesses and watch for things to learn. What do you think? What did you learn from these mistakes?
Remember, it is not what social media marketing does with the consumer; it is what the consumer does after viewing the social media marketing.
What are some of your experiences with social media marketing lessons learned?
It’s up to you to keep improving your social media marketing. It is in constant change.
All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new lessons.
When things go wrong, what’s most important is your next step.
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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All you get is what you bring to the fight. And that fight gets better every day you learn and apply new ideas.
When things are not what you want them to be, what’s most important is your next step. Call today.
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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.
More reading on social media mistakes from Digital Spark Marketing’s Library: