To compete in today’s non-stop marketplace you have to create a strong social presence. Unfortunately, many businesses are falling short when it comes to their social media strategy. Ensure you get the most out of your campaign by avoiding these six common pitfalls.
1. Not Sounding Human
Although the word is right in the title, many marketers forget that the primary purpose of social media is to – socialize. It’s not the place for constantly espousing the greatness of your company or sending out blanket, self-serving messages.
Instead of sounding like a robot programmed to make posts, try to personalize your messages with a conversational, non-corporate voice. Pay attention to what your customers are talking about, have opinions, and participate in the discussion. It’s ok to talk about your business sometimes, but every good relationship involves a little give and take. So, don’t expect your followers to stick around if you never give them anything in return.
2. Not Being Genuine
Going along with sounding human, you also need to have a certain level of transparency about your business. This makes subscribers feel as if they really are part of your inside circle and a genuine online friend. This doesn’t mean you have to divulge everything about your company, but let people know what’s going on and why you’re making certain decisions.
Just look at the backlash Netflix received when they unexpectedly raised their prices. Learn from their mistake – it’s better to tell customers what’s going on before making changes than trying to explain yourself and clean up the mess after the fact.
3. Taking the “Used-Car Salesman” Approach
No one enjoys being pressured to constantly buy something, and always giving the impression your comments have an ulterior motive is a quick way to send your followers packing.
Social media is about making connections with people (not making a sales pitch). Yes, you are representing a business, but instead of acting like a used-car salesman, behave like the owners of a corner “mom and pop” store. If you entered such a store would they immediately bombard you with their latest deals or push their newest product on you? No, they wouldn’t. They would mention the weather, talk to you about your family, and then ask how they can be of help.
The trick is building a rapport with people. If you can do this, they will naturally want to give you their business.
4. Not Setting Long-term Goals
Never take the “one and done” approach to social media. Even if you are able to build a lot of hype over one promotion, once it’s over, then what? If you have nothing left to offer your followers they will leave, and then you must start from scratch for the next big event.
A better idea is to create an ongoing relationship with your customers. This helps to improve brand loyalty and encourages people to share your message all the time – not just when something important is happening.
5. Not Making Your Brand Apparent
Your brand is much more than your logo or company colors. It encompasses everything your business stands for and what you are about. Make sure the essence of your brand is apparent in all your social interactions. Take what’s most important about your business and translate that into relevant words and messages.
6. Underestimating what’s Involved in Effective Social Media
For marketers who are less experienced in the world of social media, it’s tempting to hand this task over to a teenager or a college student; after all, aren’t they the experts of online networking? The truth is, networking among friends (as done by college students) is entirely different than networking for marketing purposes. They may be specialists at using the platform, but there are many other dynamics at work.
To have a successful social media campaign, one must have a deep understanding of the business’ brand, how to psychologically connect with customers, and how to approach the public. Overall, it takes someone who is highly organized and understands marketing, and is definitely not something to be half-heartedly assigned to the youngest person on the team.