Social Media Marketing is a great tool that can help your brand reach out to large numbers of people that need to – and should – hear about your great company and products. And as evident from the exploding number of company pages and corporate accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, etc, more and more brands are embracing this [perceived] free approach to digital marketing.
Having worked with numerous clients on building or revamping their marketing programs, we’ve come to notice some repeating patterns in terms of mistakes many make when it comes to their social media marketing. Below are some of the common pitfalls we come across quite often. Read on and compare these to your own approach to find out if you’re unintentionally practicing one of more of these.
Allowing employees to create company-accounts
This is probably the single most common mistakes we see. Enthusiastic employees create a company page that’s attached to their personal account and then own it. While this is usually always done with good intentions, a company page belongs to the company, and it belongs in the hands of a social media expert who knows what he/she is doing.
So if you find that one or more employees have created company pages using your brand’s name, ask them politely to add you as an admin user so you can consolidate the various pages, and then remove the original owners as admin users. You can still keep them in there as authors or contributors, but ownership should be only with you.
Starting off excited, then cooling down
Hey, it’s free, right? So let’s get as many accounts up and running to establish our online presence. Wrong! Once you decide to launch a company social media account, you better make sure you have the energy and stamina to populate it with posts and content on a regular basis.
Tweeting like there’s no tomorrow during the first few weeks, and then gradually dropping that to a few posts or re-tweets every now and then (because you’re too busy) will only hurt your page and cause people to leave you.
Going after the numbers
How often have you heard someone brag about their numbers of followers on Facebook, Twitter, etc? If you ever felt intimidated by the large numbers you hear, don’t. It’s not about how may people like your page. It’s all about how relevant your followers are, and how engaged they get.
In social media marketing, it’s about quality and not quantity. More importantly, Facebook pages with very large numbers of followers (that aren’t really relevant) must now spend huge sums of advertising JDs just so they can those few that really matter.
Curating content only
You’ll be definitely sharing a lot of content that was generated by others. This is after all a universe of “sharing and caring”. However, if you only promote what others wrote, you’ll hardly establish your own digital footprint.
And this is where the hard part in social media marketing lies; creating your own content in the form of informative blog posts and the likes. This takes a lot of time, creativity, and energy. Now once you’ve dedicated someone to write your own content and mix that with curated content that’s relevant, you’ve got a winner.
Neglecting regular posting schedules
Posting in bursts does more harm than good. Even if you have tons of goodies to share, put in on a schedule and stick to it. The ideal frequency and time-intervals of posts vary from network to network. But in general terms, three times per day on Twitter and once or twice on Facebook is a reasonable rule of thumb to follow.
But again, this really differs from industry to industry. And having said that, there are plenty of free applications that let your scheduled posts to multiple networks at auto-optimized times and frequencies. Try signing up for Hootsuite for example, which is widely used (including by Pinnacle).
Unfocused and scattered content
Be careful with what you share. Not everything that intrigues you will interest your followers. This becomes increasingly challenging to remember once you start building your own network of followings and get engaged with their content, and which may revolve around topics other than those you’re focusing on.
You will sooner or later establish yourself as a reference for one or more particular topics. People will follow you because they are interested in those. If you start posting irrelevant stuff – no matter how great that reads – you risk losing your followers simply by irritating them.
Taking things personal
The fact that sooner or later someone will post something negative about your brand is inevitable. (Click here to read more about how and when to respond to a social bashing.)
When that happens, make sure you have an escalation plan in place. And no, removing negative comments is not an option unless they are obscene or otherwise inappropriate. And posting a harsh reply is also not advisable. This can easily lead to a personal confrontation which will unfortunately be followed by many others. Again, the only way to deal with this is to have a carefully thought-through escalation process which everyone is aware of, understands, and follows.
About the Author
Pinnacle Business & Marketing Consulting is a results-driven boutique consulting firm that specializes in providing clients with practical and pragmatic solutions to their business and marketing challenges.
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