Having a social presence in today’s interconnected world is important, and it doesn’t take long at all to set one up. Not to even mention the low-cost advertising your brand experiences via social media... a guest-blog post by Craig Robinson
With a site like Facebook or Twitter being free to join and relatively easy to use, it’s no wonder that thousands of new brands are attempting to market themselves every month across the Internet. Having a social presence in today’s interconnected world is important, and it doesn’t take long at all to set one up. Not to even mention the low-cost advertising your brand experiences via social media.
However, it’s all of this traffic and the mad rush to stand out in a crowd that leads most marketers to make some fairly common mistakes. Some of these mistakes are minor and are easily corrected, while others have the potential to be brand-killers and won’t allow you to bounce back. So before you fall into these wide and numerous traps, let’s take a look at five common mistakes that are very easy to avoid making.
Inspired 2 Design is excited to share this guest-blog by Qwaya's Craig Robinson... enjoy!
5 Common and Easily Avoidable Mistakes in Social Marketing
1: A Lack of Planning
You shouldn’t need any type of advanced marketing course or the services of a social media marketing consultant to tell you that planning out an approach is in your best interest. It’s Business 101, and it doesn’t matter which medium we’re talking about. Having a proper plan that encompasses a marketing strategy, a targeting approach, a budget, and other business staples is one of the first things you should focus on. Not having a plan in place is bad news.
The planning process for a social media campaign reads off like a list of the usual suspects. You're going to need:
• Research: Thoroughly evaluate your niche, social media options (sites, ad services, third-party tools, etc), and work to decide on the best approach for you and your business.
• Money: You should have a budget in mind for what you're able to spend and what you're willing to spend. Planning with a budget allows you to avoid making moves that are too risky while allowing you to slowly enter into social campaigning in a fiscally-responsible manner.
• Help: Included in your planning should be ample concern for the company's workload. Can you do this yourself? More often than not, you're going to need help. Even if you don't need an entire department to help you handle social media, you may still want to plan on outsourcing certain aspects, such as writing and design, to free up more time for you.
Treat your social media marketing with as much respect as you treat your business in general, planning for the expected and having contingencies for the unexpected. Planning helps you to avoid mistakes which could easily damage your brand.
2: Too Much Focus on Business
Since this article has an emphasis on overall branding, it’s important to point out that too much business is a bad thing. You need to inject some personality into your branding, and being too businesslike with every post, comment and update is a total turnoff for many.
Remember that this is social media. White-bread, technical, flat material is not going to turn heads, whereas something taking a more “fun” approach can really attract people to your brand.
The mistake here is made primarily by those individuals and companies who feel they have to be all-business, all the time. Branding in social media is also about endearing people to your overall presence. Think of Coke and the polar bears, or McDonald's and the jingles. They get playful and entertaining while still promoting their respective brands.
3: Repetitive Boringness
In the throws of social media management, it’s easy to see why a lot of people make the mistake of releasing the same relative types of posts. And if they’re well received by the public at large, it’s not a bad thing. However, if they’re not going viral and aren’t turning heads, then you need to realize that you’re boring people and thus need to change your posting approach.
A to-the-point status update which, well, updates your status, can turn into a launching pad of ideas. You can use something as simple as a line of text to ask an interesting question which intrigues people and makes them want to see what else you're up to.
Instead of sticking with professional, business-specific photos, you can play to the crowd and release memes and infographics while still remaining true to your business.
Video clips and links to podcasts can give your audience something entertaining that they may want to come back for time and again.
4: Blurring the Lines
Showing a personal side to your brand is imperative for authenticity and overall reach, but you can easily blur these lines and inject a little too much personality. Be careful not to blur the lines between too much business and too much personality. As a general rule, it’s okay to speak about an event or something that’s personally related to your brand. It’s not okay to delve into your personal life.
You may be thinking: “Well, I thought I was supposed to mix it up and to get personal and entertaining!” And this is true. However, there is a line there.
For example: Your brand is its own entity, and your company page is its own page. Your personal page, on the other hand, is your personal page. Get it? You don't need to get personal to the point where you're posting pics of your newborn and telling jokes about your spouse in business territory.
“You,” as in that person you see in the mirror staring back at you, isn't your brand's personality per se. So remember to add personality without being overly personal. You have a personal page for that, not to mention blogs and Twitter and a dozen other mediums. Let your brand exist on its own; don't compete with it.
5: Avoiding the “Social” in Social Media
Some brands make the big mistake of not seeking active social engagement. You should know in social media that engagement goes beyond inducing an action from your audience. It’s about the back-and-forth dialogue – the conversation. You have to reciprocate on your end and be social with your audience.
Remember the previous tips, however, and understand always that “you” and the brand image your business portrays are two different things. Getting social with people and engaging them in dialogue doesn't mean inviting folks over to your house for a Super Bowl party. It's just about actively engaging an audience with your brand.
Even the most careful brands out there are going to make mistakes. Making a mistake is truly unavoidable. However, there is no single mistake that stands as unavoidable. So if you’re aware of the potential pitfall, you can avoid it.
Article written by: Craig Robinson, an online writer for Qwaya - a facebook ad campaign tool. He loves to write different topics about social media tips and strategies. Besides writing, he also enjoys engaging with different communities and social forums.