Are your social media marketing (SMM) efforts paying off, or missing the mark? If your metrics are painting a picture of the former, you might be making a few of these common mistakes. Read on for some things to avoid, and some things to try—plus a few cautionary tips.
1.Going in without a strategy
An SMM plan is much more than just “Post three tweets a day, five days a week”—a good plan sets clear goals, matches plans to those goals, then assigns metrics by which you’ll measure your success.
Social media can be a waste of time and budget without a focused effort. Choose your platforms wisely, leverage integrations to help you corral data and metrics from each, engage a pro to keep your messaging on brand, and post with consistency and purpose.
2. Neglecting comments, questions, or posts from fans—especially negative ones
Sometimes, you don’t have to do anything wrong for a social campaign to tank—in fact sometimes, it’s what you don’t do. People use social media platforms to connect and converse. Use your brand’s profiles as a bullhorn—only talking about yourself, and never acknowledging interactions—and engagement will drop off. That lack of engagement can have far-reaching effects (i.e. your content won’t be seen) thanks to algorithms designed to show posts from accounts users interact with most.
3. Being too sporadic about when and where you post
We hear you when you say that you’re not going to post just for the sake of posting—and that’s spot on, considering users have the ability to block a brand that only posts timeline-crowding fluff. There’s value in waiting to post until you have something relevant to say, but try and spread across a few posts for more mileage, or create an editorial calendar that gives you topics to talk about on a more consistent basis. Otherwise, a lack of regular engagement may cause your content to be hidden thanks to algorithms.
4. Being too regular about when and where you post
There’s a flipside to the above. It’s possible to leverage automation too much, making your scheduled posts feel predictable and robotic. Be sure your SMM budget includes room to spend time on each platform daily, spend time interacting, share others’ content, and use relevant current events to your advantage.
5. Posting in any voice or tone, to an unspecified audience
Know who you’re talking to and you’ll be better able to craft a tone for how you talk to them. Social media is all about connecting—be sure your brand has a clearly defined personality that comes across consistently. And avoid being too salesy in what you post—it can come across as inauthentic and be a real turn-off for followers.
Tip: Your voice isn’t just limited to the copy of your posts—it can include the “flavor” of photos and videos you post, too.
6. Posting without proofreading
Some SMM foibles are worse than others. You don’t have to go full-on foot-in-mouth to make the wrong impression; sometimes, even a simple typo can require some damage control. Proofread, consider sensitive content from every angle, and when necessary, run certain posts by a legal consultant.
7. Only measuring success from vanity metrics
This misleading tactic might cause you to keep using ineffective tactics of fail to pivot your strategy because vanity metrics don’t matter, even though they might paint a rosy picture. Know what you’re measuring and how it’s contributing to your bottom line.
8. Not integrating your social media marketing with other marketing efforts
Have a blog, regular promotions, affiliate marketing, or landing pages used to drive sales, conversions, and traffic to your site? Cross-pollinate content and marry those efforts up with what you’re doing on social. But be sure to tailor the messages and intent with each platform, or it might end up feeling forced or out of place.
9. Posting uniformly across all platforms—or, putting the wrong objectives toward the wrong platforms
This speaks to the above, and to automation. You might not use the same voice, hashtags, or even the same content on Twitter that you would on Facebook. Integrations that make it easy to share content across all platforms are tempting, just make sure your posts don’t end up looking lazy or out of place.
For example, try not to use a program that automatically tweets your Facebook posts, or shares a link to an Instagram photo instead of the photo itself. Instead, take an extra second to post or upload photos natively to Twitter.
10. Not investing in paid social media promotion
It’s an unfortunate reality, but it’s hard to get your content seen on social as a branded page. When you’re working up a budget for your SMM, be sure to leave room for paid promotion so your more important content is getting better engagement when you need it to.
When it comes to spending money on SMM, however, don’t be tempted buy followers or pay bots to engage with your content. If you’re authentic and put in the work, engagement and audience will follow!
Social media marketing can be incredibly valuable to brands, letting you personally connect with customers where they spend a majority of their time online. Stay the course with a good strategy and the above tips, and you’ll be on the right track to serious SMM ROI.