There’s a lot of consumer attention focused on the major social media platforms. It’s hard to think of anywhere else that gives brands the opportunity to engage with so many people from around the world. If you want social media to be a boon for your business, you should aspire to be the best marketer in your industry. There’s a lot of competition in the zero-sum game of the attention economy. You have to work hard to win at it.
You should watch out for these five common marketing mistakes. With a little effort, you can avoid them all.
1. Not Engaging With Your Fans
Many brands make the mistake of ignoring fan comments. They think that their job ends after they make a post on Facebook. Instead, why not have conversations with your fans? When someone comments on your social media content, respond to them. You want to start a real conversation, so be as engaging and genuine as you can. Avoid single word responses and generic emojis.
Resist the temptation to think of digital marketing as a bunch of pixels on a screen. It’s so much more than that. Continuously remind yourself that every social media profile represents a real person and act accordingly.
2. Not Engaging With Other Creators
Engaging with fans is necessary but not sufficient by itself for audience growth. Your fans can only do so much for you. You can achieve faster growth through the power of collaboration. Find another brand that is related to what you do but not a direct competitor. Create content with them, and post it simultaneously across both of your social media profiles. This unlocks additional value for both brands by increasing the content’s reach. Try to figure out a form of content that facilitates regular collaboration. For example, you could do a weekly interview series on your YouTube channel that features other creators. With this idea, you can bring a ton of new potential fans to your page. When you go solo for too long, your audience stagnates. Keep bringing more people into your fan base by engaging with other creators.
3. Spreading Yourself Too Thin
There are many different social media platforms out there. Between the major brands and the dozens of smaller niche platforms, it’s a lot to keep up with. You won’t be able to put your business everywhere. Only the biggest global brands can afford to be active on dozens of websites. Your brand will be much better off focusing its limited resources onto one or two platforms and crushing it. Once you build an audience on a social media website, you can always expand. The asset of an engaged audience on one platform will make your other digital endeavors much easier. Be patient, and don’t overdo it at the beginning.
4. Not Posting Enough
The popularity of social media has turned every business into a media company. Everybody is racing to create great content and release it online. Once upon a time, media was limited to newspapers and a few TV stations. You could run a marketing campaign once or twice a year to get in front of an entire country. That is no longer the case. Your brand should aim to post once a day on your main social media page. This is doable when you stay focused. While your competition is distracted by a dozen different platforms, you’ll win big on one of them.
5. Not Creating Real Value
The flip side to frequent posting is creating legitimate value. It’s easy to fall into the trap of making content that isn’t good enough. Tight deadlines can lead brands to release sub-par videos and blog posts that don’t accomplish their goals. There is a balance to be had between quality and quantity of content. Even if you don’t have a lot of resources, you can create something of value for your audience. The process of cultivating your social media style is similar to developing a new product. First, identify a pain-point in the customer’s mind. What problem do they want to solve? With social media, it’s normal to frame it as “what entertainment are they looking for?” Figure out what you can make that people will enjoy. Your contribution of genuinely valuable content will be the foundation of your social media success.
Nobody is Perfect
After reading this guide, you may feel paranoid. Are you making some of the five big marketing mistakes? Firstly, remember that it’s okay to make mistakes. Nobody is perfect. You can recover by figuring out how to prevent and avoid these mistakes in the future. Over time, you can go from a flimsy marketing strategy to a bulletproof one. Your brand will be on top of the content game, entertaining and engaging with a steady fanbase every day. Do the work, and you can be a winner in the social media world.
Originally published 07/18/17.