Social media is without a doubt one of the most important tools marketers can leverage today to raise brand awareness and name recognition. How important is it, you may ask? Well, it’s important enough for more than 90 percent of marketers in both the B2B and B2C spaces to rank it as their most important marketing tactic of 2015, according to benchmark reports by the Content Marketing Institute.
However, despite the importance of social media the fact remains that it is one of the most competitive spaces for marketers to operate in and it is also one of the most difficult to see results from. For starters, this is because when brands are competing in the social media space they’re not just competing with other brands; they’re competing with celebrities, athletes, musicians, political figures and social media personalities. To put the competiveness of this medium into perspective, consider these statistics:
- 4 billion people, or nearly 20 percent of the world’s population, are Facebook users
- 73 percent of all internet users, regardless of age, are actively using social media sites
- 89 percent of brands will use social media in 2015
With all of this competition distracting your target audience from your brand’s social media messaging, marketers cannot afford to be making mistakes that will further minimize their followings. Nonetheless, there are a number of mistakes that brands are constantly making on social media and they need to change.
If you’re looking to revamp your social media presence and be competitive in the space, look to address these five issues:
- Posting headlines and nothing else: I see this one all the time and it’s one of my biggest pet peeves; marketers who are posting on behalf of their brands and offering nothing more than the exact headline of the article and a link. The problem with this is you’re not offering any incentive for your target audience to follow the link to your website.
- Using social media as a megaphone: Imagine you’re at a convention center for a conference that is important to your industry. However, as everyone else talks and networks with one another, you’re standing on a chair in the corner, screaming at the top of your lungs about a new product or service you’re offering, to no one in particular. That is what it’s like when you’re using social media as a megaphone. Don’t be the guy with the megaphone, be the person shaking hands and making connections.
- Ignoring your followers: Consumers are at a bit of an advantage when it comes to social media, as brands and businesses didn’t hit the scene until these social media platforms were already well developed. Because of that, consumers are using social media differently than brands and as an engagement tool or customer service channel. However, if you’re not up-to-speed on how these interactions work and instead opt to ignore these consumers, then you’re alienating them and increasing your chances of losing them as a follower, and worse as a customer.
- Posting nothing but text: Consider this, if you went to a company website and there were no pictures, videos or any rich media, would you stay on that site? You’d probably find the heavy text and lack of creativity monotonous and leave almost immediately. Well the same can be said about social media posts. In fact, an MTV Roadies case study by Convince and Convert found that by simply turning a Facebook picture post into a Facebook photo gallery post, MTV Roadies increased clicks to their posts by 1,290 percent. So, not only do your posts need rich media, they need lots of it.
- Having a social media one-track mind: Marketers are on social media to promote their brands and increase lead generation, sure, but if that is all you’re doing on social media you’re being a bit boring. This clearly puts you in danger of losing your following as recent research from Hubspot shows 20 percent of users will unfollow a brand on both Facebook and Twitter if their content is too boring. That’s because consumers are looking for brands with personality; brands that not only talk about themselves and their consumers, but their industry and real world events as well.
Social media isn’t a science—it’s far from it in fact. However, with that said, there are some tried and true methods and there are a certain number of expectations for brands to succeed in the space. If you’re making these five mistakes, it’s time to reevaluate your strategy and step up your game moving forward.