Mistakes in how you manage social media can prevent you from making the most of your social media efforts and damage your brand. After all, social shares are immediately broadcasted to thousands or even millions of people in your target audience.

Our social media marketing mistakes guide is designed to help you review and improve your approach to social media marketing. It’s perfect if you are managing an existing social media presence and want to review it, or if you have just gained responsibility for social media.

1. Not using Social Media in your marketing campaign strategy.

Our social media statistics compilation shows that social media is used by 3.5 billion people so it presents a huge opportunity to reach and engage with your audiences. You can learn about and engage with your customers on a more intimate and person level.

Irregular and inconsistent updates to social media business/company pages, poor or disingenuous customer service and poor quality of content are all obvious mistakes we'll get into later but the even bigger mistakes is not utilizing social media as a marketing tool.

So, where do you start?

Simply put, just start! Registration is free and easy. Don't let it be all business, people want real connections so be yourself and have fun.

2. Define your Target Audience

You can’t effectively market your brand, products, or services without identifying who your ideal client is and by knowing your ideal client you can define that target audience. We don’t recommend paying for advertising unless you know that the platform your advertisement is on is the platform your target audience uses. Ask yourself what your ideal customer is, and they will shape that target audience for you, then we need to ask ourselves some question to better understand that demographics’ behaviour.

Let’s try an exercise, put yourself in your ideal customer’s shoes and then ask yourself:
-When do they go online?
-Which brands do they engage with?
-How do they interact with brands?
-What inspires them to action?
-What social network does their demographic use most?
-What kinds of content do they share?Put your business in front of the right people increase your chances of engagement.

What is the next step?

We recommend investigating into how your audience uses social media. There are third-party programs and tools that can give insight into your target audience’s behaviour. If you are familiar with the RACE digital marketing framework (and you should be) identify people that are in the ‘Convert’ and ‘Engage’ stages of the process and target them for connecting with on a direct level.

3. No social media strategy or tactical plan

Now that you've signed up and taken a look around you can see everyone uses their social media differently. There are a vast amount of opportunities to connect with a vast amount of people, so it can be intimidating and overwhelming. It is vital to know your content is creating impressions and inspiring engagement with your audience, do not pay for advertising until you’ve devised a strategy. The strategy is put into action and the plan is executed once you start posting, so make sure every post is shared with intent and purpose all the same shared goal in mind.

How do I go forward?

The digital marketing strategy you employ needs to be as unique and individual as that ideal client we asked you to identify before. This strategy should be informed by marketing data and analytics. Marketing on social media has capabilities such as Geofencing and Geotargeting so ensuring that your created content reaches your target location. Hashtags are another great way to get discovered on social media by cataloguing your content. You can also see what your competitors are posting, what your customers and the general public are saying about your business or brand, and engage with content that reflect your brand how you wish to be seen.

4. Not setting up campaign tracking and analytics

Ok, we’ve got our accounts, defined our target audience and created a social media marketing strategy, but it’s only half-time! For every social media campaign you want to track impressions and engagements with your audience, because how will you know you’re successful? If your social media marketing strategy has a goal of expanding audience that can be achieved by adding one follower, but if you set a goal of reaching 10,000 followers how will you track the success rate of your content?

The answer is Google Analytics. This invaluable tool can track the goals and KPIs of your social media campaign. Setting up and monitoring Google Analytics the moment you start sharing content means you’ll get the most out of your social media marketing. By using Google Analytics you can see when content isn’t generating the likes, followers, shares, impressions, etc. that you are looking for so that you can modify your strategy and plan mid-campaign so you don’t waste any efforts.

So, what should I do?

Google Analytics allows you to tag incoming traffic so that it can sort the data for you to examine. You post the content and then take that link to Google Analytics and apply campaign tracking tags to the link. These tags or parameters let Google know how you want the data sorted and all this data will be found under the ‘social’ and separated from you ‘direct traffic,’

5. No Social Media Management

Social Media requires dedication, as previously mentioned irregular, infrequent, and inconsistent updates to social media platforms are obvious mistakes when marketing. Having a dedicated team to oversee your social media marketing strategy ensures that the strategy turns into a plan that is executed and reported on and that content created and posted on each platform is done with intent and reinforces your brand identity.

If it isn’t in the budget to hire a social media management or marketing company you can always manage your accounts in-house successfully. For some industries this is more effective because you are connecting with your audience on a more personal level. We highly recommend a Social Media Content Calendar that is detailed. Your content calendar needs to outline several things, we recommend.
-When will posting take place and when to avoid posting.
-What content will be posted on what platforms?
   *Don’t post everything everywhere, but also don’t be scared to repurpose your content, rework that text and use those pictures in different ways.
-What type content is being shared, ie videos can be shared on Youtube and Instagram?
-Does the content required for the post need to be created or does it already exists?

This calendar should be created when you are evolving your strategy into a plan or social media campaign. This content should play a part of the customer lifecycle marketing strategy giving your audience a connection to your brand and product taking them from awareness of your business, to familiarity with your brand through to purchasing and even beyond into repeat client stages. Creating a content calendar adds to the intent of your social media posting and also communicates to your team the expectations for the content so that the campaign is executed in a timely fashion. Social media posting is time-sensitive after all.

So, who should post?

Designating someone in-house such as hiring a social media manager or outsourcing to a marketing company means you can focus on the bigger picture of social media marketing. Having clear priorities, objective goals, and timelines are integral to the success of your marketing campaign. Also be hands-on, the tone and voice of your social media should reflect your business and ensure enough time in the process is allowed for the planning of posting schedules, the approval of content and the publishing of posts.

6. Terrible Customer Service

A bot is not customer service, we see many companies use bots, artificial intelligence that tries to anticipate, answer, and respond to customers, you can even hire bots for writing comments on people’s posts to increase your business’ engagement with audience. Too often we forget that when a customer reaches out to a company on social media there is an opportunity for engaging with your client base, which is the whole point of using social media in the first place. And what brands make a huge impact? The social media accounts with genuine connection; think of how many brands have gone viral for posting things that were clever, insightful, or just entertaining- all of which bots aren’t capable of.

So, how can I avoid this?

The most important thing you can do is reply. No one wants to be ghosted so always answer questions or queries, troubleshoot, help with products, and address those complaints head on. Never ignore a negative comment, how you reply will shape how your audience sees you, think of Wendy’s, their social media is known to be snarky turning all negative comments into a worldwide twitter roast and their audience was thrilled. Also keep an eye on brand and hash tag mentions, sometimes people won’t reach out with your business directly on social media but they might be talking about you. Lastly, and most importantly share, reshare, retweet, repin, and repost any of your audience content of your business. They are creating free content and marketing for you and the best kind fo marketing is always word-of-mouth.

So now that you know what mistakes that can be made and solutions for how to avoid them you can step onto the global stage of social media with more confidence. If you still feel ill-prepared we offer many online social media and digital marketing courses. Our highly regarded and engaging business coaches offer social media and digital marketing presentations loaded with valuable content, relevant examples and actionable marketing advice. Come learn with us.