SOCIAL MEDIA MISTAKES YOUR BUSINESS SHOULD AVOID

March 1, 2017

 

Social media continues to increase in popularity as a marketing tool thanks to its reach, accessibility and cost effective advertising rates. This is a trend that is not going to change anytime soon – according to reports by Fuseware and World Wide Worx, social media is still very much in a growth phase in South Africa in terms of users and budgets allocated to it by businesses. In fact, budgets are predicted to double over the course of the next five years!

 

With so much money being invested in this new age marketing medium, you are probably expecting to get leads or sales from all of the work you have been putting into your social media campaigns. However, many companies are making mistakes that are taking its toll on their success rate.
 

To actively use social media to gain followers and convert leads, some basic etiquette should be followed in order to successfully grow and keep your followers:

 

1.  CONSISTENT SELLING: Too much brand promotion, sales pitching, and blatant advertising on social can annoy your audience. Consumers are more inclined to follow brands that share useful and interesting information and, while consumers are interested in discounts and sales offers, they will never look favourably on your brand when bombarded with this information. With this in mind, only offer them an incentive to keep listening to you.


Social media should be driven by a “human voice” and generally works better when including a combination of:

  • Content that promotes your business, converts readers and generates profit;

  • Shares stories from thought leaders in your industry, trends or like-minded businesses;

  • Content based on personal interactions with your products/services and that which builds your brand.

 

2.  INEFFECTIVE STRATEGY: As the saying goes, “a goal without a plan is just a wish!” Same goes for social media – one doesn’t just coincidentally make a success of it. To take advantage of all your efforts, you need to have a strategy and clearly defined goals. For example, do you need to drive traffic to your product pages and convert that traffic into sales? Are you using social media to grow your brand in your community and show potential clients that you’re a credible local figure with knowledge of the industry, or are you using it to showcase your knowledge and expertise in your field?


The strategy will help you outline who your target audience is, which will then influence what social media platforms you choose to use, the demographic you choose to advertise to, your tone and your persona.


Set aside a defined amount of time and time of day for posting new content to your social media accounts. With a bit of planning, you can create a social media presence that is directed toward your business goals and attracts the kind of audience that may one day become loyal customers. 


3.  IMPOSSIBLE EXPECTATIONS: Just because you’ve jumped onto the social media bandwagon and have created a profile on every social platform available, this doesn’t guarantee that you will become the “next big brand”.


Starting with social media is not going to ensure:

  • Overnight success;                             

  • A sudden influx of customers;

  • A huge spike in website traffic;         

  • Immediate results;

  • People rushing to “like” and “follow”;

  • Instant connection with influencers and the media.

Don’t fall into the trap of posting content sporadically and without consideration or publishing updates with link after link to your products or website and then throwing in the towel. Social media marketing is a marathon, not a sprint!

 

By starting with a well thought out strategy and by regularly monitoring and tweaking your approach, you can gain more website traffic, sales and referrals. In the end, your investment will pay off – for the long-term.


4.  BEGGING FOR SHARES OR RETWEETS: Pestering your customers or followers to like, share or retweet your content is not going to win you any fans. A more effective approach is to rather allocate a small budget to boost or advertise your own content and include a call-to-action. This increases your reach and is far more effective.


Another tip to encourage your community to like and share your content is to make the links to your various sites readily available and the content on your website easy to share.


5.  POOR LANGUAGE, GRAMMAR AND SPELLING: Put as much attention into how you construct your social media posts as you would put into the service you offer your customers. People make assumptions about your capabilities and products based on the image you project in-store, at events and through your online assets. Nothing shouts amateur, incompetence or lack of quality like poor spelling or grammar.
 

 

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