Sensis’ 2015 Social Media report revealed SMEs are investing blindly on social media. Based on their survey of 1100 businesses in Australia, only 16% of SMEs said they are measuring their return on investment (ROI) in social media. Whilst 49% of them don’t know how much money they’ve invested, and some 80% have not developed a strategic plan for their social media activities.
This is not news to us, at Marketing Angels it’s very common for us to hear from potential clients that they’ve found that social media marketing strategies don’t work despite the time and effort put into them.
After some digging it’s usually very clear to us why that’s the case. Here’s the most common mistakes that businesses are making when diving in to social media.
The social media marketing no-nos you need stop:
- Maintaining too many social media accounts.
If you think it’s wise to be “everywhere”, you’re wrong. In fact, it’s the opposite. You are being impractical and unstrategic. It’s important to think carefully about where your target audience is on social media and your resources. How much does it take to maintain 4 or more accounts regularly? Chances are you are not giving enough time to make an impact on each channel or you’re spending too much time speaking to an audience that’s not relevant to your product or service. A wiser strategy is choosing two or three channels that get you the most interaction and focus your efforts on them. Identify your target market and go where they hang out.
You don’t pay to advertise in any channel, especially in Facebook.
By now, you should know that you need to spend a little to be seen by the people who matters most to your business. Most Social Media platforms no longer tolerate freeloaders, and for those that do (Instagram I’m looking at you), it’s unlikely they’ll do so for much longer. Facebook, for instance, have recently announced that they are decreasing “free traffic” to Facebook Pages. Any promotional messaging will not be served up to Page fans unless it’s a paid advertisement. What does this mean for your business? Only a few people will see your messages even though they’ve liked your Page. We recommend that you combine good content strategy (e.g. more video, visuals) and an occasional paid ads to grow your traffic and maximise your presence.
- You are always selling.
Social media is a great place to sell products/services. But never sell all day, every day. If you’re doing this, stop immediately! We guarantee you, your fans or followers don’t like it. In fact, they have probably started hiding your page from their news feed or worse, have now unfollowed you. No one likes being constantly bombarded with ads. Change your strategy and share more valuable content to your audience to keep them interested and hopefully, attract more followers. Content is also advertising. If you are running out of content to share, here are some content ideas you can start doing now.
- Creating or sharing content that adds no value to your brand.
Seriously, do you want your fans to associate your brand with those meme photos you share? Or, those funny YouTube videos? Keep in mind, humour is subjective. Steer clear from these types of content, especially topics that deal with politics and religion, to avoid the risk of alienating your prospective customers. Instead, share quotes and relate them to your product or the service the you offer. Take time also to respond to posts and comments. Your fans will like that. It lets them know that you’re a real person and you really do take building relationships with them seriously.
EPIC FAIL: In 2014, DiGiorno inappropriately used the hashtag #WhyIStayed which was about why women stayed in abusive relationships.
WIN: Qantas shared an information its customers’ want to know:
- Forgetting about analytics.
The rule is: when you’re using social media, you should be measuring it. If you don’t know how to do it, let an expert do it for you. There are 3rd party tools as well which can help you track social analytics.
Analytics tell you where your marketing dollars are going. You need it to know what’s working and what isn’t. Having thousands of followers is good, but reach alone does not tell you everything. You need to know which posts or campaigns (also TV advertisements, billboards, YouTube videos, etc.) are driving interaction. Consumers go to social media to discuss their opinions on just about everything, so it’s critical for brands to pay attention.
Social media analytics aren’t complicated, don’t be intimidated. Know what numbers really matter and where to find them.
- Ignoring the mobile experience.
Statistics show desktop usage is progressively decreasing whilst mobile is increasing. Australians now prefer to consume their content on their mobiles. Therefore, you need to ensure that anything you share with your audience is optimised for mobile or you risk losing a big chunk of your target market. Make your text, visual, and video content mobile-friendly.
So, how do you know if you’re on the right track towards social media success? You see some of these signs:
- Customers seek you out. When people look for you, that’s a great sign that your campaigns have paid off.
- Customers acknowledge your message. If your target market liked, commented or shared your content with their network, it means your message got across. They like what you have to offer.
- You gain website traffic. When people start visiting your website, online store or blog through your posts, then your strategy is definitely working and you’re using social media effectively.
- People talk about you. Another great sign that you’re well on your way to social media success is when your followers and their other connections talk about you and recommend that others follow you or try one of your products that they recently purchased.
- When the majority of your followers belong to your target audience. Followers and fans are not always indicative of potential leads. So if you scroll through your followers and see that most of them fit into the audience you’re trying to target, your social media tactics are effective.
Never underestimate the power of social media as it represents a massive potential market for your business. Therefore, you need to have an outlined strategy, clear-cut goals, and analytics. Without these, what you’re doing is pointless.
Social media platforms are always changing how content is shared and distributed – pay attention to this. You should be able to accomplish your goals without spending all day.
If you have questions about your social media marketing strategy, let us know so we can help!