It’s easy to make mistakes in the business world, but you need to learn from them. When it comes to social media and digital marketing in general there are countless pitfalls to avoid. Evading some of these mistakes will save you time, some will save you money, and some may save your brand from potential permanent damage. Here are ten social media marketing mistakes that happened to us that you can learn from – without suffering through the trauma of making them in the first place.
1. Don’t Forget Why People Are On Social Media
People go onto the Internet for two reasons: to solve their problems or to be entertained. They go on social media to be entertained. That can happen through entertaining, educational or engaging content. It doesn’t happen through sales. Social media is great for sales, but you have to earn your audience’s trust first before you can sell to them without turning them off. You can anticipate their problems – but try to do it in an entertaining way. Certainly don’t go for the hard sell every time!
2. Don’t Go In Without A Strategy
When you’re creating good content, you can focus on that rather than the purpose it’s trying to serve. You need to create great content, but you also have to think about how it is moving people on to the the next step of buyer’s sales journey. There is an art to creating purposeful content that enhances your audience’s interest in your brand and not turning them off.
3. Don’t Have Too Many Steps
The sales funnel means that you have to attract and interest your audience with savvy marketing before leading them to a decision and ultimately an action. That doesn’t mean you have to have four distinct steps each time. You may be able to attract and interest in the same post – or interest people while giving them information. Every step the person has to go through gives them a chance to exit your sales funnel entirely.
4. Don’t Have Too Few Steps
You’re not going to convert as well as you can if you hit people with a sales message straight away. Sometimes it takes many impressions before an audience member becomes a customer. Hitting them with the hard sell straight away can turn them off. The number of steps you have very much depends on what you are selling and the nature of the audience. Getting someone to put in an email address to get a free month’s trial involves a lot less persuading than getting someone to ask for a quote to convert their kitchen.
5. Don’t Forget To Test
Finding out what works for you and your client is a matter of testing. Sometimes things work, and sometimes they don’t – but you should always be testing to see what is working. More importantly, you need to see what isn’t working – so you can avoid making those same marketing mistakes in the future.
6. Don’t Forget To Analyze
When things didn’t work, we abandoned them to try something new that might work or reverted to something that had worked in the past. We didn’t take enough time to look at why something didn’t work. When we did, we found out things like it was in the wrong place in the sales funnel – or it would have worked fine if it linked better to the other pieces of copy or the content on the landing page. In looking at what failed, we were able to build a stronger future strategy.
7. Don’t Change Strategy At The Wrong Time
When something isn’t working, then you need to change your social strategy. You have to make sure that you change strategy at the right time, depending on your product, service or client. Some funnels just take longer to produce results, especially if there is a big buy in or commitment for the consumer. Abandoning a campaign too soon can be a waste of time, money or effort. On the other hand, waiting around for a campaign that is never going to deliver is also a waste of time and effort. You should try and wait for at least as long as it takes to generate useful data, so you can pinpoint why the campaign failed to work.
8. Don’t Use The Wrong Placement
It can be tempting to just use one social media platform. With 2 billion + active users, it tends to be Facebook. However, if you are B2B then we found that using LinkedIn can be a lot more useful. If your demographic are heavy Twitter users – then that’s something you should exploit. Also, just because Facebook has an audience network that uses Instagram, doesn’t mean you have to use it. Instagram content should be different from what you put out on Facebook – and if you don’t set up a distinct Instagram campaign, it’s not likely to work for you. All it will do is cost more because of impressions and produce misleading statistics regarding reach.
9. Don’t Put Out The Wrong Content
There are many ways to put out the wrong content without meaning to. You can put out too much content and spam your audience, too little and they will forget you – or even put out content that’s great but doesn’t ultimately support the brand or sales message that you’re going for. The audience are ultimately the ones who will tell you if you are putting out the right content, based on the way they respond to it. Respond to them and put out content they will react well to – and you’ll soon learn the right way.
10. Don’t Forget Your Long Term Goals
When your bank account seems to be running dry it’s all too easy to focus on short term gains. You need to remember what your long term goals are, and make sure that you are working towards them. You may need to build brand awareness before you start seeing conversions. Work out what your long term goals are, and break them down into monthly, weekly and even daily steps – so that you can see through your planned strategy rather than panicking in the short term and abandoning it. Avoid those mistakes, and you will probably make lots of new exciting mistakes of your own. At least if you follow the advice above, you’ll be ready to learn from them.
Author Zachary Jarvis is a Digital Marketer with one thing on his mind: Results. Uninspired by the never ending talk of ‘vanity metrics’ in the world of digital marketing, Magnate was founded – the ‘Social-First’ marketing agency. On the very rare occasion he isn’t watching the movie Step Brothers in his spare time – you’ll find Zachary in the thick of social platforms, learning what makes us tick. This is driven by a fascination (perhaps a slight obsession…) w/ market trends & consumer behavior.