Use our Social Media marketing guide to achieve Social Media greatness!
In one way or another, nearly everyone comes into contact with Social Media at some point throughout their day, and because of this, Social Media is a necessary and important marketing tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Social Media helps to build awareness of your business and its products or services and provides the perfect opportunity to connect with your customers in a more casual, less formal way.
Statistics generated back in August 2016 show that 99% of young people within the UK use Social Media every week (between the ages of 16 and 24) for approximately 2 hours and 26 minutes a day, and all adults use Social Media for around 1 hour and 16 minutes daily (Source: Business Insider).
With stats like the above, it is obvious that any business that wants to generate more customer traffic and awareness around their business should really be using Social Media.
However, Social Media is progressively becoming more and more competitive and with many small, medium and large businesses embracing Social Media, being creative with your strategy is a must, however some opportunities are right under your nose however all too often many businesses make mistakes with their Social Media marketing strategy – easy mistakes to make – but also simple to fix!
We look at some of the most commonly made Social Media marketing mistakes and provide tips on how to fix these errors and suggestions on how to avoid making them in future.
Not having a Social Media strategy – or any Social Media at all!
This is a two-part answer really, so let’s look at each problem individually.
Not having a Social Media strategy
It’s all well and good to have Social Media accounts for your business, but what are you doing with them? Are you just posting randomly, as and when you remember, or perhaps you are just posting content that is related to your business? If so this isn’t quite right. A strategy behind your posts will help you to focus on what’s important, how to achieve goals, and how to measure the success of your strategy. More importantly, it keeps you on-track with posting and engaging with others.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- What do you want your followers to know about your business – what can you offer to your customers?
- What tone do your posts convey? Try not to be too robotic or rigid on Social Media, inject some personality and warmth into your content.
- What sort of content do your followers engage with? Spend some time watching who they engage with and what content is most appealing to them.
- What Social Media platforms do your target audience(s) use?
- What kind of results do you want? (such as increased Social Media traffic to specific pages on your website, to your blog or perhaps to products or services), or maybe you want to get more followers?
- How will you measure the effectiveness of your campaign? (What will you use to generate stats? How will you measure Social Media traffic coming through to your website?)
Having no Social Media at all!
If you have a business that doesn’t currently have any Social Media marketing due to not having a presence online, then you are potentially missing out on a HUGE source of revenue. Generally speaking, there are very, very few businesses that don’t actually need to use Social Media, however even in these instances, having a presence to establish your business within the local community is always worthwhile.
Try to identify the most relevant Social Media platform(s) for your business and setup an account. In our opinion the most essential Social Media staples are Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and depending on your business type, you can setup accounts on some, or all of these platforms. LinkedIn is also great for connecting professionally with others too. We have lots of blogs that provide loads of helpful information on each Social Media platform to get you off to a flying start!
Not tailoring your content to your audience on each platform
You are no doubt using multiple Social Media platforms as part of your Social Media marketing strategy to share content and engage with your audience, however posting the same content across all your platforms is not beneficial and can be perceived by your audience as lazy.
Its best to tailor the content for each platform, for example, Facebook allows more in-depth posts and images, whereas Twitter is focused around snappy posts with a character limit, so try to curate content for each platform and make sure it is relevant.
Only posting links to your website
Nobody likes reading posts that constantly peddle your business or are only focused on you. The types of content you post will have a big impact on reach and engagement, and as such audiences are looking for relevant, topical, well-rounded content and discussion, so posting links to your product or service pages all the time, or pushing your blogs too hard won’t get you the results you are looking for.
Engage with other businesses you follow, link to interesting articles that others have written, engage with local/community level news and activities and post other content such as special offers, retweets (for Twitter) or share great content from others on Facebook. People also like to watch fun/creative videos that don’t necessarily relate to your business, but are great to watch so post content of this nature every so often too.
Don’t drag it out
The best content that encourages the most engagement are posts that are short, sweet and to-the-point, especially given the fact that a lot of people tend to use Social Media on mobile devices, so try not to be too long-winded with your content.
Hubspot have created this great guide that explains how many characters you should use in a post on each platform to create the perfect length posts.
Use hashtags properly
Using hashtags as an integral part of your Social Media marketing strategy is a great way of engaging with others discussing specific topics, however using them incorrectly can have a negative impact on your Social Media efforts.
The best option is to research hashtags and understand how to use them to best effect. We have created this ultimate guide to hashtags to help you get to grips with them and our other blog provides a list of most of the UK based hashtags to get you started!
Remember to include others in your content
One of the best ways to amplify your posts is to mention or tag others. Not only do those who you tag/mention in your post get notified, they will also be more compelled to respond to your post by retweeting it or sharing it with their audience. Creating a list of all the master accounts / handles of those who you regularly interact with makes it much easier for you to reference to and mention or tag them in your posts each time you curate new content.
Too many posts, not enough content
One of the biggest annoyances on Social Media are following accounts that post way too much. Less is more with Social Media, and it isn’t necessary to post 10 updates a day with content that serves little purpose or is completely irrelevant (such as “I just had a sandwich for lunch” – nobody cares). Carefully consider your approach to Social Media marketing and create posts that people want to read, share and engage with. 2-3 high quality, relevant posts is much better than 10 pointless ones.
Post videos to Facebook
Video is becoming bigger – huge in fact, and it is here to stay. Video is an increasingly important marketing tool for capturing the attention of your audience and encourages excellent engagement.
Facebook allows you to directly upload videos, rather than having to share a video from another platform (such as YouTube) and this requires your audience to take an extra step in order to view it, however sharing your video content directly (natively) to Facebook means that your audience can watch your videos from within Facebook without the need to navigate elsewhere first, and this keeps them engaged and makes your video content easy to share.
Listen to others
It is great to have a voice on Social Media, but remember that Social Media serves as a platform for others to engage in sharing and discussion. It is important for businesses to have a voice, but it’s equally as important to encourage others to have one too.
Ask your followers engaging and thought provoking questions to get conversation flowing and to get insights from them. On Twitter consider posting weekly polls on relevant topics to encourage follower engagement. On Facebook elaborate more on topics of conversation, ask questions with more detail and remember to respond to those who comment.
Give credit to creators
When you are posting content originally created by others, always – ALWAYS – credit the original author and never take credit for someone else’s work. Whilst this is pretty obvious, a lot of people seem to overlook this and not crediting the original author sends out negative signals to your audience and the original creators.
Don’t forget the images
We are all highly visual – a picture speaks a thousand words and all, so if you’re not including images as an integral part of your Social Media strategy you are doing your business a disservice.
You can find loads of royalty free image websites to get great images to use with your posts, and where possible try to resize your images to the correct dimensions for each platform. Sprout Social have written this really handy guide to image sizes for Social Media.
Ineffective sponsored ads
Given the stiff competition that many businesses and brands now face on Social Media, Sponsored Ads are fast becoming an important and necessary part of a Social Media marketing strategy, however before embarking on a sponsored ad campaign, it is important to carefully consider what you want to achieve from it.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- What do you want to accomplish with your sponsored ad campaign?
- How much do you want to spend?
- Is the content / product / service / offer or promotion going to generate engagement and conversion?
- Where do you plan to target your ad geographically, and to what target audience and age group(s)?
As with any marketing, the best results come from campaigns that have identified a clear / specific goal / outcome.
Don’t forget the stats
When running a Social Media strategy, it can be easy to fall into the trap of just posting the same content all the time, but how do you know what content is and isn’t working?
Facebook and Twitter (as well as other platforms) provide great built-in stats to show you how successful your campaign is, and this will help you to identify areas in need of improvement.
You can also use Google Analytics to discover how much traffic is coming through to your website from each Social Media platform you use along with other relevant stats, such as the pages people are looking at most on your website, what content is most popular, how much time people are spending looking at your website and much, much more.
Try something new
Social Media is unique and each business will find their own way(s) to achieve Social Media marketing success, however you may find that marketing activities and tactics that work now might not be as effective in the future. As a result, you should always be testing and experimenting with new ideas and ways to deliver your messages to your Social audiences.
Try experimenting on one Social Media channel first and this will give you a great insight into what is and isn’t working, allowing you to roll out something similar across your other Social Media channels.
Final thoughts and summary
Social Media is a great tool for any business that wants to build a presence online that extends beyond Google (either SEO or AdWords) and a presence that also enables you to interact on a more casual, informal level with your customers and clients. It is also an incredibly powerful (and free) tool for marketing your business to new customers and old.
Use Social Media to best suit you, your business and most of all your customers and make sure you keep your platforms active – customers that discover your business via Social Media expect to see an up-to-date presence, not a Twitter account that hasn’t been posted to in months.
Finally, if you do struggle to find the time to keep your Social Media channels active and up-to-date, we can handle your Social Media management for you. If you would like to find out more about Social Media marketing, please get in touch with us!