6 Surprisingly Common Social Media Mistakes
The benefits of a well-run social media marketing campaign are undeniable. Unfortunately, so are the ill-effects of a poorly run effort. A few (in)famous examples of this from this year alone include the McDonald’s Twitter account getting hacked and Adidas inadvertently referencing the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing in a joking fashion. Social media gaffes have an unfortunate way of going viral. And if you mess up big time, you can expect to be widely ridiculed — and, worse still, widely reposted.
Social media gaffes can also be a bit misleading in a certain way, however. Namely, they make people associate social media mistakes with dramatic fails that the whole world finds out about.
The reality is that the most common social media mistakes are not those embarrassing or offensive posts that end up going viral. In fact, viral social media mistakes, damaging as they can be, are relatively rare — and can usually be corrected with a swift, sincere apology and a bit of time.
The more common form of social media error is the one that no one sees — because no one is paying attention. And these errors are difficult to correct, because without a major public backlash, the social media marketer who is posting them might never get the wake up call they need! The following social media errors are exceedingly common yet oftentimes ignored:
- Posting with No Vision.
You would never set out on a journey without knowing where your destination was, or how you are going to get there. (In fact, there’s no need even for a metaphor here — you would never run any other aspect of your marketing campaign without a plan!) But for some reason, when it comes to social media, many business owners simply post haphazardly with little strategy or no long-term planning involved.
It is important to understand that even the tone and content of social media is oftentimes informal, social media marketing should still be taken seriously. Strategy, goal setting, and vision are all musts when it comes to marketing. And this holds true whether you are posting silly videos to Facebook or writing a professional white paper. You spend time and money on your social media marketing efforts, and your brand reputation hangs in the balance — manage your online presence accordingly.
- Ignoring Negative Feedback.
Ignoring a problem is never a good strategy for solving it. And this is especially true when it comes to disgruntled customers. In today’s world, unhappy customers can do a lot of damage to a brand in a very short amount of time. From negative Google reviews, to Facebook comment threads, to Tweets using your company hashtags — consumers have a lot of power in their hands, which is one reason why customer satisfaction is so crucial in today’s world.
When customers do become upset, however, quick action is the best way to mitigate the problem. In fact, addressing these types of problems can oftentimes be surprisingly effective. Many customers simply want their voice to be heard — and if you offer to fix their problem in some way, you may be able to convince them to remain loyal to your brand. At the least, they are less likely to continue spreading negative opinions about your business.
Responding to negative social media posts is more than just an opportunity to retain a customer who would have otherwise walked away, though. Many other social media users are going to be watching the conversation — and if they see that you respond in a timely, reasonable, and helpful manner, you may be able to turn a potentially damaging situation into a positive.
- Being Boring
In today’s world, people have become experts at spotting and avoiding advertising. Ad blocking software is a good internet example of this phenomenon — but the practice extends to virtually every other aspect of marketing, from DVR commercial-skipping to the growth of podcasts at the expense of traditional radio.
The only effective way of countering and overcoming this new challenge in marketing? Make your advertisements worth consuming. Offer something of value — be it entertainment, education, or inspiration — so that your audience has no reason to avoid your marketing efforts. Social media offers one of the best platforms to do this, which is why brands that do not take advantage of this opportunity are asking to be ignored. So get in touch with your creative side and have some fun!
In a certain sense, social media platforms offer a lot of power. You are free to post as often as you would like, for example — and you are free to post any kind of content that you would like. However, as the old saying goes, with great power comes great reasonability.
Posting too often — especially if the majority of your posts are explicitly self-promotional — will alienate and annoy your social media audience very quickly.
- Not Diversifying
If you have ever invested money into the stock market, then you have probably heard the oft repeated mantra, diversify. No matter how profitable any individual company or industry may be, the best long-term strategy for investors is to seek variety.
Investing your time, energy, and marketing funds into social media is no different. Even though certain types of content (such as video), and certain styles of content (such as humor), might tend to put up the best numbers, the best strategy for consistent and long-term ROI is to utilize many distinct types and styles of content. This will keep things interesting while helping you reach — and appeal to — the widest portion of your online audience possible.
- Not Tracking Analytics
Not everyone is mathematically minded, and pouring over social media data may very well sound like the last way that you want to spend your time. This is understandable, but gauging your success in an objective way is key to improving your strategy in any endeavor — and analytics are the best way of measuring results in social media.
If you are interested in contracting professional assistance with your social media analytics efforts, or any other aspect of your online marketing campaign, we encourage you to contact Bearly Marketing online today!