Social media marketing is cost effective and efficient, if you do it right. There are written and unwritten rules about what businesses should do. The written rules are the terms and conditions set by each social media platform. The unwritten rules are the most difficult ones to follow – because they keep changing.
Social Media Marketing – Your Best Friend or Worst Enemy
It sounds harsh, but whatever businesses post on social media can come back to haunt them years later. You may have already heard about celebrities and public personalities losing valuable contracts or having to issue apologies after embarrassing old tweets and Instagram photos resurfaced.
The same thing can happen to a small business that did not start out on social media with a clear strategy and posting schedule. You never know who made a print screen of some of your first posts that show lack of professionalism or brand image consistency.
On the other hand, if you are aware of the unwritten rules of social media, you can grow and nurture a steady flow of leads to your website. In time, they will become your loyal customers and will help your business grow.
What Kind of Mistakes Can Hurt Your Business Image and Sales?
There are many pitfalls in social media marketing. Some of them depend on trends of the moment and the way people change their preferences in interacting with their favourite brands. But there are costly mistakes that can never become acceptable and which you should avoid from the moment you create the social media accounts for your small business.
Here they are:
1. Not Having a Different Strategy for Each Channel
Do you copy/paste the same text for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram? This is a big mistake. Each platform has a specific set of best practices for engaging posts. On Twitter, you should be short and snappy. On Facebook, you should not overdo the number of hashtags per post. On LinkedIn, you should sound professional, avoid emojis and be extra careful with spelling and grammar.
Why is this issue such a big social media marketing mistake? The reason is that many people follow you on several social media networks. They will soon notice that you post the same content everywhere. And they will get to the conclusion that you are only trying to get some sales with minimum effort.
2. Relying Too Much on Automation
We are big fans of social media marketing automation tools like Buffer and Hootsuite. But you shouldn’t rely only on them to run your strategy. You cannot schedule all your post for weeks ahead and then stop worrying about what happens on your social media pages.
Imagine that something big happens in your field – an important event, a discovery, a new book written by a thought leader. Your followers will note the fact that you didn’t even mention this in your social media posts. And they won’t like it.
3. Not Making the Right Measurements
Are you using the adequate metrics to measure the success of your social media marketing strategy? Or do you simply rely on the standard ones – Likes, shares and reach? Having a popular page is not enough.
That popularity must translate into leads and sales. As we showed in a recent article, you can now create various custom metrics on Facebook. You should definitely take advantage of this opportunity.
4. Selling Too Much
This continues to be an issue for many small businesses. They do not have a large marketing budget, so their social media posts are about sales. This is not going to help grow your sales.
There are two reasons for it. First of all, organic traffic is almost inexistent, especially on Facebook. Secondly, your followers will soon get annoyed and stop following your page. Social media users want to be entertained, to learn something useful and helpful from their favourite brands. Then, they will reward you by becoming your customers.
5. Not Having a Social Media Team
Who is posting on your social media pages? Do you have a few people in your team who have clear roles and responsibilities in this respect? Or do you allow all your employees to manage your social media accounts?
A lot of small businesses do this and it is a costly social media marketing mistake. Not everyone in your team is good at expressing your brand image on the social media. Some employees may post personal things on your pages by mistake. This will confuse your followers and create an unprofessional image for your business.