Near the turn of the millennium, social networks and internet marketing used to be two distinct online phenomena. The former was seen as a new way to keep in touch with friends online, whereas the latter was mostly concerned with running explicit ads on websites. Today, it’s hard to imagine a digital marketing strategy that doesn’t involve social media in some capacity. However, although social media marketing is currently the dominant digital marketing paradigm, even its most ardent practitioners are still prone to making certain mistakes. And the success of an SMM campaign rests as much on your ability to avoid missteps, as it does on your skill in implementing the right SMM tactics. To learn more about what you should avoid doing on social media, check out our list of top 5 SMM mistakes that businesses tend to make.
Proceeding Without a Plan
Many companies assume that social media marketing simply involves posting on Facebook or Instagram. In reality, this kind of approach is at best ineffective, and at worst it can actively damage your online reputation. As a business, before you start doing anything on social media, you first have come up with a plan. Such a plan should include explicit, measurable goals you want to achieve, concrete tactics for accomplishing them, and a system for measuring performance. Without a plan in place, you will be forced to come up with marketing ideas on the fly, which is both inefficient, and error-prone.
Posting Uninteresting Content
While social networks are now primarily understood as marketing channels, their primary function is still to facilitate meaningful interactions between regular people. In such an environment, approaching people with an explicit sales pitch or generic corporate content is bound to create resentment. According to some of the best digital marketing companies currently in the business, what is needed instead is a more carefully approach, one where explicit advertising takes a backseat to provide valuable content and meaningful interactions. The goal here is to present your company as one participant among many in the online discussion, in order to win people over by showcasing your own unique online personality.
Failing to Post Regular Content Updates
Being unique on social media is important, but it is possible to take this approach too far in the direction of eccentricity. More specifically, while regular social media users have the freedom to post on social media whenever they feel like it, as a company running an SMM campaign, you don’t have this privilege. Posting content updates erratically will disincentivize people from following your page, as they won’t know what to expect from you. A more meaningful approach would be to develop a strict content calendar and then stick with it. Doing this will make it easier for people to get accustomed to consuming your content as a part of their daily social media habits.
Mishandling Negative Feedback
Social networks gave people the ability to express themselves in any way they like, and this includes venting their frustrations in a vocal way. It is quite possible that your company, intentionally or unintentionally, might cause these kinds of reactions in people, and they likely won’t hesitate to let you know. Knowing how to deal with these situations is crucial for running a successful SMM campaign. If your approach to dealing with negative feedback is to lash out at your audience, they will start leaving in droves, possibly taking their friends with them. This is an outcome you have to avoid at all costs, which is why it is imperative to maintain a calm and collected demeanor when responding to criticism on social media.
Chasing Vanity Metrics
While it may be tempting to use social media as a regular consumer would, you always have to remember that your primary goal should be to bring some tangible benefit to your business. Running an SMM campaign takes time and resources, which means it needs to bring a measurable return on investment. Unfortunately, it easy to get sidetracked in this regard by focusing on the wrong metrics for success. Having a sizable number of likes for each of your posts might seem great, but this doesn’t mean your company is making palpable gains. The same goes for the number of followers – unless these people are actively engaging with your company by converting into customers down the line, it matters very little how high the counter goes.
Just like every other form marketing, SMM has its own share of mistakes and pitfalls. These problems can range from simple to severe, and companies of all sizes are prone to committing them. Fortunately, with a bit of foresight and creativity, practically all of them can be avoided, thus ensuring your business can safely reap the benefits of SMM.