Social media marketing has long been a nice-to-have but as Generation Z enters the workforce and increases in purchasing power, social media has become an essential component of any marketing strategy. Consequently, many small business owners are diving right into social media marketing and making easily avoidable mistakes in the process. Even if you’re a social media user yourself, you may not be prepared to launch an effective social media campaign. The following seven mistakes are some of the most common committed by business owners just getting into social media.
Social media is a difficult marketing channel because it usually takes a considerable amount of time to see results from it. You have to establish a reputation for sharing relevant and engaging content and organically build a following before your social media marketing efforts will bear fruit. If you approach social media as you would a TV commercial (expecting an immediate boost of sales after implementing it) you’ll be disappointed. So many businesses give up on social media marketing too early so stick with it even if it doesn’t seem like it’s doing any good. You’ll eventually break through.
Not taking it seriously
You wouldn’t hire a friend or relative to produce a TV or radio commercial and you wouldn’t hire an IT guy with no experience in IT so why would you hire a social media person who has no formal training in social media marketing? For whatever reason, business owners think they can get by with just leaving their social media campaign to a family member, friend, or secretary. Take social media marketing seriously. Pay for a person who knows what they’re doing.
Social media platforms are free to use, even for commercial use. You can create an account for your business on virtually any social media platform and never spend a dime. But that doesn’t mean that’s how you should do it. It’s already been established that you need to hire someone to oversee your campaign. You should also be allocating funds towards promoting your posts and paying influencers to endorse your brand on social media to establish a social media presence faster.
Consistency is crucial for any effective social media campaign. If you try to just fit social media in only when you have time, you end up posting several things in the span of a day or two and then nothing for two or three weeks at a time. If you’re not quick to respond to followers and if you only post new things sporadically, people will assume you’re out of business or at the very least, unreliable and will stop following.
Failure to outsource
A single person may be able to handle your social media initially but it will grow. When you need a team but can’t afford to assemble one, consider outsourcing to a social media agency that already has the personnel and tools to take your campaign to the next level.
Facebook is the most popular social media platform by far with more than one billion unique users active each month. It also enjoys a rather general audience so it’s a good place for any brand to start when it comes to social media marketing. But Facebook shouldn’t be the extent of your social media marketing efforts. There are dozens of other platforms that each cater to different demographics. Doing some market research and trying to understand your audience better can help you select additional social media platforms that you need to be using.
Failure to advertise
Though you can pay to promote posts and you can pay influencers who already have a solid base of followers to promote your brand on social media, it’s a platform that’s most effective when you can build a solid foundation of loyal customers and followers yourself. So make use of existing marketing channels, especially SMS which is geared more towards a loyal customer base to encourage them to follow you across various social media channels. You can reward them with special deals if they do.
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