The 6 Biggest Mistakes Businesses Make When Promoting Themselves Through Social Media

Many businesses today choose to promote themselves on social media. If you are one of them, you know how much time and effort is required when you incorporate this into your marketing strategy. If you’re not yet using social media as a tool to promote your products and services you’re doing your company a great injustice as there are so many people logging onto a multitude of social platforms hourly who are potential new customers that you haven’t yet tapped. If you have dabbled in posting the odd thing to Facebook or Twitter, but you haven’t had much result or you’re trying to manage your social media yourself or perhaps have an assistant who takes care of your posting… you’re going to want to take a look at the 6 worst social media mistakes we frequently see being made by those new to social marketing which actually end up hurting your bottom line opposed to helping it.

1. Auto Responses. The whole point of being present on social media is to have that interaction with your customers. Engaging with them gives your company a face and almost human like qualities so that your customers don’t feel like a receipt off your cash register or a number in your daily customer count. Adding auto responses to your marketing strategy is one of the things that’s making potential customers stray away from you, or worse - leave negative feedback from a poor user experience. You need to take the time to be present for your customers. If they take the time to give you feedback on their experience, your product or service, you, in turn, need to take the time to personably acknowledge it.

2. Not Posting Enough Content or Posting Too Much! Running your social platforms is a full-time job on its own. Posting once a week or five times a day is not going to give you the engagement or return on the investment of your time that you were hoping for. You need to keep your content exciting and fine tune what you are posting as you learn about your customers so that you’re posting stuff people actually want to read. You also want to be on people's minds when they are in the market for what you offer, but if your posts are all about selling to your customers you’ll also lose their attention. If you post too much content people may unsubscribe from you, turn your posts off or unlike/unfollow you. The purpose is to attract - not drive them away so taking time to listen to what your customers want before posting new content, will help you garner much more interest in the long run.

3. Failing to know your target audience. Knowing your demographics plays a huge role in any marketing strategy though, especially on social media. Understanding where your target market is located geographically can make a major impact along with the specific age range of that demographic and even what they are interested in beyond your products or services. For example, if you're a makeup artist that specializes in bridal makeup, your target market shouldn’t be women from the ages of 20-40. Your target market should be women, age 20-40 years of age, who live in Barrie, who are interested in marriage, weddings, bridal dresses, and shopping. You might even create two target markets to break down the younger audience from the older audience as the language and styles they will be attracted to will likely be very different which will have an impact on how you advertise and market to each of them.

4. Not Knowing where to find your target audience. Much like narrowing down who you want to become your new customers, you’ll also want to think about where they hang out online. If we use the example above of being a makeup artist, you’re not going to find many new customers on LinkedIn as it is a business to business type platform and is primarily used by head hunters and job seekers. However, posting before and after pictures of the brides you are working with on Instagram and Facebook would be great ideas as these platforms allow you to showcase your work on the most popular platforms for this age group. You might also think about posting makeup tutorials on Pinterest and YouTube as how-to type videos are very popular content to those looking for hairstyle and makeup inspiration for events like weddings.

5. Not Knowing How To Use Your #Hashtags. Hashtags are a very powerful tool that can make or break your social media posts. Not having them included in your posts limits the amount of people you could reach and as they are used by the social media robots that categorize the content you’ve posted, you’re limiting the number of times that your posts could be found when people search for your products or services. On the flip side of the coin though, using too many hashtags can be just as detrimental if they are used incorrectly as they will look spammy to those seeing the post and it could make your post confusing to the reader because they will have a hard time trying to figure out what the post is actually about. Lastly, ALWAYS BE SURE TO CHECK YOUR TAGS BEFORE POSTING!!! What does that mean? It means you should search the term you are using as a hashtag to see what comes up before adding it into your posts. You never know when an innocent hashtag like #OhLaLa in your post, could show your posts alongside posts with content that could be a little more 50 shades of grey than you might have originally thought. When reaching new customers who don’t know what your services or products entail your first impression, is often your only impression so be sure that the hashtags you use aren’t linked to anything sexual, offensive or controversial to what you are trying to portray as a brand.

6. Not investing in the long-term. We see it all too often in the social media world. Businesses start out strong with their commitment to posting on social media and don't realize how much work is actually involved in doing so. Slowly they begin to fizzle away, forgetting to post, or forgetting to reply to a message that comes in, and eventually forgetting the login even to access it after a little while. When customers search you out and see that your last post was from 2014, they’ll likely wonder if you’re still in business or why the social channel has gone dark altogether. As a consumer, they’ll also think there is no point in reaching out to you online as they feel they probably wouldn't get a response anyways so why bother AND if they don’t bother to reply online as part of their customer service strategy, they might expect your in-store customer service is less than stellar as well.

Bottom line - having a strong and effective social media marketing strategy is key to engaging with current and potential customers to create a lasting relationship in 2017. Knowing how much time it takes to invest in relevant content and responses can be daunting, but it doesn't have to be. Our experienced social media marketing team at 3SIXTY Marketing Solutions is here to help you. From basic reputation management (keeping an eye out for good and bad reviews) to a full social customer service experience with live postings multiple times a day, commentary management and more, we’re here to create the online presence your customers will grow to love, value and appreciate, turning potential customers into life-long ambassadors for your business. Just give us a call at 705-252-4180, we’ll review your accounts, bring them up to date and then get to work on creating a social media strategy that makes sense for your business to grow your bottom line.

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560 Bryne Drive, Unit 2, 

Barrie, ON   L4N 9P6

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