We’ve talked about why social media is an important part of your inbound strategy (See Why You Can’t Ignore Social Media as Part of Your Inbound Strategy), and now we want to help you avoid some common social media mistakes. Learning what works for your brand can take time, but luckily we already know what definitely doesn’t work
We can’t stress enough how important it is to have a strategy for your social media campaign. Every brand looking to get social needs to understand their marketing goals, and tailor their actions to achieving those goals. Without goals, you will have no direction, and your audience will be able to tell that you’re social media compass doesn’t point north.
Two Ears, One Mouth
Have you heard the saying that you have two ears and only one mouth because you’re supposed to listen twice as much as you talk?
The same is true for social media. Many brands make the mistake of thinking they know what their audience wants, but the only way to truly understand what your audience wants to see and read is to listen to what they’re already saying about you, your industry, and your competitors. Keyword research and social monitoring are the best way to do this.
Be the Tortoise – Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Don’t be the hare. Social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint. Don’t initiate a social media marketing campaign expecting immediate results – it takes time to build followers, and even more time to create meaningful relationships with loyal brand advocates.
Enter your social media campaign expecting it to be an ongoing process, and make sure you have the resources to back it up. If you don’t have the financial resources or the people-power to dedicate enough time per day or week to maintaining your campaign, your social media efforts will stumble.
Don’t Be Full of Yourself
We all know that person – the one who shows up to a party and can only talk about themself. Too much self-promotion will turn your audience off. Someone may choose to follow or like your page, but that doesn’t mean they’re signing up for constant promotional messages. The harder you sell, the less likely you are to see a positive response to your social media efforts.
Branded or self-promotional posts, unless they link to a legitimately valuable piece of content (like a how-to guide, tutorial, or resource), tend to generate the least engagement. Follow the golden rule of content marketing – the 80/20 rule. 80% of your content should be unbranded, informative, and not promotional, while remaining 20% can be promotional. The point is not to overwhelm your audience with branded, sales-pitchy messages.
Don’t Be A Wallflower
Social media platforms are an excellent place to interact directly with your customers, so make sure you actually interact! Ask questions, respond to questions, and converse with your customers.
Opening your brand up to conversation with your audience means you’ll receive more positive and negative feedback. Don’t be afraid of negative feedback! Every brand receives it, and the way you deal with negative comments will say a lot about you. Handle it tactfully, and work with your customers to find a good solution to their concerns. You’re audience will reward you for your openness and honesty.
No social media campaign runs perfectly – every brand makes mistakes, but it’s easy to avoid some of the biggest ones. Nolan Wilson Freelance can help you avoid making the big mistakes to begin with by helping you develop an effective social media marketing campaign. Are you ready to get started?
Nolan Wilson is a Freelance writer in Toronto that specializes in SEO writing and blogging. He has a Master’s Degree in Library and Information Science and is a professional member of the PWAC. Connect with him on Google + and Twitter.