It is hard to do things right on social media, really hard.
But it is worth the efforts because social media is a powerful marketing tool. The statistics of a Sprout Social Survey of 1,000 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users are:
A. Over 57 per cent respondents were more likely to buy from a brand they follow on social media.
B. 86 per cent say they want to and do follow their favorite brands on social media. But when they do, they are looking for relevant content and not cringe-worthy posts from any random brand.
Unfortunately, most of what they want is contradictory, the survey revealed. Getting your social media right means to carefully navigate amid conflicting priorities, engage with your audience and closely monitor what turns them on or off.
These are the four biggest mistakes entrepreneurs make while doing social media marketing. I bet you'd be doing at least one of these things wrong -- so here are their fixes.
#1. No Social Media Strategy
Creating a social media strategy is far more than posting updates or informing people about sales and new products. It is more than sharing relevant information. Your social media strategy is considered successful when you are able to interact and engage with your audience.
If setting up a social media strategy seems so simple, then why do most strategies fail?
If you have opened an organic restaurant, it is not because it's a trending business. Not because people aren't eating healthy and you want to change it. Explain in your words why organic food is healthy and what your menu offers to the locals.
Setting up the core values, vision statement, goals, deadlines and a brand image will help your social media strategy fall in place.
Everything you do or want to accomplish will be based on the pain points your target audience faces. Start with knowing your key performance indicators. They could be:
- Social media presence
- Social media engagement
- Social media reach and influence
- Action and ROI
Match the key metrics with the goals, track them regularly and constantly review the strategy to measure its effectiveness.
In the absence of a strategy, you'll end up repeating the same mistakes -- and will be wasting your time and resources. Documenting the social media strategy shows you what went wrong and where to make necessary changes.
#2. Not Selecting the Right Channel Where Your Audience is Present
The six key social networks according to their monthly active users are:
Facebook: 1.28 billion
Google+: 540 million
Twitter: 255 million
Instagram: 200 million
LinkedIn: 187 million
Pinterest: 40 million
The key questions that will help you know the right social network are:
- Which social network can my users not live without?
- Will more users mean more competition for attention?
- Does the network fit your demography?
- Does it make sense for my content to be posted here?
- Do potential customers spend time here?
- Does it make sense for me to be here?
Jason DeMers, the founder of AudienceBloom, broke down social networks into the following seven parts:
- Kitchen-sink networks: Twitter and Facebook
- Image-based networks: Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr
- Video networks: YouTube, Vimeo, Vine
- Business-focused networks: LinkedIn
- SEO and authorship networks: Google+
- Location-based networks: Foursquare, Yelp
- Niche networks: reddit
Here are the answers to which networks you should join:
Should you be on Facebook?
Yes, if the competition doesn't bother you. With more than 70 per cent of adults online actively using Facebook, it is the most popular social network. If your customers use the internet, they are most likely to be on Facebook.
However, with competition accompanies great popularity. Their newsfeed is crowded for your business posts and updates.
Should you be on Twitter?
The users on Twitter are information junkies, looking for a wide range of information - ranging from technology, news, sports, gaming, journalism and much more.
How frequently should you post here? There is no one answer to this question -- it depends on your business and customers. SocialBro tells you the kind of topics trending with your audience. Use Buffer or HootSuite to schedule your tweets to be posted consistently. Socialert monitors your brand keywords and business keywords on Twitter to find mentions that really matter for your brand.
Should you be on LinkedIn?
While B2B companies love LinkedIn, the B2C companies are still trying to figure out their business game.
The audience here is looking for information related to networking, productivity, subject expertise and job hunting.
Should you be on Instagram?
With more than 700 million users, if photography is your brand's jam - this is where your target audience hangs out. Be cautious -- this audience seldom responds to marketing sell. Come up with ways to engage your existing audience and attract new followers.
Should you be on Google+?
A caution - it seems a bit quiet here sometimes. The user base is large and the competition is low. Additionally, sharing posts here impacts your SEO.
Should you be on Pinterest?
Yes, if visuals form a vital part of your content. If your business caters to categories such as women, food or DIY - this demographics is a great fit.
#3. Failing to Consistently Come up With Good Content
I understand how time-consuming it is to manage social media - often becoming a full time job.
According to eMarketer, 60 per cent of marketers creates at least one piece of content every day.
While this may sound doable, creating high-quality content takes up time and resources.
What you can do instead is harness the power of content curation. Share high-quality content from others.
The best example is the Twitter feed of Buffer's Director of Marketing -- Kevan Lee. Apart from sharing his own posts, he shares content from other sources, which is helpful to his audience.
Along with consistently sharing content, engage with your followers. If your audience stops engaging with your content, the organic reach of your posts reduces.
Simultaneously, use social monitoring to find high-quality content to curate, to keep an eye on competitors or leaders in your industry, to provide extraordinary customer service, to look for opportunities to grow and improve your products and service, or maybe of all these. Monitor where all is your brand being mentioned with tools such as Mention, Socialert, TweetReach, Klout, Google Alerts and FollowerWonk.
92 per cent of consumers trusts recommendations from other people - even if they don't know them personally - over promotional content from brands. Advertisers who implemented an influencer marketing program earned $6.85 in media value on an average for every $1 they spent on social media for influencer programs. Influencer marketing opens endless opportunities for your brand to amplify the reach of the content, connect to a newer relevant audience and build relations with prospects organically, and more directly.
#4. Start looking at the ROI data
According to the CMO Survey, social media spending increased 234 per cent from 2009 to 2017, accounting for 11.7 per cent of total marketing budgets. Still, only 20.3 per cent of marketers say they are able to prove the impact quantitatively.
The metrics you can use to measure the ROI are:
- Audience engagement
- Site traffic
- Leads generated
- Sign-ups and conversions
- Revenue generated
While deciding what metrics to measure, answer the following questions:
- Do they align with my objectives?
- Do they help me make decisions?
- Do I have the capacity to measure them effectively?
The metrics to measure the ROI would be based on your objectives. If your goal is to increase brand awareness, measure reach, impressions, and likes.
If the goal is to generate revenue, measure leads generated, site traffic, sign-ups, and conversions.
The formula to measure the ROI, according to Buffer is:
ROI = (Return - Investment) / Investment
Investment here could be defined as either -
- Lifetime value
- Lifetime value multiplied by conversion rate
- Average sale
- PPC cost
Treat your social media followers the same way you would treat your in-house customers or clients.
By being only on those social media platforms which matter, answering to messages and engaging with followers is manageable.
Use social media to build relations with life-long brand supporters.