Doesn’t matter who we are, everybody makes mistakes. And some can be rectified, some may leave a lasting damage, especially when it comes to social media marketing. Through Social Media Marketing, you create a brand’s digital image. You make people familiar with what your brand stands for, its values and principles. Needless to say, any mistake can be fatal and can harm your brand’s reputation and goodwill. So here’s a list of 5 grave social media marketing mistakes that you can make that can harm your brand‘s image forever:
1. Not having a strategy
Henry David Thoreau once said –
“What you get by achieving your goals is not as important as what you become by achieving your goals.’
You have to have goals for a social media campaign. Clear, definite and realistic ones. Posting blindly will get your brand nowhere. You should have precise goals and milestones to measure effectiveness of your campaign. Not only will this help you analyse your campaign but you’ll also be able to hold any specific elements of your strategy accountable for success or failure and reallocate budget appropriately.
This is going to help you in two ways: One, it is the right (and the only way in my opinion) way to manage a campaign. Because let’s face it, a campaign without a direction is pointless. There will be no returns, no data to measure the progress and frankly, you’ll just be wasting your time and money.
Two, having a strategy for a social media campaign is much more than just posting your content on different social media platforms. You learn how to spend your precious money the right way to promote your content. You learn what social media platform is best for the content you provide – how to make best use of different social media platform. For example, you can’t have the same plan for promoting your content on Facebook and Snapchat. The two are very different platforms, popular no doubt, but very different. The kind of knowledge you acquire through managing campaigns won’t just help you in becoming a better digital marketer, but give you an in depth understanding how the digital world actually operates.
2. Misinterpreting a trend
Allow me to tell you a beautiful story:
In 2014, DiGiorno Pizza thought it was capitalizing on a fun, popular trend when it used the #WhyIStayed hashtag to advertise pizza. What they didn’t realize was that the hashtag was being used as a way to raise awareness of domestic violence in the United States. Understandably, thousands of angry responders let DiGiorno know their mistake. And people on social media are not very…say forgiving. DiGiorno immediately apologized upon realizing the error, but the incidence inflicted some lasting damage to their reputation. All of this could have been avoided by simply clicking on the hashtag and reading what it was being used for.
Trending topics are great. And you can capitalize on them if it is related to your business. I agree that sometimes it can be quite tempting to use those trending hashtags as a way to market your business but what you have to realize that not every one of them is for you. People like to talk about things they care about and it is quite understandable that they are sensitive about it. You don’t want to offend people. So do a complete research on how to bank on trending topics. Ask yourself: Is it related to my niche? Or, Will I provide anything of value to it? If the answer is no, then you’re probably better off staying out of those tempting #.
3. Content lacking value
‘Content is King’.
Yes. It was true then and it is true now. If you can’t provide relevant content to your audience then why will they even bother to come to your website? The word ‘relevant’ here is very important. You have to identify your audience and tailor your content accordingly. You can’t very well sell hair grooming products to bald people now, can you? You have to re what your audience’s preferences are. What they like to read, what they like to talk about, what they like to buy. This should all be the part of your research. You have to remember that people are sensitive and you don’t want to offend anyone. Your online reputation is of the utmost importance and you have to work hard for it. Even when you write relevant content, make it professional. Here are a couple of tips:
- Avoid using too many hashtags. To be honest, #this #is #really #ANNOYING. Using a couple of hashtags is ok if they are relevant or if you want it to trend. Using unnecessary hashtags are not just annoying, but also make you look unprofessional.
- Proofread, Proofread and Proofread. The grammar police is very strict online and honestly, things like spelling mistakes and grammatical errors – it’s just lazy. Not to mention unprofessional. On a similar note, avoid using unnecessary abbreviations. They may work when you’re informally talking to someone, not when you’re targeting an audience. These things can hurt your online presence, badly.
4. Focusing only on the brand
One of the biggest mistakes that new online marketers do is talking too much about the brand and brand alone. Talking only about yourself and expecting others to talk about you is one of the quickest way to scare people off or lose existing followers. If your social media content revolves solely around you, how great you are, or what someone else can do for you, then you are completely missing the point of the word ‘social’ here. You are there for the people. It’s not the other way around. And while promoting is totally fine, you need to be careful that you’re not letting your affinity for your brand influence your content quality and value. People want to follow others who are givers, not takers. They are looking for interesting content. Sharing others work is totally fine, especially if you know it will be useful for your followers. If you are able to deliver relevant content (and not just the talk about brand) to them consistently and effectively, then you are passively directing these people to become your loyal followers. Down the road this makes it easier to eventually talk about how your products or services can benefit someone as they will be much more captive and for the lack of a better word ‘accepted’ at that point.
5. Neglecting feedback
The online audience is vocal. And you should listen. When you post something, it is natural to get reactions. Even if they don’t tell you directly, they’ll let you know through their actions; for example, a well-liked post will be shared and commented many times over, while an unpopular post will sit with no reaction whatsoever. Your job is to pay attention to what your audience is telling you. Ignore these, and you’ll be dooming your strategy for failure. Observe what type of posts work and which ones don’t. On a similar note, people like when you interact with them. People on social media expect responsiveness from companies, and want to feel they are dealing with real humans and not some corporate robots with no human emotions.
You do not necessarily have to reply to every comment, but responding to them builds trust between you and your audience. A voice that is friendly, witty and light helps.