Social media can be a highly beneficial tool to increase the online presence and visibility of a business. The best feature of social media is its ability to make content go viral, so that a message can reach millions of users in very little time. Many brands and celebrities have become famous overnight due to the viral feature of social media. However, there are instances when businesses tend to go overboard in shaping and executing their social media strategy. This article explains five common mistakes that managers and owners should avoid when crafting a social media strategy for their business.
Diffusing Your Social Media Resources
Many businesses make a mistake when they assume that just because social media is widespread and the audience has a lot of options to choose from, they should develop an expanded presence on social media. This kind of shotgun approach leads businesses to create multiple profiles and platforms on social media. While this might sound like a smart move increase the visibility of the business online, it comes at the cost of engagement. One of the primary reasons why people visit social media is to engage with the people and brands they like. By spreading social media resources widely, managers are unable to develop strong bonds with followers on each individual social media page. Their concentration and attention is divided amongst multiple pages and platforms. This represents a lost opportunity to really work on building strong relationships with consumers online and to use the viral feature of social media to the advantage of the business.
Engaging with Followers as a Brand
People who follow brands on social media are largely interested in the brand or product rather than the people working on developing the brand. A common mistake that business owners make on social media is when they use their personal accounts or profiles to represent the business or brand. This might seem like an efficient way of controlling the discussion on social media, it confuses the followers between the brand and the brand manager. Another disadvantage of this approach is that it prevents the business owner from really treating the social media profile as a platform for engaging the brand with consumers. As a result, the quantity and quality of relevant ads and brand-related discussions is reduced to a minimum and the quality of brand-consumer interactions is poor. A more reasonable approach is to create different profiles for the brand and for the brand owner or manager to create a clear distinction in the minds of the consumers.
Failing to Meet the Standards of Social Media Interaction
Social media places a different set of expectations as far as communication between brands and consumers is concerned. The social media audience is different from the consumers who used a telephone customer support service or wrote letters to businesses when they had a query or complaint with the product. Consumers today expect instant gratification and immediate response from the businesses they interact with. Businesses and brand managers who persist in behaving in the old ways appear as misfits on social media and generally fail to live up to the expectations of their consumers.
Typical communication mistakes that businesses make in their social media strategy include being irregular in checking their inbox for messages from consumers. A related mistake is failing to link all social media messages to the official email account of the business as this reduces the likelihood of missing out on a message. Customer satisfaction is highly dependent on how quickly a business responds to a query or complaint transmitted through social media.
Failing to Leverage the Promotional Potential
Social media offers immense potential for business and brand promotion. Businesses often fail when they are unable to develop a promotional strategy that factors in the potential and nature of social media. As stated previously, a defining feature of social media is its capacity to engage with others. It is not a one-way medium like radio or television. Hence, a strategy that focuses on merely one-way communication from the brand to the audience, e.g. advertising, is likely to fail on social media unless the business includes direct engagement with consumers as well. Businesses that focus exclusively on their informational needs on social media are likely to bore and alie.nate social media audiences. This is not to say that brands should not use social media to promote their business. They should use social media to inform audiences about special offers and new products in the pipeline, but should balance it with direct communication and engagement.
Failing to Develop a Content Strategy
In the days of television and print media, a business could survive by introducing two or three promotional campaigns in a year. With social media, that strategy will simply not work. Social media audiences are hungry for fresh and innovative content. You can also find out what should the content be. Disruptive is the word that defines the nature of social media content that engages with audiences and makes the brand memorable. Therefore, brands that fail to update their social media pages regularly and those that use a limited style of content or presentation face the risk of driving away visitors instead of locking them in. Moreover, businesses fail when they fail to perceive the implications of the content they post on social media. Issues such as discrimination and copyright infringement have embarrassed many businesses on social media resulting in costly image management exercises. Therefore, having a coherent and clear strategy on the quality and frequency of new content for social media is absolutely essential.
Social media is a powerful platform that can do wonders for a business’s marketing strategy. By avoiding some common mistakes, every business can use social media successfully to engage with its consumers and gain increased exposure through word-of-mouth and viral publicity. Avoiding these mistakes is essential for a business to avoid getting into embarrassing situations on social media. Moreover, by avoiding the common social media mistakes discussed above, businesses can ensure that they get the maximum return out of their marketing and promotional strategies.