Nowadays, many business owners are using social media sites as an important element of their overall marketing strategy. Most businesses have a Twitter account, Facebook page, or a LinkedIn account, among many other social media profiles.
However, having social media accounts is not sufficient. You need to ensure that you make good use of them.
The following are a few of the blunders people make when using social media to market their business.
1. Failing to make use of newer, smaller social networks
Any social network can be useful to your business, even if it doesn’t have as many users as the leading networks. There are several reasons why it is advantageous to promote your business on such little-known networks:
- Less competition – The big names in your industry are not likely to take time to market their brands in new social networks. In addition, there is a possibility that your competition might not even be aware of these new social networks. Since there is little competition, your marketing campaign is likely to stand out, thus enhancing your sales. Besides, you might even get the rare chance of monopolizing your audience for a season!
- Opportunity to pioneer – When a new social network is starting out, many businesses are not likely to take it seriously. This is your chance to become a pioneer. By the time they realize that it is a viable marketing tool and start figuring out how to use it, you will already have mastered how to use the new social network for business. This will ensure that you stay ahead of the competition.
2. Expecting similar results across all networks
All social networks cannot deliver the same results since each of them targets a different demographic of people. For instance, LinkedIn targets businesses and professionals, with most users aged over 34. On the other hand, most Facebook users are college-going students between the ages of 18 to 25. As for Twitter, most of the users range between 26 and 34 years of age.
Therefore, if you are marketing to professionals, a Facebook campaign is not likely to be very effective. Similarly, if you are targeting college students, it wouldn’t be advisable to market on LinkedIn. Get to know your target audience well and find out which social networks where they visit frequently.
3. Posting in a similar way in all your accounts
Nowadays, many people are linking together their Google+, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media accounts. This way, a single update will automatically appear in all these social networks. However, the problem with this approach is that what is effective in one social network might not be effective in another. For instance, updates on Twitter cannot exceed 140 characters, which might not be sufficient to interact effectively with your audience on Google+ or Facebook. Therefore, you need to take time to find out what kind of updates work best with each social network.
4. Thinking social media is a magic bullet
Many people hear the buzz about social media and they expect quick overnight results. But the truth of the matter is that social media is not a magic bullet. Like any other marketing technique, social networking takes time to develop and grow. You need to gain trust and nurture the relationship for it to multiply and thrive. Think about it this way, did your spouse or partner demand that you go on a date or marry them? No. It took time to get to know each other; you had to be wooed and courted. Social media is the same way, you need to put in the time and effort to see the results – but once you do, it will happen.
5. Too focused on stats
I’ll be the first to admit it – I’m addicted to stats. But with this said, stats alone are not a good measure for social networking. You may have 100,000 followers on Twitter, but if they are not your target audience it doesn’t matter how many you have. It is always better to have 100 highly targeted individuals following you than 1,000 random people who don’t care about what you have to offer.
Don’t be fooled by big numbers, go for quality over quantity. Along with this, you need to be in it for the long haul. You can’t get discouraged after a month or two and throw in the towel. Keep the ball rolling with good content and conversation. Most social media followings will start off slow and build little by little. As they grow, they will pick up momentum and your numbers will increase – it takes time.
6. Blasting your message
I’ve seen so many social media campaigns where they are just blasting their message at their audience. You need to remember that social media is all about being social. Respond to your audience, answers questions, solicit opinions and be responsive. Individuals want to know the face behind the voice. Let your community connect with you on a more personal level.
Remember social networking is meant to be social, so genuinely communicate and get creative. If your social media campaign isn’t working, trying focusing time and energy on these areas. With a little practice, patience, and persistence you can increase your reach, build trust, cultivate new relationships, and successfully market your business.
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Charles Mburugu is a HubSpot-certified content writer/marketer for B2B, B2C and SaaS companies. He has worked with brands such as GetResponse, Neil Patel, Shopify, 99 Designs, Oberlo, Salesforce, and Condor. Check out his portfolio and connect on LinkedIn.