Avoid These 3 Common Social Media Pitfalls
Living in a digital age has got us hooked on our smart devices and scrolling through social media like there’s no tomorrow. Unsurprisingly, statistics reveal that social media usage is one of the most popular online activities performed by internet users currently. In 2020, the number of social media users rose to almost 3.6 billion people worldwide, and by 2025 the figures are expected to increase to approximately 4.41 billion users.
What do these statistics mean for entrepreneurs and marketers? They prove once again that social media is without a doubt a powerful marketing tool for all types of businesses, regardless of their size or industry, so if you’re not using social media platforms to promote your products and services what are you even doing? Apart from being an inexpensive marketing strategy, social media can help companies connect with their customers, increase brand awareness, network with other professionals in the industry and improve their overall performance.
However, there’s a right and a wrong way to go about things and use social media as part of your marketing strategy. If you think that running a few social media accounts will do the trick and get you all the benefits listed above, you couldn’t be further from the truth. For the inexperienced marketers, social media comes with a lot of pitfalls that can render their marketing efforts futile. So we’re going to discuss three major problems that you might experience when using social media as a marketing tool.
Chasing after too many rabbits
One of these common social media issues is chasing after too many rabbits. There’s an old proverb saying that if you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one, and it so happens that these words of wisdom describe pretty well a common situation that takes place in the digital marketing world. With so many social media platforms out there one, it can be tempting to try and use all of them to draw attention to your business and attract new customers.
We’ve got Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Snapchat, Pinterest, TikTok just to name a few. So how many social media networks should you include in your marketing strategy? The answer is simple: definitely not all of them. Assuming you’re not an internationally famous corporation with an army of social media specialists to run your accounts, you’ve got to be a bit more selective in this respect if you want your messages to reach the right audience. Otherwise it will be like trying to hit a target blindfolded.
There’s not a certain number of social media platforms you should limit yourself to, but you must analyze your audience and decide which networks will give you the best chances at connecting with them. Find out what platforms your public or the public that you’re trying to reach prefer and focus your efforts in those specific areas. Does your company cater to a young audience that likes to keep up with the latest trends and is interested in all things entertainment? Then Instagram, Snapchat or Twitter are the platforms for you. If your audience consists mostly of people who are career-driven and interested in professional development, LinkedIn is your playground.
Once you’ve done your research and decided which social media networks suit your purpose, you or your team can start crafting content for them. But remember you have to adapt your style and tone to fit the platform you’re using and the audience you’re addressing.
Not knowing your audience
If there’s a golden rule in social media marketing that is know thy audience! In fact, most major mistakes happen because marketers fail to identify their target audience correctly and they don’t have a clear understanding of who their customers truly are. Without knowing who you’re speaking to, how can you know what topics you should approach in order to create compelling content for your audience and connect with them at a deeper level?
Some entrepreneurs focus too much on their products and too little on their customers when building a social media strategy. That means they don’t take the time to understand what their clients’ desires and expectations are, and instead they put the spotlight on the products and services they offer, assuming that highlighting their values and benefits and constantly putting them in front of their audience will automatically make people want to purchase them.
The lesson here is once again to do the necessary research and learn as much as you can about your target audience. Find out what they like, what they dislike, what their interests are etc. You can use social listening tools to monitor your company’s performance on social media platforms and gain valuable customer insights. Another great method is to create surveys and ask the right questions that will help you get to know your audience better.
Not knowing how to engage the audience
Let’s say you have a clear image of your target audience, but you’re still not seeing the engagement you’d expect on your social media accounts. It can be difficult to pinpoint what you’re doing wrong, especially when you feel like you’re checking all the boxes, but you fail to see results. What can be the cause of this frustrating situation?
There’s usually more than one factor involved when you’re dealing with low engagement levels. It can be a combination of irrelevant content, not having a strict schedule for your social media activity and failing to post content regularly or on the contrary, being stuck on a routine and posting the same type of content over and over again and ignoring the audience’s need for diversity.
You have to analyze your current social media strategy thoroughly and identify the areas that need improvement. And if you need to brush up on your social media engagement skills, try to include these methods in your strategy: holding contests and giveaways on a regular basis, posting surveys and quizzes or asking your customers direct questions on topics of interest and start an open conversation with them. And remember, consistency is the key, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t see results overnight.