We’ve all read the horror stories of social media marketing fails, whether promoting causes that offended their base to posts that were so out of character it was unintentionally funny. This is aside from now routine stories of interns sending out the wrong contact information for the company or sending personal messages on the company account. Here are four classic social media marketing mistakes small businesses commit.
Not Showing Up:
One of the classic mistakes small businesses commit is not bothering to be on social media in the first place. They may have claimed their business directories to improve local search engine optimization and set up a website, but they may not be on social media at all. Another mistake small businesses make is setting up social media pages on platforms other than those where most of their customers are based.
Not Following Through:
Too many companies set up social media profiles and then think their social media outreach job is done. “Look, we have a Facebook page to help people find us online and in Facebook searches. This is great!” The marketing department may even post a few links to start building a following. Yet social media profiles like blogs tend to putter out around three to six months after being set up. Failing to follow through means you don’t have a following and any customers following you will leave. The only slight benefit from having social media profiles you don’t update is that links on them – if working – back to your website increase the domain authority of your site with search engines.
Not Engaging The Base:
Having social media profiles on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn does improve your brand’s reputation with the search engines. Sharing the link to your home page via these accounts will improve your brand’s weight with the search engines and thus search engine results page rankings. However, you are failing to meet a fraction of the potential of social media if you don’t engage your base.
The first step is letting your customers know you’re on social media, such as sending an email to your mailing list about your new social media accounts with a call to action to follow you. You can improve your engagement with these followers by sharing valuable content from the customer’s perspective, such as how to deal with error messages on your product or information on industry trends. You can ramp up the engagement and social media mentions by posting coupon codes on your social media accounts, meaning that those who follow you on social media will learn about these discounts first. Conversely, sharing links to boring press releases will drive away your followers.
Online entrepreneur Tai Lopez is the perfect example of someone using social media the right way. He posts interesting photos, engaging videos and a few novel quotes on his page per day. The variety keeps people coming back to see what he’s sharing today.
Another way businesses fail on social media is to neglect those who are interacting with them on social media. Respond to comments and replies on social media, especially the critical comments and complaints. Don’t forget to thank those who give you praise, since this keeps your most loyal followers happy.
It is possible to automate social media account management with a host of tools. You can then share your company’s Tweets on your Facebook page or share new content marketing links across all your social media accounts on a schedule with only a few clicks. The danger is when automation goes awry. Just as you lose followers when you don’t post often enough, you’ll lose followers if they are deluged with posts. They’ll know you’re using automation if they see ten posts in ten minutes. The ideal is several social media posts per day per account, though you can use the same posts across all platforms assuming you use the right format. They’ll suspect automation or incompetence if posts meant for Facebook show up on Twitter or vice versa.
If you want your social media marketing efforts to be fruitful, you need to first and foremost make your presence felt and create accounts where your most likely customers are located. It is essential to share links and maintain the account for the long term, and engage the base whether their feedback is positive or negative. You can automate social media account management if you do it right, since the old joke about computers making mistakes fifty times faster than humans is now a reality.