By Binh An Nguyen
Social media has become inevitable if you are running a modern business. That’s not a surprise, as the number of users on all social media platforms combined are a massive marketing opportunity for most companies.
Still, while the trend of being active on social media is wholly justified, it doesn’t mean that every brand can benefit from social media. In most cases, they cannot do so due to various mistakes they make when planning their approach.
We’re here to pinpoint the five most common mistakes businesses and marketing teams make when coming up with a social media plan. We’re also going to go through the steps necessary to resolve these issues and get things back on track.
1. Using only your own content
Businesses often fall under the false impression that their social media following cares for the same things they do. They create and share only brand-related, or content that is overly self-promotional. Sometimes, this content can hit a sweet spot and engage the audience, but it bears no results in terms of added value and high engagement rates in the long term.
However, there is a way to highlight your company’s industry expertise while providing extra value to your social media following. The solution is an ongoing content curation strategy.
Simply put, curated content is content that somebody else created. Content curation strategy refers to finding valuable and industry-relevant content and sharing it with your audience.
Sharing this information will attract more attention and will keep users interested for a more extended period. Why? Because you will appear as someone who aims to provide value by sharing resources other than only the content you create.
More importantly, you can establish yourself as a go-to resource for a valuable online read. If you share only the best content and provide personal insights, you’ll also appear as someone who genuinely understands your niche’s recent developments.
2. Spreading yourself too thin
The second common mistake businesses make in their social media game is “spreading yourself too thin”. The expression describes the event of attempting to be present on every platform at once. Given that social media attracts so many people, it’s perhaps the most honest mistake businesses make.
It’s easy to rectify it – start looking at social media platforms as marketing channels. Do you want to advertise via a channel that doesn’t help you reach your target customers? If your answer is no, there is no need to spend your valuable time and resources on all social media platforms.
You should focus on being present on one or two platforms. There are several factors to consider when doing so:
- your brand’s target audience
- the content you intend to share through these channels
- target customer demographics
- advertising costs
Limiting your marketing efforts to one or two platforms will help you utilise your efforts better. Additionally, you will be able to become highly specialised in using a particular platform. For instance, you will be able to learn how to increase Instagram followers as opposed to doing it with various makeshift social media marketing strategies.
3. Disregarding engagement as a metric
Many businesses fail to understand that social media marketing goes beyond logging in to social media accounts, sharing content, and going off. That’s why most social media marketing efforts end up unsuccessful.
To achieve the marketing goals, you need to interact with your audience to create narratives, encourage information exchange, and motivate them to engage with your brand. The metric you should be focused on is social media engagement. This metric tells you whether your posts are engaging and to what extent. The crucial factors that social media engagement takes into account are comments, likes and shares.
Your first task would be to analyse engagement rates. Take a look at how many followers you have at the moment and how many shares and comments per post you have on average. The social media engagement rate is the percentage of your followers that interact with your content.
There is no uniform social media engagement value for all platforms or across all industries. For instance, the average engagement rate across all industries on Facebook is 0.08%, on Instagram it’s 1%, and on Twitter 0.045%. Anything below the average value for your specific industry on a specific platform is considered to be worth improving.
There are plenty data-based tactics to boost your Facebook engagement rates that you can easily follow, including:
- Keep posts up to 80 characters, because shorter posts receive higher interaction rates
- Try to use images as much as possible
- Use emoticons
- Post at the right times
4. Not realising the power of video content
The type of content you share via your social media channels also plays a vital role when it comes to running a successful campaign. You should know that 50% of consumers on social media prefer videos. It’s a powerful content type that you can leverage to drive engagement rates.
To improve your marketing results, you can gradually transition into video content. The potential of video marketing depends on your creativity because you can use video content for so much more.
For instance, you can shoot behind-the-scenes videos to let your customers see how you improve services, build products, or just meet your team. You can even have regular live video Q&As sessions to connect with your audience better.
5. Letting your content quality take a dip
The “more is better” principle definitely doesn’t apply to establishing a good social media presence. Businesses that focus on sharing things at a high pace often sacrifice content quality. Poor-quality content brings engagement rates down and doesn’t help generate new followers.
A lighter approach, and a more intense focus on content quality, is a strategy you should consider. Content quality is what makes or breaks your chances to engage with your audience, and you can deliver quality content only if you devote enough time to create or curate it.
You should bear in mind the ingredients every great piece of content needs while creating the content:
- ensure your posts are original
- create strong headlines
- make your content actionable
- provide answers relevant to your target audience
- choose only authoritative websites for sourcing information
Social media platforms provide many opportunities businesses can leverage to improve their position in the market and drive sales. With the strategies we’ve shared with you, you will be able to do things right and bring your social media game to the next level. No brand approaches social media in the exact same manner, so keep this in mind as things start picking up. Take things slowly, learn as you progress, and orient your approach around techniques that work for your brand.
About the Author
Binh An Nguyen is a Founder & CEO of Market Ease Digital, Binh has worked with, and advised, some of the largest national campaigns and biggest brands in Australia and around the world, including Hyundai Motor Company Australia, Subaru Australia, Etihad Stadium, yd., Tarocash, Connor, Cartridge World Australia, and the Australian Federal Government.