So, your SME has a Facebook account and is set up on Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and about 15 other “must use” social networks. That’s all well and good, but unless you’re creating a unified brand and sending a consistent message through all your social media outlets, you could be shooting yourself explosively in the foot. Let’s look at the most common social media marketing blunders that you’ll want to avoid with a ten foot barge pole:
1. Inconsistent Branding. We touched upon it in the introduction above – whether its the core message or the look, feel and colour of it – your website and various social media accounts must all sing from the same hymn sheet. Make sure your logo, slogans and offers are the same across the plethora of social media sites that you use. It’s now relatively easy and cheap to create custom skins/themes on sites like Facebook and Twitter – an option you’ll want to take up if you’re serious about positive branding through social media.
2. Not Updating Social Media Sites Frequently. There’s nothing that screams “can’t be bothered” quite as loudly as a blog or other social media site that has not been updated in ages. If your main money website has links to social media sites, you’re presenting a very slap dash image when potential clients click through only to find the last updated post was made in 2011.
3. Not Engaging Correctly. Avoid mistakes such as selling too aggressively or talking about you and your business too much through social channels. People don’t like the hard sell on social media – it’s a channel through which you should be engaging clients and projecting a softer, almost fun image. Sure, talk about industry and business developments, just don’t make every post about how great you and your products are. Got to leave something for the sales page right?
4. Not Having A Social Media Marketing Strategy. Don’t just jump right in and create social media accounts without having a semblance of a marketing plan. Social media marketing is an ongoing process rather than a one off quick-win. Business owners need to consider how they will allocate available resources to their social media marketing efforts. Content and posts will need to be updated, and you’ll need to engage with and reply to posts – this all takes time and/or money. Without a plan, you might get off to a shotgun start only to fall pitiably by the wayside if you just don’t have the time it takes to commit to social media marketing.
5. Not Employing Technology To Make Social Media Marketing Easier. Much of getting social media marketing right is in being organized and efficient. The right technology and tools can help you blast out a unified message over all your social sites more expediently. Tools like Hootsuite can help you to manage multiple social accounts, schedule your messages and tweets, track any comments made about you and even analyse the results of your social marketing campaigns.
6. Trying To Target Every New Social Site That Pops Up. There has been an almighty proliferation of social sites online. It would be highly ineffective to try and set up a presence in each and every one – many are low impact, low traffic offerings that are not worth the time investment to set-up and maintain. A good social media marketing plan will help to pin point the right sites to build and promote your brand in.