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Six costly mistakes marketers make with social media without realizing

By Expert commentator 29 Nov, 2018
Essential
Social media strategy

Discover six costly mistakes that marketers make with social media and how to fix them

Despite the herculean changes to both technology and media, marketers have no choice but to build emotion-rich and customer-centric strategies to always stay on top. In the struggle to sink into the trivial details of the marketing functions especially with social media, some of the smartest marketers sometimes go wrong in strategizing the right way with social media.

So, do you wish to make your social media marketing a flawless one?

1. Not choosing the right social media platform

Why is it necessary to pick up the right social media platform for your business?

You can only call a platform perfect for your business if it enables you to use the best of its functions that can enhance your business presence and add value.

The ultimate idea is to reach widely, to enhance visibility, to add value, to understand your followers, to predict, to be proactive, to gain new opportunities, to improve sales and to enhance your user experience.

Have a look at some of the most popularly used social media platforms by marketers worldwide.

Most popular social media

As you see, Facebook is a clear winner. The platform has become such a vital part of many marketers for their day-to-day campaigning, communication and promotional activities with their customers.

Instagram is famous again among marketers as it caters to the visual expression of businesses. From topmost brands to small, newly launched brands, businesses are taking complete advantage of this platform and seeing results. There are more than 2 million monthly advertisers on this platform.

When it comes to Twitter, there is no doubt that this platform has the potential to make your connection and communication very interesting. From sharing content to interacting with your followers, Twitter helps every brand to rule the way they want. Networking, branding and even reputation management are getting better with Twitter.

LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, Snapchat etc., are also in the “leaders” list mastering in their own way to retain their position in the digital social landscape.

So, how do you choose your right social media platform?

To accomplish a better marketing process with these social media platforms and to choose the ones that fit your vision, you need to do some thoughtful planning.

choosing social media platforms

Do not restrict to one. Rather, you can be on multiple platforms and thread a number of needles together. If you are struggling, then you need to work on your understanding of these platforms individually to customize them.

2. Not updating your profile on social media platforms

Creating and updating your social media profile is absolutely essential. If you fail to do this, you are not going to create any impact on these platforms and struggle to reach your audience.

In a recent study on the strategies, techniques and trends, there is a mention that activities when boosted with both internal and external resources, like social media marketing, gives speedy outcomes. The study indicates that adding your URL within your social media profile can act as a natural essential booster.

How to create and update your social media profile?

There are a few elements that you need to take care while creating your profile.

  • Your name
  • Your username
  • Your profile picture
  • Your description
  • Your business
  • Your interests
  • Your URL

These elements combine together to display your personality. Keep it fresh and sleek.

Have a look at Airbnb’s Instagram profile page.

airbnb instagram

The logo is clear; the theme matches with the company’s offering. The brand name is unique; the description talks completely about the company’s offerings. Also, if you read the description, there is a clear indication of encouragement where customers can share their stories with the brand. The inclusion of real pictures enhances Airbnb’s value. The company’s URL is there in the profile. In short, Airbnb has completely nailed their social media profile.

3. Not picking up the right posting strategy

Whether you own a day old business or you own a 100-year-old business, social media marketing demands you to connect with your audience in a way that can add value and enhance user experience. Without a proper planning, it is a battle.

How to plan a right content marketing strategy on social media platforms?

Strategize

  • What to post
  • When to post
  • Whom to post
  • How often to post

What to post - As Robert Rose said at this year’s Intelligent Content Conference:

“You need to be consistently different,”

Different in delivering differentiating value thinking of every aspect of customer experience while creating content.  Keeping this in mind, you can start by determining your target audience. Your content can be anything from a narrative, to a story, to a survey, to an announcement, to a video clipping, to an audio clipping or so.

  • Plan your content that can resonate with your audience.
  • Address your audience personally.
  • Customer engagement should be your priority.
  • Ensure that you are connecting with them regularly with valuable and informative activities.

Every time you share content that is relevant to your audience your brand pulse increases. Also, it is necessary to measure the level of engagement periodically. So, choose a platform which either has inbuilt analytics or the one which integrates well with good analytical tools.

Have a look at the following promotional strategy initiated by a brand during Halloween.

Here, the marketer successfully tried addressing both his mission (to promote his bicycle) and at the same time value the importance of the day too. Mission accomplished.

Halloween marketing

Posts like this create an impact and last for a longer time.

The post is re-sharing one of its blog pages on bike costume. The post also talks about where customers can find the link to the company. Hashtags make an impact.

By creating such posts, the company captures its audience easily and grabs new opportunities too. “The thought has always been that our bikes are designed by you, and should serve as a rideable reflection of your personal style,” mentioned the company in one of its blog pages.

When to post – “It pays to fish where the fishes are biting when publishing to social media,” says Alex York in his post on SproutSocial. No guesswork here. There are tools and social media analytics to help you gain insight into when your audience is active. Although there are enough surveys and research studies indicating on the optimal time, believe me, it depends on several factors - Factors associating your type of business, your marketing strategies, your type of audience and their geographical distribution.

For example, a midnight post talking about last minute shopping deals during the Christmas and New Year eve will work excellently with shoppers.

last minute christmas social media

Similarly, a good holiday scheme post can grab the attention of your customers when the post goes live on a holiday season.

Whom to post - A prime factor to consider is your target audience. According to Gartner, 63% of CMOs rank social marketing as a top investment area. The growth prospect is strong today if you place the strategies well and play well.

For every activity ask yourself, “What are you expecting out of this activity?”

“Building individualized experiences requires CX pros to adopt new approaches to experience design. This means learning to structure experiences around customer journeys, using customer data to inform moments of truth,”  - Forrester.

Posting the right content to the right person requires a bit of planning based on analytics.

For example: If you are making an announcement about a new product for the younger generation, you need to analyze your database and narrow the defined audience so that your content makes sense to them. Today, this can be accomplished with several analytical tools that function along with artificial intelligence to generate the right insights.

So,

  • Use the data
  • Filter your target audience for each of your tactics
  • Focus on your content quality – make it more contextual and personalized
  • Trigger emotions
  • Generate better communications
  • Build relationship

How often should you post?- This round offs the above three points. Deliver hyper-relevant content to the right customers to use at the moment. Now, how often you should do this depends purely on your strategy. A few years back the strategy was to publish randomly. Today, the trend is different. Top social media marketing companies today suggest the need to plan different approaches with several permutations and combinations to post at least one effective post a day to keep your audience within your business cycle.

4. Not spending the time to analyze and test your performance

Do not plan any activity on social media platforms with an intention to just collect more likes, comments, and shares. Instead, connect with your social media actions, monitor engagement and review each of your performance.

Why should you analyze?

Taking a customer-centered approach is important. Data and analytics in association with artificial intelligence and machine learning are the core elements of digital business today.

“Learn to master information as a second language and learn to speak data,” - Gartner

It is necessary to manage and analyze your data and eventually apply your data for the betterment of your business and customers. Social media data analytics will help you to;

  • Evaluate your achievement
  • Understand your strength and weakness
  • Understand the level of acceptance and rejections for each of your activity from your audience
  • Gain valuable inputs for future actions
  • Improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your future actions

There are tools to help you with such analytics.

For example: With advanced machine learning, Facebook Analytics analyzes and monitors your user data and helps you take action easily and quickly. You can use this tool to gain custom insights based on parameters set by you. Tracking the entire journey of your audience is so simple with Facebook Analytics.

facebook analytics

This facility can identify the most interesting segments of your audience, it can slice each of your activity and track customer experience and even identify behaviours that drive retention.

There are several analytics tools available today. Make use of them to gain the right insight.

5. Not understanding that what worked yesterday may not work today

Social media has evolved over these years. What worked yesterday might not work today for marketers.

Way back, when Web 2.0 took its charge, its key attraction was the social web that included social networking sites, social media sites and applications related to this. Facebook become popular among the blooming entrepreneurship in that era.  Slowly the other players got their chance to establish. People started easily sharing their thoughts, ideas, opinions, and even their experiences through these sites. Facebook advertising platform became a huge brand building strategy.

Brands used Social media purely for individual brand empowerment.

With the adaptation of mobile landscape and with the integration of apps, things became simple, easy and quick for both marketers and customers. Today, with machine learning and advanced artificial intelligence, social media platforms are way smarter than yesteryears. Digital marketing now engages real-time, personalized and data-driven with more visually appealing interactions with consumers and prospects.

Can you recollect Nike #MakeItCount?

In early 2012, Nike launched its Make It Count social media campaign with an intention to support London Olympic and Paralympics Games. The campaign was first made available on the YouTube as a video in which the top British athletes shared interesting tips on building the winning attitude.  The video promoted the #makeitcount hashtag, which millions of social media users shared via Twitter and Instagram by tweeting and adding photos. Reportedly, Nike saw an 18% increase in profit through this promotional campaign.

Currently, brands use social media platforms to connect and make a big change together with consumers

Today, it is not just about selling shoes for Nike. The company does not leave any stone unturned to bring people around the world together to make a big change. The company’s latest, “Choose Go” campaign on social media platforms that contemplates an age-old question of, “What would happen if the world stopped spinning?” is completely viral on different social media platforms.

This campaign turned out to be a fun blockbuster for the brand.

So, change your style and adapt new facilities to reach your audience. Do not use social media to just promote your brand.

6. Not using live chats, live streaming, AI and machine learning facilities

Technological advancements are more important to marketing these days. Yes, adopting innovation in your marketing strategies brings along with it a set of challenges. But, once you get hold of them, it becomes easier to handle your activities with your customers.

Why should a marketer use live chats, live streaming, AI & ML facilities on social media platforms?

Marketers need to identify every new feature introduced in each of the social media platforms time and again. Resistance to an innovation or a new facility often adds up to your limitations to communication and connection.

Some of the brightest features launched in recent days include live chats, live streaming, implementation of AI and ML-based features.

Live chat:

Using a live chatting facility within the social media platforms is critical.

The demand today is to include quick reactive and proactive chat in all your marketing activities.

“Live chat is a key engagement channel and an integral part of an organization's digital customer engagement strategy,” says analyst Brian Manusama, a Senior Director in Gartner Research in his recently published Gartner analyst report.

Brian suggests making Live Chat as a must-have engagement channel.

Benefits of Live chat within social media;

  • Stimulates decision making
  • Simplifies buying process
  • Facilitates your response time to your customers’ query
  • Adds a personalized value to your customers

Instant response and gratification are in high demand from users in this automated age,” says an expert on Jeff Bullas’ Blog section.

So, if you have missed to include this, then you have made a mistake. Quickly rectify.

Live Streaming:

Live streaming can be one of your best marketing strategies that will help you to fulfil everything on your customers’ terms.

Have a look at the statistics quoted by MarketingProfs.

live streaming

There is a clear-cut indication that this practice has to be within your marketing tactics. Include Live streaming if you have not to date.

Artificial Intelligence:

Artificial intelligence (AI) is the fastest growing technology today. It is transforming customer experiences to a whole new level. AI-powered social media marketing has been proving to be highly beneficial to both marketers and customers. Right from strategizing your content till delivering them to the right audience; right from creating new market opportunities to collecting and analyzing data efficiently integrating AI is enhancing user experience to new levels. It helps in predicting users’ behaviours.

Facebook, Twitter, Twilio, Instagram are some of the big takers investing huge to innovate and explore rapidly the different applications of AI within their platform.

Although 80% of marketers are aware of this advancement and are using predictive analytics based on AI, according to Forbes, just 6% of marketers are making use of advanced AI capabilities. With a potential to add more value, AI tops the technological innovation today. Marketers should consider AI widely in all their activities within social media.

Machine Learning:

The machine learning market is likely to touch $ 8.81 billion by 2022, according to a recent report. This technology is growing big and marketers need to use this facility.

Finally, few sentences on the mistakes that marketers make with social media

Marketers fail to challenge new ideas or misalign their goals that tend to show as mistakes. If you have to function as a mode of innovation, then it is necessary to rectify the mistakes and move away from the conventional approaches. Prioritize keeping the customers in front and organize around a wide purpose with a new vision.

That starts with identifying the mistakes that marketers make with social media and pivoting the functions.

By Expert commentator

This is a post we've invited from a digital marketing specialist who has agreed to share their expertise, opinions and case studies. Their details are given at the end of the article.

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