What We’re You Thinking? Classic Social Media Fails
By Reece Fry
Social media has gone from a fun way to waste time to a fundamental part of any online marketing campaign. Businesses today know that they need a presence on social media, and they know that they have to invest in various platforms to get great results. But there is much more to social media than posting a few updates each week, and the problem with social media is that there are many ways to go wrong, and make potentially serious mistakes.
Here are some of the classic fails that businesses make with their social media marketing so you can avoid making them yourself:
Not Using The Right Platforms
One of the biggest problems when you’re starting out, as any social media management company will tell you, is failing to choose the right social platforms. There are many social networks to choose from, but the ones you choose will depend on who your target customer is and where they are most active. For example, as a B2B business, you will probably have more success on LinkedIn. But if you’re targeting millennials, you may have more success on Snapchat. And if you sell visual products, a Pinterest account may be better. You need to know your target audience, what they care about, and which issues they face. You need to find out where they’re most active, and then you need to get involved in the debate.
Ignoring Negative Comments
You’re going to receive a lot of comments on social media (or at least you hope you will). But some of these are almost certain to be negative, and one of the biggest mistakes you can make is ignoring these. While it’s easy to respond to positive comments by saying thank you, it’s often tempting to just ignore negative comments and hope they will go unnoticed. But the thing about social media is that comments never go unnoticed. They will stay there for all the world to see, and how you react to them will affect your reputation and brand image. By responding professionally to negative comments, you can show that you care about your customers’ experiences and that you want to help them. This will look positive for potential customers, helping you to win new business.
Not Having An Employee Policy In Place
Some of the biggest social media mishaps are made when an untrained employee does something stupid. It’s easy to make a mistake, and perhaps an employee takes offense to a comment and insults a customer. Sometimes these things happen on social media even if they would never happen offline, and the results can be terrible for the business concerned. To prevent this from happening, make sure you have a very strict social media policy for all the employees who post under your business’s name. This should include what to do when they encounter a negative comment so you can avoid the kind of negative publicity that a bad tweet going viral can cause.
Failing To Use Analytics
Analytics are used for all types of online marketing, and social media is no different. If you’re not using an analytics tool, you’re not getting the most from your marketing efforts. Use a tool to find out how much engagement your posts are generating, the type of content that resonates most with your target audience, and where most of your website traffic and sales are coming from. Then you can improve upon what you’re doing right to ensure you get the most from all the time you spend on social media.
Not Using Hashtags Correctly
Hashtags began on Twitter, but they are now used on various social platforms. Despite being quite a simple tool, many businesses are still failing to get the most from them. To avoid using hashtags incorrectly, don’t use too many of them. It’s often tempting to stuff in lots, but this won’t do anything. Stick to just one or two per email. And don’t use irrelevant hashtags either because they won’t help you to get your tweet seen. Instead, target your hashtags strategically to improve your reach. Use industry hashtags to attract new followers, or create effective hashtags that works well with your brand.
Avoid These Social Mistakes
These are some of the most common mistakes that businesses make with their social media marketing efforts. So look carefully at your own social marketing strategy and identify where you’re going wrong. Then avoid making these yourself to get much more from your social platforms.
Reece Fry is a business consultant who works primarily with businesses on their social media and website development. His articles appear on marketing, social media and broad business blogs.