Common Pitfalls a Marketer needs to avoid in Social Media Marketing

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Every company needs a social media presence and social media is the most popular online activity, it’s free, and it’s here to stay. In fact, a recent survey found that 90 percent of businesses use social media in some form.  With sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, and Google Plus, businesses can build relationships with customers, increase sales, and improve their brand’s identity.

However, simply having a handful of social media accounts doesn’t guarantee success. Sending out a few tweets and sporadically posting on the company’s Facebook page isn’t going to make a company more profitable or help it stand out from the crowd. By avoiding some basic pitfalls, companies can increase ROI and create more opportunities.

Not Having a Plan

Only one in eight companies have a developed social media plan. Consumers are constantly flooded with disorganized information, promotions, and messages. A business may have impressive content but without a plan, posts may get lost in the clutter. In order to cut through the chaos and effectively deliver a message, a business needs to have measurable goals, a clear social media policy, a planned content calendar, and a defined company voice.

Not Linking Digital Marketing Efforts

Some businesses make the mistake of keeping their social media accounts separate from each other and from other online marketing efforts. This makes the sites harder to find and consumers aren’t going to spend much time searching. In order to have the maximum amount of reach, accounts should be tied together and linked to company websites and paid search advertising campaigns.

Not Putting Thought into the Bio

On many social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook, the description of the company is the first thing people see. It’s important to include a URL linking to the main site as well as a creative and descriptive bio that will let people know what the company does and give them a good reason to follow or like the page. A company has a few short lines to make an impression and encourage the consumer to take action.

Oreo Cookie quickly lets consumers know a little bit about their product, gives a direct link to their website, and gives the consumer a good reason to follow them.

Not Using Images

Consumers don’t want to spend their free time reading massive blocks of text. Even a short post without an image can easily go unnoticed. In fact, tweets including an image have 200 percent more engagement than tweets without images. On Facebook, posts with photos get more likes, comments, and 50 percent more impressions than plain text posts.

Not only should a business use images, they should use colourful images that are visually stimulating. If a business is displaying a product, it should be shown in action. For example, if a company sells T-shirts, instead of showing a shirt on a table, they should show someone wearing it. If a company sells food, it should be shown ready to eat instead of behind the glass of a display case.

Panera Bread included a scrumptious-looking picture of their Easter cookies in their post about raising money for the Boston Children’s Hospital. In addition to the great message, they captured the attention of their audience visually to inspire more engagement.

Not Leveraging Hashtags

Using hashtags can double engagement and help businesses to insert themselves into relevant conversations and trending topics. Finding a target audience or new followers can be as easy as choosing the right hashtag or creating a hashtag campaign.

Businesses can also piggyback on popular hashtags to have a larger reach and a more personal connection but it is important to avoid using unrelated hashtags simply to get noticed. Cramming into random conversations and using hashtags unrelated to the business can look like spam to consumers.

Home Depot posted a great image in this Instagram post but the 12 hashtags are a little much.

To practice healthy hash tagging, companies should limit the number of hashtags to one or two and come up with the most relevant tags that will help attract the right audience.

Not Using a Uniform Voice

Businesses should have a voice that reflects their brand. It should be consistent for every marketing channel, caring, and human. Is the company sexy and cool, family-friendly and fun, affordable and basic, or upscale and smart? Whatever the voice is, a company’s words and visuals should be the tone of their brand.

Not Interacting with Fans or Followers

According to LiveOps, 85 percent of consumers feel that how a brand handles issues on its website or social media channels is a good indicator of its quality of support but data from evolve24 shows that only 29 percent out of 1,298 consumers who publicly complained to a company via Twitter received a response back.

It seems many companies are slipping up here. Social media has quickly become one of the most popular ways to reach a company or business but tweets and posts are going unanswered and consumers are taking notice.

The quality of a company’s customer service across social media platforms is vital for a positive reputation, its reach, and ROI. Satisfaction rates will be low if customers’ concerned are ignored. Papa Johns does a great job at responding to customer’s questions and complaints and is recognized for their customer service.

Treating All Social Media Platforms the Same

Every social media website has its own audience, customs, and language and it’s important to know how people communicate on a certain network. If a company blasts the same message across all platforms, it comes across as fake and spam-like. Businesses need to make an effort to understand the ins and outs of each individual channel in order to adapt their message to each platform and make a more personal connection.

The Wrap-Up

Maintaining a strong social media practice is essential for a company’s success. It’s sometimes easy to look past certain details but by avoiding these social media pitfalls, there will be less need for damage control and more time for reaching out to potential customers, interacting with current fans, and increasing sales.

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