Social Media Mistakes: What they are and how to Avoid them
The use of online and social media marketing is on the rise and the days of traditional marketing seems to be numbered. The world of 21st century commerce is about to head in a direction that is dominated by the internet and social media, invaluable assets that businesses must utilize for greater outreach and redefine business-customer interaction.
But as more businesses open social media accounts and implement the internet as their main marketing asset, mistakes are suddenly emerging. These mistakes are caused by businesses’ inexperience with use of social media and failure to distinguish it from conventional marketing tools. Social media is a marketing branch of its own, possessing unique characteristics absent in posters, tv commercials and radios.
An uninformed use of social media marketing may well cost you your business if these mistakes aren’t recognized and rectified:
1. Not differentiating between different Social Media platforms
Some businesses that use social media for marketing purposes often open several social media accounts from different sites such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. They will create these accounts with similar goals and strategies as well as post similar content and target similar audiences. They assume that they are all the “same” since they are social media sites, right?
Consider Instagram closely and how it might different to other sites like Facebook or Twitter. Instagram is designed to feature users’ photos and short snippets of videos showing their content to their followers. Text is less emphasized with comments and hashtags being the most common texts in Instagram. Instagram is a visual medium, and because of its emphasis on images different marketing strategies must be implemented. Also, tailor contents specific to each platform. For example, offers and discounts may be more appropriate for Facebook than Twitter, as Twitter functions more like a real-time news source than for a proper social media. Most importantly, businesses don’t have to use all social media accounts if it doesn’t help them achieve their goals. If Twitter gets them more outreach than Facebook or Instagram, then consider dropping the latter two and optimize on the former on its marketing outreach.
2. No goals or strategies regarding the use of Social Media
Like how marketing works for posters or commercials, using social media requires goals and strategies that needs to be achieved. Some businesses create social media and simply post content that does nowhere to improve their outreach or online outreach. Despite its tendency for “private” and “personal” content, social media is still a business asset that necessitates a plan for businesses on how to use it.
How you design and post your business’ social media content depends on the aims you’ve identified and trying to achieve. Do you seek to increase online traffic to your page? Or are you using social media to raise customers’ awareness of your brand? Or simply do you see social media as a tool for conversion to build and maintain customer loyalty? Identify the goals you need for your accounts and devise action plans on how to achieve. Prioritise creating short-term and long-term goals on how you want to utilize social media.
3. Not offering incentives when promoting your products or services
Some businesses are mistaken in using social media as mere advertising platform. Because they are cheaper than traditional marketing, businesses can post endless content of advertisements promoting their products/services complete with their prices and other necessary details attached. While social media can and do used as an advertising platform, users will become disinterested if there is no “hook” or “bait” for them if they’re going to buy a business’ advertised product or service.
That’s because customers, just like in real-life, often ask for more than what they bargained for. Despite not consciously knowing, everyone wants a complementary item or service in addition to the main goods being sold. In the e-commerce world, incentives drive sales and are even more impactful than in their traditional marketing form. Consider offering anything from discounts, free items or memberships to your promoted products/services whenever possible. Online users are more skeptical and demanding of products/services than buying goods in the real world.
4. Not interacting with online customers
Unlike answering calls or face-to-face inquiries, businesses with online presence are subjected to more interactions than what’s needed. Any posted content or comments by businesses are liable to be commented upon or sent messages from online users. Businesses not responding to any comments or questions online may have their reputation damaged as negative feedbacks persist and any absence of response may be taken by people as shirking responsibility, particularly in the case of crises happening.
Consider responding to users’ inquiries wherever and whenever possible. Reply through emails, messages or comments whenever appropriate. Directly answer customers’ questions and do not give statements that are vague or confusing that consumers can presume as lying by businesses. Most importantly, online customer interaction is STILL customer service. So always use appropriate language and diction when replying to a customer’s comment. You’re still representing the business even when online.
For now, these are some of the mistakes that can be easily identified and fixed by businesses when it comes to social media marketing. These ones suffice for those beginning to use social media for marketing purposes. So go back now to your business online page and try to remedy some of the mistakes that you see resemble to the ones in this article.
By Mikhail Acebo