Social media, love it or hate it, it’s here to stay. And while on a personal level most of us would agree that a feed full of duck-face selfies and pictures of cheat meals adds little value to our lives, on a professional level social media done right can do a lot for your brand.
If you need any convincing here, pay attention to this little snapshot of stats:
- 23% of online shoppers are influenced by social media recommendations
- 84% of online shoppers in the United States review at least one social media site before making a purchase
- 75% of Instagram users have taken an action, such as visiting a website, after looking at an Instagram advertising post
Note, however, we say “social media done right”. Too many businesses do it wrong, committing the same tired old mistakes that are at best a waste of time and money, and at worst damaging. So, to hit the sweet spot of social media marketing so it works well for your brand, here are five common mistakes to avoid, and a few pointers on what to embrace.
1) Failing To Engage
Remember, it’s social media, not antisocial media. So be sure to engage with your communities. This means starting conversations as well as responding to comments, the good, the bad and the ugly. Otherwise you risk looking like you don’t care. This certainly won’t grow your community, and it more than likely will shrink it.
2) Making It All About You
There are few things more soul-destroying than being stuck in a one-way conversation with somebody and the three words you hear most from them are ‘me’, ‘mine’ and ‘I’. This applies to social media too. If you make it all about your brand, you’ll bore the pants off people. Make your posts about your followers, for your followers, weaving your brand news in where it feels right and relevant for both parties.
3) Over-reliance On Automation
‘Canned’ posts used sparingly and in the right place at the right time in the right tone are OK. But too many give off an unnatural feel to your feed that followers will quickly pick up on and be turned off by. People want to interact with your brand like it’s a friend, not an automaton.
4) Lacking A Social Media Policy
This is extremely dangerous, as it can mean the leaking of offensive posts that damage your brand reputation and see you hemorrhage followers. These can be deliberate (a disgruntled employee going rogue, for example) or accidental — who can forget Epicurious’ horribly misguided tweets using the Boston bombings to promote breakfast recipes? See below and shudder:
Ensure you have a policy in place to avoid social media storms like this and change passwords regularly so only the right people have access.
5) Posting Without Proofreading:
Even a simple typo can be damaging. And if too many slip through, followers may lose trust in your brand. For if you’re sloppy on social, where else are your standards lacking? So check your posts once. Check them twice. Check them thrice. And where possible, pass them by a pair of eagle eyes. Inevitably mistakes will happen. When they do, as long as you haven’t offended anyone, apologize, amend, and where possible, make like The Boston Globe and make ‘em LOL.
So, now you know what not to do when it comes to social media marketing for your brand, here are a few pointers on what to do!
1) Have A Plan
Social media is a waste of time and money if it lacks focused effort. You need to choose the right channels for your target audience, with a clear set of goals and metrics to measure your success. Sporadically posting across various platforms is just shouting in to a void. You need to approach social media like you would any marketing campaign to benefit from it.
2) Focus On Quality Not Quantity
Don’t fall in to the trap of vanity metrics, which focus on growing large numbers of followers regardless of their value. What’s the point in a huge following on Facebook if few of them are engaging with your brand and contributing to your bottom line? Instead you should be measuring the effect social media has on your business.
3) Stay On Brand
Ensure that all your social media posts regardless of platform are true to your brand in tone, voice, personality and values. Social media gives brands huge opportunity to connect with customers on a deeper level. So leverage it to the utmost.
4) Make Your Social Media Content Shoppable
While social media is predominantly about generating awareness of and building communities around your brand, you can also use it to drive conversions by using ‘Where to Buy’ technology to make it shoppable. Like it, share it, buy it!
Contact our team today to learn how ChannelSight can bridge the gap between creatives and conversions by making any or all of your social content shoppable!
Global Brand Partner Consultant