One in four small businesses doesn’t have any social media presence
While social media remains among the strongest and most effective marketing channels, 24% of small businesses still haven’t taken advantage of its power. Some business owners are just too busy to spend their time on social media promotion, some are still hesitant about the effectiveness of social media marketing efforts (despite the statistics), and some are simply lazy.
However, even those business owners who actually do promote their business on social media channels often make mistakes that negatively influence the efficiency and performance of their strategies (if they even have a strategy to begin with). These mistakes are often due to common misconceptions about how social media marketing works, and how to measure its success.
5 Mistakes You Are Making With Social Media Marketing
#1 Spreading Yourself Too Thin
Many business owners who understand the importance of a social media presence attempt to be present on every social media platform known to mankind. They create accounts for their business everywhere and try to be equally active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, SnapChat, Slak and a plethora of other platforms.
In most cases, they eventually end up abandoning most (if not all) of their accounts for one simple reason – they just don’t have time to keep them all alive. Moreover, there is no point in marketing your business on platforms that your target demographic never visits. Not every social network is equally effective for achieving your business goals.
Rather than just scratching the surface, dedicate some time to analyze where your audience spends most of its time. Also, find out what types of content your audience engages in, and which platforms work best. For example, if you run a dental clinic, opt for educational articles on how to avoid cavities to post on Facebook, rather than pictures of patients’ filled teeth on Instagram. See the difference?
#2 Making Too Much Noise
You may think, “The more items I post, the higher engagement rates I will enjoy.” Not really. Good SMM requires a well-thought-out strategy where there is no room for random posting of tons of news and content. SMM is not just about volume of posts (which can do more harm than good).
Shift your focus to consistency, relevancy and, most importantly, quality of your content. It has to bring value and appeal to your followers, but should not annoy them by appearing on their news feeds thirty times a day. Keep track of which content really interests people on social media platforms, to better understand how you can improve your engagement rating.
#3 Dying for Followers
The number of followers used to be a key indicator of a business account’s success on social media. But those days are long gone. Today, likes, shares and followers have turned into a virtual product that can be easily bought for money without any effort on your part. That is why their values have diminished significantly.
A sure-fire way to measure your business’ social media success is through engagement and feedback. Monitor whether and how your audience responds to actions taking place on your accounts. There is no sense in having thousands of followers if only a few or none of them really cares about what’s going on in your news feed. Your goal should not be limited to getting as many followers as possible, but to keeping them engaged and attached to your brand.
#4 Thinking That Social Media Marketing is Free and Easy
Well, to some extent, sure, you are not charged for registering an account nor for posting, sharing, liking or other actions. Also, technically, everyone (or almost everyone) knows how to use social media platforms – it’s not rocket science! You take a piece of content, post it and gather likes and shares.
However, quality SMM is not a piece of cake. If it was that easy, we would all be SMM experts, right? SMM requires a certain level of expertise and skill to make your efforts really count. Social media platforms grow and evolve day after day, and so does social media marketing itself. And if you are serious about your business and its performance on social media, hiring an expert is non-negotiable.
#5 Doubting If Your Audience Is There
Your audience is there. Unless you are marketing your products and services to aliens, the likelihood that your potential customers do not have accounts on major social networks is very slim, and you are most likely ignoring one of your most powerful marketing channels.
Facebook alone has more than 2 billion active users worldwide, while the total number of Facebook users in the US is about 240 million, which makes up approximately 75% of its population (not taking into account about 60 million children under age 13 who are not allowed to use Facebook). Are you still sure that your audience is not using social media?
Using SMM together with other digital marketing channels such as SEO and PPC, will more than double your chances of being noticed and recognized by wider audiences. No matter what kind of business you are running – online or offline – digital marketing is becoming the Holy Grail of marketing in a world that is rapidly moving online. It is a must for businesses looking to get a strong foothold online, and it is no longer optional for offline businesses that want to keep pace with evolving standards and be able to reach their audience.