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5 Common Mistakes Everyone Makes in Social Media Marketing

Things to keep in mind to get the results you want.


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Anmol Bhotika

3 years ago | 8 min read

What comes to mind when you think of social media marketing?

This is what most beginners would say: Just make an attractive-looking creative or click a nice photo and post it on your brand’s social media account. Then sit back and wait for the likes and comments to roll in, and start replying back to them. Build engagement.

Sounds easy, right?

This is, however, the same trap everyone falls into when they’re starting out, and I was no different. I would direct most of my effort into creating the most aesthetic creatives and continuously editing the pictures until I was satisfied.

This is of course required if you wish to maintain a social media profile that matches a high-quality standard, but unfortunately, it does not even fulfill the minimum requirements from the aspects of marketing.

It was only after a few weeks of seeing my effort not leading to optimum results that I realized that I was going wrong in my endeavors. So, I took a step back to evaluate my process and found some very basic principles that I had failed to integrate.

When you’re out to sail in this vast ocean that is social media, ensuring that your ship is constructed well enough to withstand the waves is crucial. Otherwise, you are bound to sink before reaching your destination.

From my experiences, I’ve listed a few of the basic mistakes almost everyone makes, including me, when they start out in social media marketing. It will hopefully be of help in steering your ship in the right direction.

Mistake #1: Social media is not following the brand visual

Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash
Photo by J. Kelly Brito on Unsplash

The primary mistake many people make is ignoring the importance of branding. You may ask, why is branding necessary?

That’s because branding is your identity on social media. You never want your identity and reputation to be built by anyone else; you need to create your own reputation.

All industry leaders become leaders by having built their identity over the years. You know Nike is associated with swift action and not lethargy because their branding has created the aura of just doing it.

You may be posting amazing content that imparts a lot of value to the audience, but if you lack branding, your efforts would be on the rocks. The results that you’ve been looking out for would not be in sight.

The Solution

The easy solution to this problem is maintaining consistency in all your brand posts. If there is a uniformity in your content, the viewer will begin to recognize and distinguish you from the other people out there.

It doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to always design your posts in a unique manner to ensure that they look identical. The content you put out there should match the visual you have for your brand and be consistent in terms of the value you hope the audience derives from it.

For nascent brands, it helps a lot if there is only one person responsible for designing the posts as it reduces the chances of the content being very skewed. Once you have found your niche, creating your content along those lines is the best way forward for developing your brand identity.

This step is one of the most overlooked aspects of social media that will help in creating a distinct audience for your brand.

Mistake #2: Not creating content your audience wants

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

Most people have a preconceived idea of what their audience wants from them, which may not always be correct. This could relate to the nature of the content itself or the format in which it is being posted.

For instance, you may be meticulously maintaining a blog, without knowing that your audience actually prefers short videos. Many people fall into the trap of not having tested their content. They end up talking about what they believe the audience wants without actually addressing the problems that the audience might be expecting them to solve.

The Solution

Researching on the formats that your target audience prefers is a huge bonus for making sure that there is plain sailing when it comes to your brand’s social media presence. This can be either in the form of seeing what your contemporaries are doing and analyzing the type of content that works best for them, or testing out different things yourself to view the results.

Another method can be asking your audience itself. AMAs and polls are a really great way of engaging directly with them and gaining insights on where their interests lie.

Mistake #3: Using too many platforms

Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

Many brands aim to grow their presence on diverse social media platforms even when they’re starting out which can result in them not spending enough time trying to get things right on each individual platform. Plus, it results in inconsistency in the number of times they post on each platform.

Consistency refers to the number of times you post in one day. The reason why it is crucial in social media is the degrading attention span of users. You always want to be relevant and at the top of the minds of your audience.

Failing to post regularly is one of the worst setbacks to your social media strategy. Maintaining consistency in this aspect also leads to building up expectations in the minds of the audience regarding your next post.

By striving to be on multiple platforms you can end up comprising the consistency in posting regularly on each platform and giving thought to curate the best content that you can offer. There is an additional layer to this mistake as each platform has its unique way of presentation of content.

So while Twitter requires short, concise, and witty statements, Instagram is a visual medium. This can result in mistake #2 again, where you may fail to meet the expectations of your audience on a specific platform by posting content that might not be engaging on that particular platform.

The Solution

The key lies in strategically choosing your platform. The primary step involves considering your brand ideals and visions. What kind of audience do you aspire for your brand? Do you want young and trendy people to be seeing your content or older and more mature people? Is the brand more suitable for people who love to read or for people who are more interested in consuming easy to digest content?

Answering basic questions like these about your brand would aid you in arriving at the best platforms where you should be actively involved. In the end, you need to be active on the platforms where your target consumers are most likely to be active.

This is the place where you could impart the most amount of value to them. People tend to remember only those brands whose content they find most valuable, not the one who puts out the best content.

It is very easy to get caught up in new trends and devote your time to molding your content. However, that is not the best approach. Understanding where your strength lies and what kind of content has been working for you is the way forward. Don’t feel like you need to be present all across the internet.

There are multiple routes to reach your destination when you are sailing in the ocean, but finding the best route allows you to reach not just safe but also in the least time.

Mistake #4: Not putting aside enough time in creating content

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash
Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

This is one mistake where eventually all social media marketers end up getting trapped. Once they get going, they spend most of their time trying to understand what they should post that they don’t devote enough time to creating the best that they can.

There are several intricacies involved in the process of content creation as several factors affect the time it actually takes. The time you allocate for creating the content may be significantly less than what is actually required, which leads to less than satisfactory results.

The Solution

A smart marketer always keeps aside realistic content creation time. While formulation your schedules, always evaluate the actual time you consider would be required to create a piece of content, taking into account logistical and reevaluation factors.

This will not just give you a more practical idea of the amount of time you need to devote to the process, but also give you a correct indication of the temporal nature of the activities that you need to be cutting down.

Mistake #5: Excluding call-to-actions from your posts

This is by far the costliest mistake that you could make. Many people shy away from including a call-to-action, or CTA, as they feel it is unnecessary and they don’t like to see it as a part of their post.

However, if you don’t tell people to take action, they won’t.

And most importantly, CTAs help your viewers to get off the social media platform and onto the page that you wanted to get them direct towards. After all, the ultimate aim is to generate more sales or more eyeballs on your product or service. The CTA can help with precisely that.

The Solution

One of the best practices to adopt is to include a CTA in every post you make to enable your audience to reach your landing page. Most importantly, it’s completely up to you to design and decorate your CTA.

So, instead of the usual ‘Sign up today’ or ‘Buy now’, you can write ‘Sign up to be a part of a fitter community’ for a gym for instance. Demonstrating value in your CTA is a more efficient way of encouraging your viewers to use your product or service.

Bonus mistake #6: Not using a strategy in your social media

Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash
Photo by Austin Distel on Unsplash

The eventual result you wish from your social media is to reach your brand goals. So, it is imperative that you visualize your goals beforehand and ensure that your social media initiatives reflect your business goals.

Your social media does not have its own goals or ulterior motives. It needs to be a derivative of your marketing goals. So, posting on social media without having a clear vision of what you aspire will not lead to the accomplishments of what your brand actually needs,

The Solution

Spend time focusing on what you feel your business goals are, and what the end results should be for your brand. Your social media strategies will formulate from those aspirations, and you would end up creating better and more useful content for your potential customers.

As a social media manager, you are expected to run a tight ship while simultaneously managing multiple avenues. Ticking off these basic mistakes from your list would go a long way in developing a thriving social media profile and generate more engagement. After all, no one wants their ship to sink before arriving at your destination.

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Anmol Bhotika

Brain capacity filled with weird questions about life, the universe and everything.


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