Social media is the most powerful marketing tool in your arsenal. With minimal investment, it allows you to better understand your audience, promote your business and brand, and engage with new and existing customers. To succeed in this arena, it’s imperative that you pay attention to the needs of each specific demographic your social strategy targets.
Social media, at its core, is about relationship-building. About conversations with your customers. With that in mind, listening to and understanding audience feedback can make or break your brand.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of brands that don’t quite grasp that. As a result, they end up doing social media woefully wrong. We’ve compiled a few of their most common gaffes here, along with warning signs that your social marketing efforts might not be bearing fruit.
The newsfeed of your brand should not feel tedious or overly sales-y. People love content that entertains, informs, and engages. Shamelessly self-promotional posts achieve none of this.
If every single piece of content you publish on social is a bland advertising spot, your audience will ultimately tune out.
For generating direct sales, you have paid social ads. The content you post on your feed should provide value. This can take a few different forms, depending on what sort of relationship you want to establish with your audience:
- Q&A sessions that allow the audience to share details about themselves.
- Invitations to post user-created content such as photos, videos, or stories.
- Opportunities for discounts and special offers.
- Content that’s designed to provide entertainment, such as through humor.
- Informative content, such as how-to’s or white papers.
For everything you share, add a personal touch – allow your brand’s personality to shine through. Be unashamed of what your business stands for, what it values, and what causes you represent. People are watching how your company conducts itself now more than ever, so it’s imperative that you demonstrate empathy and care for your customers.
Because if you treat people like little more than walking wallets, they’ll know.
Digital Over- or Under-Saturation
You might think it’s better to post and advertise as much as possible. Unfortunately, you’d be incorrect. Whether you’re posting on social or maintaining a mailing list, there’s a ‘sweet spot’ in terms of content volume.
Post too much, and people will rapidly become annoyed with your business, classify you as a spammer, and either unfollow or ignore your content. Post too little, and people will inevitably start to forget you exist. Fortunately, the fix to this is relatively simple.
As noted by social media expert Louise Myers:
- You should post on Facebook a minimum of three times per week and a maximum of once per day.
- Your Twitter feed should, at most, have 15 posts a day.
- Post 11 times on Pinterest each day.
- For Instagram, post a maximum of twice daily.
- On LinkedIn, one post a day is ideal.
If your audience is not interacting with your content at all – if you’re receiving no likes or shares – that’s a clear sign you need to go back to the planning table to rethink your social media strategy. Go back to the beginning and identify the following:
- Who is your customer base?
- What balance do you want to strike between engagement and direct sales?
- What type of content do you want to publish, and what expertise do you need to publish it?
- What do you want to accomplish in the long-term?
- What do you want to accomplish in the short-term?
- What time should you post each day?
- What is your brand’s identity?
By creating this outline of what you want to accomplish and establishing a content schedule, you set yourself up for success.
Moreover, by scheduling posts in advance, you give yourself time to make any last-minute edits, react to current events, and focus on engagement rather than development. Social media is all about building relationships. By understanding who your audience is and why they’ve engaged with your brand, you can do exactly that.