It’s not as easy as you’d think to do social right. There’s a lot that can go wrong, even if you do everything you’re supposed to – and a single mistake can turn a social marketing strategy from a great success into a total flub.
Naturally, some mistakes are more common than others.
Maybe you’re not accurately representing your brand. Maybe you don’t understand your target demographic, or perhaps you simply didn’t properly prepare yourself for an extended social campaign. Either way, all the items on this list are errors you undeniably want to avoid.
1 - Broadcasting without Engaging:
This is probably one of the most common mistakes. A lot of businesses that establish themselves on a social network don’t actually do anything to engage with their customers. They simply belch out information, without thinking about how it engages their customers, or trying to draw users in. Social media is about building connections, and about creating relationships- consumers are already inundated with enough information, they don’t need to add more to the glut.
2 – Assuming Social Marketing Equals Success: Social networks are like any other form of advertising- they aren’t always going to work. You could do everything right, and end up falling short simply because of unfortunate circumstances (though that’s not likely to happen). A lot of organizations assume they’ll see significant ROI simply because they’ve decided to go social- but that’s not the case. A single mistake is all it takes.
3 - Poor Preparation:
A social campaign isn’t something you can just jump into. It takes time, effort, resources, and creativity. You need to do your homework, research your demographic, figure out a way to connect with your customers, and figure out clear cut policies and a concrete strategy. If anything, pulling off a successful social marketing campaign is actually more work than any other ad campaign you could possibly run- so prepare accordingly. Further, consider all possible outcomes before launching a campaign – there’ve been plenty of social campaigns which ended up doing little aside from damaging the reputation of the organization running them, because they didn’t consider all the possibilities.
4 - Too Much Self-Promotion:
This one goes hand in hand with too much information. Don’t get too ‘salesy.’ While most people understand that you’re trying to sell them something – you are, after all, running a business- they don’t like having that fact shoved in their face at every opportunity. Promoting your product or your organization too much will make your customers feel like they’re just dealing with a walking billboard, and they’ll disconnect almost immediately.
5 - Not Making Things Relevant:
You need to figure out a means of making things relevant and interesting for the people you’re trying to connect with. What that means depends entirely on the demographic, and the product you’re trying to sell to them. There’s no method for making things relevant that’ll work all the time. You’ve just got to know your target demographic.
6 - Not Being Personable Enough:
While there needs to be a certain degree of professionalism in how you operate you also need to put a face on your brand. People can’t connect with a faceless corporation- they connect best with other people. You need someone who knows their stuff, someone who’s got charisma and knows how social networks operate to head your operation.
7 – Airing Dirty Laundry:
If you’re going to establish a social presence, and you’ve got more than one employee involved in it, keep a very, very close eye on them. There’ve been plenty of instances where a single, rogue employee has absolutely devastated the reputation of a brand or business simply by acting like a child online- and evidently forgetting that everything they say is said in public.
8 – Lack of Resources:
As we’ve already said, running a social media campaign isn’t an easy thing to do. You’re going to need to allocate the proper amount of time, energy, and resources to the campaign in order to keep it up and running. Marketing staff, social apps, platforms, strategy, time, and money are all vital if you’re going to keep a campaign running.
9 - Lack of Activity:
You need to stay active if you’re in the social sphere. That should go without saying- Social networks are the source of huge torrents of information, and it’s incredibly easy for your organization to get lost in an ocean of data if you’re not careful. That said, don’t overload people with information – you need to find the right balance between active and overactive.
10 - Ignoring Brand Problems:
If you’ve got a broken brand, you need to address that first- no amount of social marketing will fix an ingrained, underlying issue with your product or organization. Quite the contrary- you could actually end up causing more problems than you had before. If people have an issue with how you run your customer service department, for example, offering that customer service through a social network doesn’t mean you’ve fixed the problem.