By Pankaj Narang
Using social media is now a staple in any brand’s marketing strategy. However, not every brand implements their strategy as effectively as others. This is usually because a single department or individual undermines things, resulting in the whole brand’s image on social media turning into a shambles.
This is why it’s critical that everyone involved in social media marketing knows the mistakes that can be made and how they can avoid making them.
SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGERS
They manage a brand’s online presence on all social media platforms and supervise everyone else on the team, but they can make some careless errors as well.
#1. APPROVING THE POSTING OF SAME CONTENT ACROSS PLATFORMS
To get a consumer’s attention would require more specific content rather than some generic post slapped across all your platforms. Your customers will be able to point this out and figure out that you don’t prioritize sending out personalized and relevant content. This means that if social media managers can organize different content for each network, then consumers get better vibes from the brand overall.
The solution to this has consistency through all social media channels but a distinct difference between each post. You can achieve consistency by using the same type of images across platforms so users can tell it’s you without having to look at the account or handle. However, make sure that the content you approve of is platform-specific and differs from what you’ve posted elsewhere. Hiring professional designers to optimize campaign images and posters for certain platforms is highly recommended.
#2. USING AUTOMATED RESPONSE SYSTEMS FOR CUSTOMERS
The reasoning for this mistake is similar to the previous one but it has more to do with customer interaction. In your defense, it’s undeniable that automated response systems are highly convenient as they can operate and provide answers at any time of the day thus, catering to customers in different time zones.
But when your customers have a problem or are dissatisfied, you wouldn’t want to add fuel to the fire by sending generic customer service responses. Didn’t the Bank of America incident teach you anything? Automated responses make the brand look like they’re too lazy to interact with customers themselves.
An easy solution to this is to organize your schedule and take out time to interact with customers. Checking comments and replying accordingly will help boost your brand’s image. This approach will make you seem more interactive. It also makes customers feel more like they’re dealing with regular people rather than a corporation.
#3. NOT IMPLEMENTING BRAND VALUES IN YOUR POSTS
When it comes to products and service, the market is too saturated for you to stand out using sheer distinctness using your product only. No, a brand needs something far more unique that’s thought up and imagined instead of factory produced. It needs a set of core values. What a brand stands for and the stance it takes on particular issues has a huge impact on consumers.
People are more likely to give money to a brand that promotes the same beliefs as them, so there’s no reason to not take advantage of this. Many brands make the mistake of appearing as insentient to consumers which gives them less of a reason to approach them. Take GoPro for example, they aim to prove that their versatile cameras are perfect for any situation. They do so by posting user-generated content on their Instagram account. Now that’s a way to advertise!
Implementing your core values into the content you publish on social media platforms will make your brand appear more human. This is why a brand’s social media marketing strategy should include weekly publishing of cause-related content. Scheduling to post on certain days such as awareness days is a good option. You can keep away from political views if you wish but some brands are crossing those boundaries nowadays too.
#4. NOT TARGETING SPECIFIC AUDIENCE FOR YOUR BRAND
It’s essential that every brand has a target audience for whom they’ve crafted or designed the product. Social media marketing managers must be able to get the brand’s messages to the target population on specific platforms. Not defining a clear audience for your message would result in confusion and a lack of response towards the brand’s social media marketing efforts.
Using social analytics tools will be a huge help, and these services come free, so there’s no reason not to use them. Make sure that you define the kind of people the brand is looking to cater to so that all other departments can use creative ideas to engage with them.
#5. NOT HAVING A CALENDAR FOR SOCIAL SCHEDULING
This doesn’t refer to a personal schedule but more of a brand’s posting schedule by which writers produce content that is relevant to a particular season so it can garner a large response rate. Not have a scheduling process can mean that writers post their best work at bad times when it’s not likely to be viewed as much as it would be when it’s peak season. Learn a thing or two from Oreo; when the brand used a blackout during the 2013 Super Bowl to their advantage.
Fix this problem by making a schedule by which the brand’s social media platforms can feature optimized content around the times when most people are likely to see them. If your brand sells fitness products, for example, the peak season to post about losing weight and emphasizing on the importance of fitness is around the holidays when everyone gains a lot of weight and needs to get back in shape.
CONTENT WRITERS AND MARKETERS
As the minds behind the words, they are responsible for the way that consumers will interpret a marketing message. They can make significant mistakes that cause a lot of trouble.
#6. TRYING TO SELL PRODUCTS VIA CONTENT
With the pressure to produce effective and compelling content, it’s possible that writers may try to become too compelling by trying to sell products through social media. This is proven to be a wrong strategy since it can make readers and potential customers feel like the brand is out for their money and nothing else. Although you may argue that it’s true, it’s necessary that customers don’t feel that way because after they buy from you once, a healthy relationship is the only thing to make them buy again.
The solution to this is that writers leave the selling to the sales team and instead focus on building better customer relations through wholesome content. As mentioned in #2, customers like dealing with actual people and not a heartless corporation. This is why writers should concentrate on improving the content that makes readers feel like the people behind the brand care and have a genuine interest in them and not their wallets.
#7. PRODUCING UNRELATED CONTENT RESPECTIVE TO BRAND IMAGE
It’s one thing for a brand to have a stance on certain issues but it’s another to post content that doesn’t relate to their message at all. Making such a mistake will leave the brand with a distorted image which can be devastating for business. This can happen pretty often when brands leave social media accounts to be handled by just anyone.
Take an example of the Vodafone incident when the Twitter account was in the hands of someone who was ‘irresponsible’ to say the least. Since it’s important for the brand to have a certain attitude, it’s even more crucial that it stays consistent throughout. This helps readers and customers recognize the brand based on content.
The solution to avoid such a mistake is to check any content from a different perspective and ask yourself how the message can benefit the brand or customers. So whether you’re trying to make a humorous comment or reference to an issue, make sure that it’s something your audience will want to know about.
#8. NOT WRITING CONTENT FOR SPECIFIC AUDIENCE
Once the social media marketing manager has defined the kind of people the campaign is targeting, then it’s essential that writers optimize their content so it can capture the audience’s attention accordingly. Writers shouldn’t try to take matters into their own hands by attempting to reach more people through general content because it can make it boring which won’t lead to a big response.
Not using specific language that is used by the target audience will result in generic compositions that will be scrolled past. So writers should make sure that the content they produce highlights actual issues faced by the target audience so it can generate a better response.
#9. NOT PROOFREADING YOUR CONTENT BEFORE POSTING
If your job is to produce good content for the brand’s social media marketing campaign, making an error and not proofreading it can have disastrous consequences. Sloppy and incompetent is just a few of the apt word that will be used to describe the brand’s campaign. It’s pretty obvious that the solution to protect the brand’s credibility is proofreading your content properly before sending it to a manager for approval. Otherwise, you risk making the same mistake as Sephora in 2014 when they failed to proofread their hashtag and got slammed for profanity.
They have more on their plate than they can handle so now and then they enforce seemingly good ideas which are big mistakes.
#10. USING GENERIC KEYWORDS IN BRANDED HASHTAG CAMPAIGNS
The little symbol, ‘#’, has taken over the internet due to its raging popularity across so many social media forums. So, of course, it makes sense for the brand’s campaign to incorporate it. However, implementing a hashtag trend should be done with caution because it may result in unrelated posts using your hashtag.
Make sure to optimize a hashtag that will distinctly promote the current message of your brand. Make sure that you don’t simply include the name in a hashtag like the NYPD’s #myNYPD campaign. Generic and common hashtags can lead to a mix-up and confusion so make sure to come up with something that can be traced back to the brand. A unique hashtag that is exclusive to the brand will help in gaining more popularity across social media platform form the targeted population.
#11. PAYING FOR A ‘BOOST’ TO PROMOTE BRANDED CAMPAIGN
It’s fairly common for brands to have their ads and posts sponsored to gain more views but paying for fake activity is an ineffective tactic. These accounts won’t lead to any actual communication with the target population. Instead, it’s just like being your own customer which makes it sound like an impractical strategy.
Stick to reaching out to real people of the brand’s targeted population so that the campaign gains more hype and attention. These people will also be eager and interested in spreading the word about the brand’s products and services.
#12. TRYING TO USE EVERY SINGLE PLATFORM TO PROMOTE YOUR BRAND.
It’s much better to go all out and call this tactic stupid, so everyone gets the message that it won’t work. Creating a brand’s account on several social media platforms just for the sake of it will result in the inability to manage them all so many of them will end up abandoned. Not managing even a single account properly will lead to giving improper information to consumers if the account isn’t deactivated.
As mentioned above, focus on the target population by promoting the brand across forums that you know they will use. Take an example of fashion and cosmetic brands that will stick to more visual outlets like Instagram while it would make no sense for them to have a LinkedIn account. This is much more effective is more likely to gain more traction and spread more awareness.
They put in a lot of effort to generate more leads for a campaign to be successful. However, effort without strategy means nothing which can explain why so many brands don’t reach their marketing goals.
#13. NOT LISTENING TO CUSTOMER PROBLEMS
It happens pretty often that members of a sales team treat a social media lead like that of any other platform. This results in them using social media platforms as a megaphone that simply allows them to boast about a product. This can decrease the overall number of leads due to uninterested consumers that aren’t being listened to.
Learn to listen to what prospective customers have to say and engage with them. Learning about what issues they have and connecting a solution to the brand’s product is a better way to generate more leads. You can also just use a social media account as a way to interact better with followers. Even if you have to be a bit witty, just like the Wendy’s Twitter account. Do your research about what your targeted population has problems with and prepare better responses so you can satisfy any prospective customers.
#14. BEING TOO FORMAL AND NOT TRYING NEW CUSTOMER ACQUISITION IDEAS
Using formal language can make consumers feel like they’re talking to a robot.This can hurt a brand’s image from being friendly to money-minded and snobbish. Make sure to use informal language because as mentioned before, consumers like to feel like they’re communicating with real people that can understand them so feel free to communicate in a way that is easier to understand without getting carried away. It’s been proven that brands which use emojis in their social media posts garner more attention from the public and are more favored. An example of this is Domino’s which made it possible to order their pizza by using the pizza emoji.
#15. NOT ANSWERING QUESTIONS FROM YOUR CUSTOMERS
Responding to people’s questions by rudely directing them elsewhere isn’t helpful, and it’s even worse if you don’t respond at all. Prospective customers feel less of a need to buy from a brand that doesn’t prioritize them so be careful to set aside time to answer their questions in detail.
Make sure that you respond to any questions and feedback even if it’s negative because they’ll feel more inclined to buy from a brand that prioritizes their worries and caters to them accordingly.
SOCIAL MEDIA MISTAKES – YOUR TURN
What other social media mistakes you have faced? Share with us and if they are interesting we will add them to our list.
P.S. This article was published originally on the socialert blog here
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