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Using Social Media To Promote Your Business? Avoid These 8 Common Mistakes

If you are a business owner or an entrepreneur, it’s pretty likely that you are using social media to promote your brand in one way or another. But are you really maximizing your company’s social media potential? Find out by checking if you are guilty of any of these eight common social media mistakes.
by: Joséphine Anselin
photo: Lisa Fotios / Pexels

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Mistake #1: Not aligning social goals to business goals

While vanity metrics like number of followers, retweets or likes can be easy to track, it’s hard to justify their real value when it comes to business performance. If you want to maximise the impact of social media on your bottom line, you need to be focusing on social media metrics that align with your overall marketing objectives.

For example, if you are trying to grow brand awareness then a relevant social media goal could be to try to achieve a certain amount of reach per week. If your current marketing priority is to increase the number of leads you are attracting to your website, you could track the click-through-rate on your next opt-in campaign.

Mistake #2: Failing to create a content strategy

Of course, sharing high quality content is key, but if you want to maximise your social media impact you also need to have a plan in place for which content you will share when.

This doesn’t have to be a huge document. All you need are a few slides specifying the networks on which you plan to be active, the type of content you will share, your content mix and your social media posting schedule.

Mistake #3: Not knowing your target audience

You’re most likely familiar with the traditional way of defining a target market which consists in specifying demographics like age, gender, location, occupation and hobbies. While this type of information is essential, you need a much more in-depth understanding of your ideal customers’ emotional state if you want to create content that truly speaks to them.

Research your target market to find out exactly what their pain points and desires are. What are the biggest challenges they are currently encountering and how does it make them feel? What are the solutions they crave right now? What are their long-term dreams and aspirations? If you speak to these points when sharing content on social it will make it much easier for you to grow an engaged community of users around your brand.

Mistake #4: Trying to manage too many accounts

It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you need to grow a presence on every single popular social media network. But if you spread yourself too thin you likely won’t have the time to consistently create good quality content or to engage meaningfully with your followers.

A much more effective approach would be to choose a smaller number of channels, at least to start with. Pick them based on your marketing goals, your target audience, and the resources available within your team.

“Marketing is no longer about the stuff you make but the stories you tell”
– Seth Godin

Mistake #5: Treating each social media platform the same

Every social media platform is unique in terms of user demographics, type of content that performs best, recommended post format and even best practices. That’s why applying the exact same tactics across the board most probably won’t lead to great results. By making an effort to understand the specificities of each network on which you are active you will maximise the value you get out of social media.

Mistake #6: Focusing too much on sales

Ideally, your social media content should only include around 20% of posts that directly promote your brand and the products or services you offer. The remaining 80% should be aimed at building trust with your audience. In fact, you can talk as much as you want about how amazing your products are and how competitive your pricing is, but if you haven’t established trust it’s likely that none of your efforts will convert into sales.

So instead, focus on adding real value to your target audience by informing, educating or even entertaining them. Offer content that showcases your expertise and provide social proof through reviews and testimonials.

Mistake #7: Failing to interact with followers

Consistently sharing great content is time consuming, but don’t forget to also set time aside to engage with your followers and respond to their comments and messages. The more you interact with your audience on your business page the more customers will want to engage and be part of your community.

Mistake #8: Not tracking your results

Measuring the performance of your posts and campaigns will help you continuously optimise your social media strategy. You can do this very easily using the free analytics tools available within each social network. Depending on your goals and the metrics you are tracking, surveys may also be an effective way to find out how a certain strategy has been resonating with your audience.

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