Business

Top Social Media Marketing Mistakes Brands Make

Business enterprises are constantly looking to expand their markets and reach out to new areas. As the world moves online with around 4.66 billion users as of January 2021, the social media segment alone commands a whopping 4.2 billion users (Source: Statista). This is almost 57 percent of the global population, which by any stretch of the imagination is a goldmine for marketers to leverage. Undoubtedly social media marketing has emerged as an asset for businesses and other entities to reach out to their potential customers or users, build a loyal following, and enhance brand awareness. 

However, many times, one hears dissonant comments like “social media marketing doesn’t work”. These are made by businesses that tend to get hasty in launching a social media marketing campaign without getting the basics right. Remember, people visit social media to interact, make new friends, express themselves, and know about the world around them, among others. Prima facie, they are not much interested in knowing about a brand and the product and services it offers. So, it is up to the brands to figure out how to leverage social media marketing services and get favourable results. In doing so, they must avoid making common social media marketing mistakes as mentioned below?

Common social media marketing mistakes brands make   

In a competitive online market where every other business leverages digital marketing services to expand their sales funnel and drive conversions, they often end up making common mistakes in social media marketing. Let us understand them in detail. 

Improper marketing plan: Social media marketing is not just about posting a few content or pictures once in a while on various platforms and wait for the world to take notice and follow you. It needs proper planning, adequate budgetary allocation, defining the KPIs, creating a content strategy, and making use of the right channels. Do not focus on all social media channels at once and end up not making any impact in any of them. Rather, based on your target audience, choose a specific social media platform. For example, if you run a consultancy service, it is better to leverage LinkedIn for marketing. On the other hand, if you run a travel business, then Instagram and/or YouTube can be good choices. Simply put, you must launch your marketing campaign on a social media platform that has a greater likelihood of catching eyeballs. Study your target audience and reach out to them where they are likely to be present in greater numbers.  

Being too promotional: Social media marketing should be about building a relationship with your target audience and not bombarding them with promotional content every time. Reduce the frequency of promotional posts and instead share posts that intend to build trust in your brand. These could be educational or even entertaining in nature. Remember, the ultimate aim is to engage with your target audience and not make them find value in everything you dish out. So, post original content such as blogs, articles, and e-books to highlight your brand’s USP, expertise, and knowledge.

Use of irrelevant hashtags: Social media and hashtags have become synonymous with each other. These are used by individuals, groups, businesses, entities, and organizations to start a conversation and make it trendy. Thus, in case you want your brand to get noticed, involve in a trending conversation and let scores of users see your account. Sounds simple? Not quite! Let us find out. 

When joining a conversation using a hashtag if you end up making a false move, even though inadvertently, your brand image can take a beating. And deleting the post may not help you redeem the brand image as the same remains on web archives. To cite an example, using a trending topic about paying tribute to some famous person should not be used by a brand to capitalize on. In the image below, a famous shoe company is seen paying tribute to David Bowie, the English songwriter while advertising its brand. Such blatant use of a trending hashtag should be avoided as heartbroken fans may not appreciate a business or brand capitalizing on their idol’s demise. 

Therefore, it is better to stick to the basic and relevant hashtags that align with your brand ethos and values.

Not take a stand on issues: Now this can be a double-edged sword and if played well can create a loyal following for your brand, which can be cultivated to garner sales. Today, people prefer brands that take a stand on certain social or environmental issues. For example, Gillette took a firm social stand in response to the #metoo movement by launching #thebestamancanbe campaign. It sparked a debate by taking a stand against toxic masculinity and its pernicious forms such as bullying and sexual harassment. This campaign by Gillette was mentioned more than a million times within 24 hours of its launch. However, a word of caution here! While you may join or start a conversation on trending topics, keep in mind that such topics can often be polarising. It should not happen that your brand ends up making both sides of the conversation upset. Hence, taking a reasonable stand on issues based on your brand values can help create a loyal following and generate traffic for your business. 

Not using the comment section: One way your brand can boost the engagement rate with your target audience is to get comments on your posts, be it on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Instagram. When your audience sees that you have responded to their comments, they feel cared for and develop trust with your brand. However, many brands go silent when it comes to responding to comments made by members of their target audience. They are of the mistaken belief that it is only the post that garners eyeballs and starting a conversation in the comments section can be time-consuming. Remember, every comment made in response to your posts gives you an opportunity to engage with your audience – the precursor to creating a loyal group of followers. 

Remove negative comments: There are chances that your post may invite negative comments from certain people for no fault of yours. You may counter them diplomatically and engage in a conversation but only up to a point. However, it won’t be a good idea to delete the whole thread. By replying to any negative comments you show your target audience that you have nothing to hide. In case someone highlights any error or wrongdoing on your part, make it a point to thank him or her and take the advice to improve. However, if someone appears to be toxic and finds pleasure in making negative comments without any rhyme or reason, it is better to ignore them. 

Measure wrong metrics: Just having scores of followers on your social media accounts won’t do your business any good unless you are able to convert a part of them into making sales. So, while measuring the metrics, it does not always make sense to be happy about the growing number of followers/fans on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. Social media marketing should be about measuring the impact of your efforts on your business. So, measure the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns in real business terms instead of getting misled by vanity metrics such as the number of followers on specific platforms. Get a good analytics tool to measure and assess the performance of your marketing efforts. By tracking analytics you can make informed decisions about building strategies for targeted marketing campaigns, monitoring customer engagement, improving conversions and brand equity. 

Conclusion 

The above-mentioned mistakes should be an eye-opener for brands to strategize their social media marketing campaigns. Start with penning down your marketing goals, target audience, and plans to reach out to them. In case you are unsure of going about it, hire experienced marketers offering social media marketing services, and let your brand become competitive.