Top 5 Social Media Marketing Pitfalls

Top 5 Social Media Marketing Pitfalls

This article comes from Entrepreneur.

Top 5 Social Media Marketing Pitfalls

To make the most of the opportunities available to you on social media, start with an honest audit of your current marketing strategy. By avoiding the common missteps below, you’ll be more likely to reach your audience, build a relationship with your followers and achieve your marketing goals.

1. Focusing on follower count

Followers are important in terms of building brand awareness, gaining leads and reaching new customers. However, you can’t simply collect followers like you collect antique teacups or vintage neon signs.

It’s what you do after you gain a new follower that matters the most. If you gain followers but fail to interact with them, your page won’t gain much traction. Any small amount of organic reach you may have initially when a new follower joins isn’t going to last without the proper nurturing.

Eventually, your followers won’t see your content if you’re not taking the time to build a relationship with them. In exchange for that “like” or “follow,” they expect you as a brand to make their time on your page worthwhile.

Pro tip: Followers are great, but keeping those followers is even better. Make sure you’re posting consistently — and posting content your audience wants to see (more on that next). In addition, reply to your followers’ engagement, questions, comments and customer service issues so they know there’s a real human behind your brand.

2. Posting irrelevant, boring or salesy content

The content you post for your followers will either keep them coming back for more or cause you to get lost in the social media void. If your content is unrelatable to them, yawn-worthy or overly promotional, your followers will skip over it, or worse, unfollow you. The more your followers scroll past your content, the greater the odds that your content won’t make it into newsfeeds.

In other words, just because you have 5,000 followers doesn’t mean all 5,000 of them will see your content. You have to post content they want to see in order to get more of your posts seen by not only your followers, but also their friends.

Pro tip: Create content that informs, educates, entertains or inspires. Roughly 80% of your content should be non-promotional, with the other 20% reserved for your sales, events and special offers.

Essentially, the vast majority of your content should be focused on them, not you. Here are a few content ideas:

  • Owner or team member spotlights: Post a photo and a few fun facts.
  • How-to videos: Tell your followers how to use your products or services.
  • Customer testimonials: With permission, post a photo of a happy customer and thank them for their business.
  • Community or charity events: Do you work with a local school or nonprofit? Give them a shoutout with a photo highlighting how you’re supporting them.
  • Behind the scenes or throwback photos: What’s it like running your business? How did you get started? Post a pic to show your audience what goes on behind the scenes.
  • Influencer photos: Partner with influencers who can share their own experiences with your brand. You’ll reach entirely new followers with this type of third-party social proof.

3. Failing to boost content

The idea that social platforms are free marketing mediums is ancient history at this point. You have to pay to play if you want your followers to see your brand on social media.

Even the best content — while it may earn a modicum of organic reach — won’t get the same traction as boosted content. Your followers might initially see your content after liking your page, but over time, your visibility will drop unless you advertise.

Pro tip: Set an ad budget so you can boost the high-quality content described in number two above. Doing so ensures your content makes it into newsfeeds and reaches the right audience. You can set parameters for your target audience’s age, demographics, geographic location and more.

You can also create sponsored content that might be more promotional in nature. Think about the different ads you see as you’re scrolling through your feed or viewing stories on Facebook and Instagram.

This content has the potential to reach new leads. With effective calls to action, you can drive website traffic, conversions and sales.

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