Is social media marketing really worth the bother?
Should your business spend time and resources trying to woo an online audience that you’re unlikely to ever meet face to face? The simple answer is yes. Social media marketing is worthwhile. It’s both necessary and valuable for any online business these days as it has the power to help them connect with an audience, increase brand awareness and generate new leads. So, social media is a no-brainer then? Well, not necessarily. It’s only really worthwhile if it you do it properly. Do the wrong things and the whole thing will come tumbling down.
The social media marketing faux pas your business should avoid at all costs:
Not having a strategy.
Social media is no different than any other marketing initiative. If you jump into the process head first without thinking clearly, your efforts will be directionless and muddled. For effective social media marketing you’re going to need a strategy. What’s more, it needs to be a strategy that sits in comfortably with your other marketing efforts. You’ll need to know where you want to go and what you want to achieve; and you’ll need to have a clear idea about how you’re going to measure your success. Otherwise why bother?
Spreading yourself too thinly.
They say you can never be all things to all people in life. Well, guess what? The same applies to social media marketing too. There’s no point trying to have a presence on every available social media platform. It won’t help your business in the long term, and will simply dilute the message you’re trying to get across. Stick with tried and tested platforms that fit best with your business and your audience: platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Focus all your efforts on those, and then see where you go from there.
If you’re going to be social, then be consistent. Nothing is more unappealing than inconsistency: nothing turns an audience off more than businesses who appear not to care for their audience. Avoid posting madly one week, and then vanishing for two or three. Keep your postings regular and above all else, stay active. This might mean that you have to get help, but it will be worth it.
Overt sales pitching.
Social media marketing is all about engagement. It’s about connecting with an audience and providing information and adding value. What it’s not about is flogging products and services. That may eventually happen organically, but it’s not really the point. What you should be doing is showing off your business and letting people know what makes you different. Provide information about your company’s background, share useful industry articles with your audience, and try to engage and resonate with your readers.
Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are social, and it’s important not to lose sight of that. Be social. Engage with your audience. Answer their questions, ask them for their opinions, share their posts, and thank your audience for their participation. It’s all about sharing and engaging: it’s important to never lose sight of that.
Not keeping track of your analytics.
There’s little point making the effort if you’re not going to measure its success; Analytics are vitally important. We’re not simply taking about the number of fans or followers you manage to amass here either: we’re talking about proper analytics.
You can keep tabs on your social media analytics using tracking tools like Facebook Insights, LinkedIn Page Statistics, and Pinterest Analytics, along with a host of other third-party tracking tools. These will help you to measure the success or otherwise of your social media efforts.