In only a decade, social media marketing has gone from a fringe market to bringing in nearly $10 billion a year in the US alone. Lots of companies think that they can jump on the bandwagon of Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and just start posting — a rising tide lifts all ships, right? But when their profiles don’t get any traction, they wonder if social media marketing is all it’s cracked up to be.
The bad news is that it’s not social media — it’s you. The good news is, you can fix it! Here are a few of the most common mistakes that people make with their social media marketing, and how to do them better.
Underestimating Social Media
It’s tempting to think of social media as the purview of the young and tech-savvy, so lots of companies whose target markets are in their 40s or older tend to write off the channel as not worth their time.
The truth is, everyone is on Facebook. Facebook has more than 2 billion monthly users worldwide, and more than 68% of Americans use it on a regular basis. Furthermore, 65% of Facebook’s users are over 25 years old, and the number of users above the age of 65 has doubled since 2012. No matter who your target audience is, there’s a good chance they have a Facebook account.
Going In Without a Plan
“Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” Dwight Eisenhower knew this almost 70 years ago, and it’s as sound advice today as it was then. Everyone knows that plans change, circumstances shift, and you have to adapt. You can’t rigidly stick to every plan you lay out.
But if you go into social media marketing without a strategy, you’ll just be spinning your wheels. Social media marketing isn’t just posting sporadically and hoping something sticks — you’ll need a budget, a calendar, and a concrete plan of action that details what you’re hoping to accomplish and how you plan to get there.
Failing to Engage
One of the biggest advantages to social media is right there in the name: it’s social. Don’t treat social media accounts like a bulletin board where you announce new products or events for the world and then leave them there — think of them like the core of a community you’re creating around your brand.
That means you have to take the time and effort to answer questions, address concerns, respond to comments, and otherwise engage with your social media community. If you ask a question on Facebook to get people to engage, go through the answers and start conversations! It’s not often you get to interact with your customers directly — take advantage of the opportunity.
Making It All About You
We all have a friend or relative who only seems to talk about themselves when they’re hanging out in social settings. No one likes that person. Your social media accounts are the same sort of thing. Too many brands on social media talk only about their news, their products, their announcements, and so on.
Instead, mix it up. Your followers have more in common than just an affinity for your brand — they probably share interests, hobbies, and concerns as well. If you’re managing a social media account, lean into those common interests. Post interesting news stories, photos, and other brands’ social posts that relate to your own market instead of just talking about your latest sale.
Social media marketing is rife with opportunities — no matter who you’re talking to, what you’re trying to say, or how you’re saying it, you can find a way to make it work on social media. It’s just a matter of making a plan and following through. Social media marketing is the future of marketing — don’t get left behind.