Being present on social media has become a must for a company, any company. When your potential customers start researching companies that they might do business with in the future, one of the first things they do is fire up Facebook or Twitter or some other social network and they start digging around.
Some companies handle their social media presence well, providing their followers with interesting content and not making stupid mistakes every step of the way.
Unfortunately, there are also companies that do make mistakes and some of those mistakes are much more common than others. These mistakes are our topic for the day.
Not Having a Plan
To someone who is struggling to keep their company afloat, who has to deal with suppliers, partners and growing competition and who has a number of people depending on them for their livelihood, social media presence of their company is the least of their worries.
Because of this, the majority of efforts are often undertaken under no strict supervision which, unfortunately, often leads to an absolute lack of any kind of plan. Someone who knows a thing or two about Twitter and Facebook decides to take it on and they really do give their best, but as it turns out, it is not enough.
It is not enough because social media marketing needs to be done in a planned and organized way. You need to identify your goals. You need to identify the metrics that will tell you if you are getting closer to your goals. You need to come up with a structured plan for posting on social media and what you will be posting. You need to plan out a content calendar and much, much more.
Sometimes it is a good idea to hire an outside agency such as
IPSSWeb Solutions to help you, at least during this planning process.
Not Having a Single Voice
Depending on the size of your company, you will have one or more people handling your social media accounts and contributing to them. Also, you will be present on a number of social media channels, especially if you happen to be in an industry that benefits from visual content which opens up Pinterest and Instagram to you in a more pronounced way.
Often times, these different factors create a situation where the company’s voice is not clear enough and where different people post different stuff on social media, diluting the brand and making their customers and potential customers confused. Even worse, companies’ social media accounts often get misused and the company gets in all kinds of legal troubles.
In order to avoid this, you will want to have a unison voice of your company figured out before you even start posting anything on social media. If you have a large team that works on your social media accounts, make sure they collaborate formally on it, using some project management tool (make sure to compare project management software before you buy it).
Also, always make sure you have a person who will give their final word on matters pertaining to social media.
There is a very clear end goal for companies that do social media marketing – increasing their revenue. This is perfectly normal. Whatever you do in business as a business owner is aimed at increasing our revenue and growing your company.
Everyone understands this.
However, social media channels are meant to be nothing but another avenue to make sales. Social media is, after all, supposed to be social and provide people with the opportunity to interact with other people. Treating it as just another place to sell your stuff is lame and it will hurt your business in the long run.
Instead of that, connect with people, build relationships, interact. Share your content, inform people, make them laugh, solve their problems.
If along with the way, you happen to mention your product or service, there is nothing wrong with that.
Forgetting About Visual
There are a number of reasons as to why your social media presence needs to be heavy on images and videos, but the most important of those reasons are cold hard numbers.
According to an article by Jeff Bullas, articles with images are almost twice as likely to get traffic and the engagement rate on Facebook increases by more than a third if you include photos.
There is too much happening on social media feeds and if your tweets and statuses are not accompanied by images, they will become lost in the noise.
If you really want to boost the engagement rates for your social media posts, you will go with video content, which can be brief videos that show off your company, that give an introduction to one of your blog posts or that convey a message that you want your audience to associate with your brand.
Nowadays, videos are cheaper to make than ever before, although you will want to do a bit of research and learning so that you do not embarrass your company with subpar videos.
Not Doing Customer Service
For the majority of business owners, social media marketing still revolves around the traditional concepts of a message that needs to be sent across a channel to a certain targeted audience.
In reality, you can do social media marketing in a number of ways thanks to the interactive nature of various social media networks. For one, you can provide customer service on social media, which is something that was previously impossible with other marketing channels.
Let’s say that your company develops accounting software. One of your customers encounters a problem and they start saying ugly things about your company and your product on Twitter. Now, instead of apologizing or just leaving it be, you reach out to them and try to solve their problem.
All at once, you are solving their problem, showing the world that your software is perfectly good and that you are a company that cares about their customers.
This is the kind of advertisement you will never get out of a TV spot or even email marketing.
If you recognize your company and your social media efforts in any of the above, try to figure out a way to remedy this. Come up with a plan, be organized and be sociable.
Everything else will follow.
AUTHOR: James D. Burbank has spent more than 15 years in the world of marketing, both offline and online. He is the editor-in-chief at BizzMarkBlog.