7 costly social media marketing mistakes

This article originally appeared on PR Daily in June of 2017

Social media can be a powerful tool for brand promotion and consumer
connection, but what happens when buzz goes bad?

Many businesses and marketers have suffered damage from a social media
mistake. These gaffes can happen to any organization at any time,
especially because social media is still unfamiliar to many.

A marketer or organization might have the best intentions, but too many
simply don’t understand how to make the most of a social media presence and
platform. As a result, they jump into social media and wind up with a
marketing mess. The best way to avoid these fiascos is to be aware of the
digital don’ts—before it’s too late.

To help you avoid backlash with your social media marketing, consider these
top seven social media mistakes that you can’t afford to make:

[RELATED: Learn social media secrets from TED, Microsoft, Starbucks and more at Amazon HQ.]

1. Assuming social media marketing is free

Joining an online network might itself cost nothing, but an effective
social media strategy demands at least a small investment or it will be a
waste of time. Because online platforms don’t prioritize business posts in
news feeds, these messages are often buried beneath a slew of others. As a
result, it’s impossible for marketers to ensure their posts are seen.

It helps to spend a little money to broaden a company’s social media reach
and target specific audiences. Even though this might call for a small
investment, it’s likely to have a big payoff in online exposure and

2. Spending time and money on the wrong social platforms

With so many established and emerging social media platforms today, it can
be hard to know which channels are best for engaging the target audience.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for a business to waste a lot of time and
money on the wrong social platforms. This social media mix-up could be due
to incorrect audience research or a prior marketing mistake, but it can
cost a company a great deal of effort and expense.

To avoid choosing the wrong social media channels,
SimplyMeasured.com suggested first conducting research to find out which platforms the target
audience prefers. Once these channels have been identified, focus the bulk
of your social media marketing on them. In addition, spread marketing
messages across a few channels to maximize reach and exposure.

3. Inaccurate or inadequate audience research

One secret of successful businesses is an in-depth understanding of their
target audience. Many executives don’t realize that knowing the target
audience is just as important in social media. Effective social media is
based on crafting content that’s relevant and interesting to the audience.
This content will prompt communication and lead to social engagement.
That’s why both brands and marketers must make the effort to really get to
know their audiences. Know who they are, where they live, what they want,
and what they would like from your brand.

Experts agree that the best way to find this information is by conducting
audience research. Today, there are many methods available for performing
this research with ease. This will accomplish three important goals:

· It will provide important insight about the best ways to draw, connect
and communicate with the audience.

· It will increase your understanding about how to craft online content
that reflects and resonates with your community.

· It will guide your strategy and ensure that the message and tone of your
social media marketing is as effective as possible.

Business2Community.com warned that there may be a major difference between the target audience on
social media and the audience for other marketing efforts. That’s why
social media should be planned as both a separate entity and a component of
the overall marketing strategy.

4. Doing everything on your own

If you think that social media is only for large businesses, think again.
Social media platforms can offer big benefits to small businesses. A major
mistake small businesses make is trying to handle it themselves, instead of
relying on an expert.

Content marketing demands certain skills and specific expertise that most
people lack. Digital marketing experts can develop an integrated content
marketing solution for a business that includes social media, SEO, PPC and
web links. Working with experts will help ensure complete compliance with
Google rules and regulations, which can have a major impact on your

5. Prioritizing prospects over customers

Too many businesses are so focused on using social media to find new
prospects that they completely ignore their established client base. Though
generating prospects is an important part of business, a company can’t
afford to forget its longstanding customers.

The way to strike a balance between gaining prospects and keeping customers
is by prioritizing both. A business should offer special promotions and
social media content to attract potential prospects, but it should also
develop the same for their customers and followers.

6. Posting too much about business

Too many brands get involved in social media and focus exclusively on sales
promotion. It’s vital to understand that social media is just as much about
personal connection. If an organization posts only about new products and
upcoming sales, it risks of being perceived as pushy and promotional. Sure,
social media can raise brand awareness and increase sales, but the main
goal of social media should be to build audience relationships.

What are the best ways to approach social media to create enduring
relationships? Smart strategies include sharing relevant articles,
retweeting interesting content, posting useful information, teaching
something new, solving a problem or sharing humorous or meaningful
messages. These types of posts must be created and repeated regularly to
show the audience that the business has an active online presence and wants
to engage in an ongoing dialogue.

7. Not paying attention to audience feedback

The audience is the lifeblood of a business, but too many companies ignore
what that audience says or wants. Social media provides the perfect forum
for audience feedback, but it’s often ignored, so the company wastes
valuable opportunities to improve its overall business, marketing and
social media effectiveness.

Monitor all the posted content and track response patterns. This can
provide important insights to help a business refine its social media
content and overall marketing strategy.

Michael Del Gigante is the president and creative director of
MDG Advertising. A version of this article originally appeared on

the agency’s blog

(Image via)


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