Everyone is talking about “social media marketing”. You feel like you have to be on social media because everybody else is. So you set up profiles on a bunch of platforms and you start posting up a storm. But are you seeing any benefit to the time and effort your company is spending online?
If the honest answer is “no” or “I have no idea” don’t worry. You are not alone. In fact…
More than 60% of small businesses using social media have no methods in place for measuring ROI (return on investment).
Sadly, I suspect that if the proper analytics were in place, most of these businesses would be disappointed in the results.
Like everything else, there is a learning curve involved in mastering social media marketing. And there are a few common mistakes that may be keeping you from enjoying the many ways it can benefit your brand. The good news is that once you STOP doing these things your company will begin to thrive online:
STOP trying to be everything
Managing social media platforms can be time-consuming and requires planning.
Stop obsessing over follower count! Your objective is not to connect with the largest volume of people. It is to connect with the right people – those who are going to buy what you are selling, and/or share information about your brand with others.
Take the time to learn more about your ideal buyers. To help you figure out exactly who the right people are, check out How To Use Buyer Personas And Become A 5-Star Marketer.
Once you know who you want to connect with, it will be easier to hone in on the best social media platforms. Start small. Choose one or two platforms, based on the social media tastes of your ideal buyers.
There are a few situations where this is acceptable, like cross-posting an image on both Facebook and Instagram, but it is generally a mistake to put the same post on multiple platforms.
I know it seems like a great way to save time, but each social media platform is unique.
To maximize the effectiveness of your efforts you need to create quality content that is in keeping with the best practices of each platform, factoring in things like audience, format, tone, topic, and posting frequency.
STOP posting ads
Social media marketing is very different from traditional marketing.
No one goes on Facebook or Twitter or Instagram so they can check out the latest ads and promotions. It is called social media for a reason!
People are there to connect, to share information, and to be part of an online community. If you want to grow your followers and inspire them to act in ways that benefit your brand, you need to change your mindset.
Follow the 70/30 Rule:
70% of your posts should be information people find useful, like DIY tips, expert advice, quotes, images, videos, infographics, links, etc. No more than 30% should be “selling posts”.
In fact, I recommend no more than 10%. Nothing will get you “unfollowed” more quickly than pushing ads at your followers.
STOP having one-way conversations
Again, you must get into the mindset that social media is about two-way conversation.
You don’t need to check in every 15 minutes, but you do need to visit each platform at least a few times a day. This is a wonderful opportunity to become part of the community by looking at what others post.
Interact with your followers by liking their posts, making comments, sharing, etc.
The more you interact with followers the more quickly you gain more followers and greater insights into the market.
It is also important to check on your posts. Respond to both positive and negative comments in a timely manner.
If someone has a bad experience with your brand and shares it online, letting that comment sit there for a long time, with no response, will only make matters worse.
STOP doubting yourself
You are the expert when it comes to your brand.
Social media is not a big, scary beast that can only be tamed by content strategists and marketing gurus (and millennials). In fact, one of the greatest things about social media is that it is easy to operate and shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.
That said, like every other element of your business, social media marketing needs to approached strategically. You should make a digital content strategy that aligns with your business objectives and fits your budget.
Your strategy should include ways to measure your success on each platform. And you may need to provide key staff with the necessary training so that they can manage your content effectively.
Your company can conquer social media.
Develop a strategy, start small (1-2 key platforms), post regularly (not just ads), and interact with your followers.
And remember that social media marketing takes time. The longer you stick with it, the more comfortable and creative you will become!
Article written by Kim Scaravelli, CEO, Trust Communications Inc.
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