I was delighted to have welcomed a couple of new clients on board this January – both female entrepreneurs with established marketing, but whose social media needed an overhaul. (One lovely client was seen on a recent edition of Dragons’ Den, walking away with a cool £60k!)
Analysing anyone’s existing social media always leads to an abundance of fresh ideas, setting clearer strategies and reviewing target markets. It also highlights the fundamentals of social media marketing that people often get wrong. The following seven mistakes can be costly – are you making any of these?
1. Mistake: Failing to create a Social Media Marketing Strategy
You may think you’ve planned your strategy well, but a hard-hitting discussion often gets to the core of this problem: many businesses churn out excellent social media posts onto beautifully crafted profiles, but with no idea of what they hope to achieve. This sometimes leads to a flurry of activity followed by a lack of fresh posts, or a mishmash of information that confuses the audience or makes them forget why they started following.
How to put this right: Set a robust strategy, and be prepared to tweak it regularly according to results, trends and budget.
2. Mistake: Not being clear on your target market
A major failing is not honing in on your ideal client properly, leaving the target for marketing too wide and unfocused. It’s like reaching out randomly in the dark and hoping to grab someone as they pass by.
How to put this right: Think about who needs what you’re offering, where they are and what’s likely to appeal to them. After identifying your exact target client, you can then work outwards to incorporate all those that could benefit from your products or services. But keep in mind whoever your main focus is, and stay on track to satisfy that buyer. You don’t need a niche market to achieve this – simply imagine the one ideal person sitting by their computer – or tapping away on the phone – and go for them.
3. Mistake: Not having a clear marketing message
What is it you want your potential clients to do? Are you sending them to the right places on your website so they can act as you’d like them to? On a very basic level, can people actually understand what you are trying to say to them?
How to put this right: Use plain English to be clear and concise about what they need to know and don’t confuse your messages.
4. Mistake: Forgetting the human touch
Social media is what it says on the tin: “social.” It’s about people communicating with people. Remember that old saying, “people buy from people”? It’s true; no one likes a faceless corporate entity that doesn’t engage.
How to put this right: Avoid using stock answers to queries or business terminology, stay personal and friendly and remember that it’s real people who will be liking, sharing and commenting on your posts, so be personable. And this leads me to…
5. Mistake: Buying followers
Aaargh – my biggest pet hate. Some people buy followers to look better, but let’s face it, these are rarely real people. They’re usually computer bots or fake accounts, and very little interaction takes place as a result.
How to put this right: It’s better to have fewer followers, but they are real people who like what you’re doing and will engage with your pages – liking, commenting and sharing your posts. This keeps your social media active and strengthens your social presence. Your followers are your best source of marketing!
6. Mistake: Not spending enough time on marketing
Running a business keeps you busy, so non-essential tasks can easily land on the backseat. Some people consider social media marketing – or marketing in general – to be admin tasks – and therefore not essential, forgetting that marketing is super-important for keeping their products or services in the audience’s mind.
How to put this right: Keep your clients and customers happy, but dedicate a certain amount of time to marketing or your business won’t have the opportunity to grow. And if you really don’t have the time, skills or enthusiasm to handle your social media marketing yourself, think about outsourcing it.
7. Mistake: Avoiding social media
Chances are, if you’re reading this article, you’re aware of the power of social media. But are you using it to your advantage? To recap, social media allows you to connect with your target clients and potential customers, engage with them and showcase your business. It’s a cost-effective option that every business needs, yet I still come across people who tell me that their business doesn’t need social media. Really?
How to put this right: Give me a call or drop me an email and we can go through some options that will meet your objectives according to the time and budget you have available.
If you’re not sure how, why or what you might be missing out on, feel free to get in touch about improving your business’ online visibility. You can reach me on all major social media channels or by email.