January 14, 2014
During the last few years, social media has entered our lives like a shot and intertwined with all the spheres of our everyday activities. From just a platform for communication, social media has evolved into a more complex and influential resource. It has turned into a powerful tool for companies and businesses to be engaged in people’s everyday buzz, to become a part of their social life. The free and open nature of social media provides companies the access to what people talk about in relation to some brands, what they like and prefer and, in this way, to understanding the right ways to interact with potential customers.
Moreover, people themselves use social media channels as a place where they can learn about brands, products and services. TV, radio and press cannot provide the interactive kind of information that social media can. That is why, nowadays, most companies, small or large, try to include social media marketing (SMM) in their marketing strategies.
Unlike traditional marketing, SMM is not just about advertising. It is a totally different kind of promotion which uses other methods and techniques. Lack of understanding of social media can result in a failure of a SMM campaign.
Let’s take look at the most common mistakes made by social media marketers.
MISTAKE 1 — Overposting
Surely, frequent content posting is essential for keeping subscribers’ attention, is often the thought behind marketing campaigns. But there has to be a reasonable limit for posting content. Posting for the sake of posting is one of the most typical mistakes made by marketers. Nonstop spamming will irritate your subscribers and, instead of drawing people, you will turn them off.
MISTAKE 2 — Obtrusive Promotion
Don’t expect people to appreciate in-your-face ads. SMM is not about posting naked promotional content — which is rarely appreciated by consumers. Rather, it is a more of latent, subtle and well-considered advertising. In general, if more than 25 percent of your content is dedicated to promotion of your brand, you risk losing your audience and the social media likes and shares that come with that audience.
MISTAKE 3 — Impersonal Communication
People expect communication via social media, but they prefer talking to people — not to some faceless corporation. Try to avoid formal phrases and official language when creating posts. Be genuine and down-to-earth when answering followers’ comments.
MISTAKE 4 — Believing Everyone Reads Your Content
Just because you’ve posted some information on your website or blog and shared it via various social platforms, does not mean it has automatically been reads by thousands. That is delusional thinking. People are too busy to read everything that appears on their computer screens, so don’t be surprised to get the same question from multiple readers. Be patient and compose a reply to every question.
MISTAKE 5 — Deleting Or Ignoring Negative Feedback
Every company wants to be perfect — but that is not reality. All business receive negative feedback or reviews. No matter how tempting it is, do not delete or ignore negative feedback.
The best solution is a public response to each statement. Be positive and constructive in your answers.
MISTAKE 6 – Bothering Customers Who Are Not Interested
Social media was not designed to be a marketing platform, so you should always ask yourself whether you have the right to practice SMM with users. If it is obvious that they don’t want to hear you, do not force your message on them.
MISTAKE 7 — Expecting Immediate Results
Being patient is one of the main rules of SMM because it is about making people trust you. The primary task of SMM in not selling products or services, but establishing connections that affect your sales. The conversational manner of this process cannot bring results at once — it takes time but, all in all, your target is to make customers do the marketing for you through word of mouth online. And that is worth waiting for.
MISTAKE 8 — Being Secretive With Customers
The social Web is an extremely open and free place, where people both share their opinions and ideas and find information they need. If you want to win the loyalty and respect of customers, you should be transparent — provide all the details about your business and respond their questions directly. Be truthful with customers and they will appreciate it.
MISTAKE 9 — Making SMM A Separate Strategy
Many marketers make the mistake of treating their SMM differently from other marketing ventures. SMM cannot be treated in isolation. Rather, it is a part of the entire marketing strategy and must always complement the strategy as a whole. It is important to be consistent all marketing campaigns. If your brand is known as serious and formal, for instance, don’t use light, humorous posts on your social media platform — it will not look natural.
MISTAKE 10 — Having No Plan For The Worst
Although most of SMM activities are not likely to result in crisis, it can happen and, if it does, it is necessary to be ready for it. With the social Web problems can arise quickly. You need to be prepared before they occur so you can respond immediately.
MISTAKE 11 — Choosing the Wrong Marketers
Hiring a SM marketer should be a well-thought out decision. This person must have excellent communication skills, know social platforms and their principles perfectly and understand the psychology of online interactions. You don’t want to be unpleasantly surprised, so choose your SMM voices carefully.
MISTAKE 12 — Focusing On One Social Platform
Focusing on one social network entirely and ignoring the rest means fewer subscribers. SMM is bout many little efforts brought together, rather than one huge campaign. As people always change social platforms, jump from one to another permanently during one day, it is necessary to launch several initiatives on different social networks and keep them all updated.
MISTAKE 13 — Forgetting To Be Thankful
A huge mistake is to think that your subscribers don’t need any return for helping you in promotion. You need to reward them in the form of prizes and various benefits like tickets, invitations, discounts etc. Your goal is not only to increase your audience but to keep those who have already subscribed as well.
Andrew Smith is a social media marketer and a writer working for QArea which specializes in providing Web, mobile, desktop app development/testing services. Andrew enjoys writing about social media and IT technologies.