The rise in social media marketing has seen to it that advertising has not only gotten so much easier but also a lot cheaper. It costs a fraction of what traditional advertising used to and anyone with a smart phone or access to one can do it. It is however important to learn how to use this tool as effectively as possible.
I’m here to furnish you with a list of things to steer clear of that will hopefully lead you in the right direction. Adhering to these guidelines will hopefully see to it that your business will reap the maximum benefits of social media marketing.
1. Do not overdo it
Once you start off, it is not uncommon to get carried away. No one can fault you for this since new beginnings are exciting and it is natural to want to see your brand grow. However, it is strongly advised that you do not flood your followers’ timelines with a lot of your content. From personal experience, this is very annoying and I tend to unfollow business accounts that do it. I’m sure I’m not the only one. Instead, push out a moderate amount of content and be consistent about it. Depending on the social media platform, the maximum amount of content varies, therefore do your research and act accordingly.
2. Do not use content that is too different on different platforms
It is important to use content that is uniform across all platforms. If the content isn’t uniform, your customer base might get confused. For instance, if you use different logos on Facebook and Instagram, one might think that those are two different businesses. The confusion might cause you a significant loss of business. In order to maximize on the benefits of social media marketing, ensure all of your content is uniform.
3. Do not use the exact same content across all social media marketing platforms
As much as your content is supposed to be uniform, it would not be wise to post the same content across all channels. With the advances in Artificial Intelligence, it is now possible to post the same content across all platforms with just the click of a button. It just seems so easy, it’s here to make our lives easier, I see the appeal. However, I’d hesitate on pushing that button if I were you. The audiences in the various platforms vary, therefore what might appeal to one set, might not resonate with another. It would be far more original to come up with original content for each audience in the various platforms. I know, I’d be groaning too if I were you, sounds like an awful lot of work. However, numbers don’t lie so better get to work studying your different audiences and curating content for each of them.
4. Do not use all the channels for the sake of it.
Step four sort of makes your life easier in all the ways step three made it difficult. You don’t have to have accounts in all platforms, not only because it can get overwhelming for you, but also because it might have the effect of washing out your brand. Your logic for wanting to be everywhere might be that you are intending to reach as many people as possible. While this might make sense in theory, practically, there are places where you and your brand might be considered irrelevant and off-topic. That might sound harsh, but it is what tends to happen, I’m just telling you so you don’t have to learn it through experience. Also, from my minimal knowledge in business, I know that things that are too available tend to lose their value. With this in mind, you might want to select what platforms work best with your brand.
5. Do not just promote yourself all the time
Social media marketing isn’t just about you getting your brand out there, and your posts need to reflect that. It helps if there are other things people stand to gain by viewing your feed. This can be achieved through occasional entertainment, helpful tips, engaging in conversations on other people’s posts that are in line with your brand values. This can help you reach audiences you normally wouldn’t have by just self-promoting.
6. Do not share without researching first
In this current cancel culture, the fastest way to sabotage your social media campaign is to get behind the wrong cause. Therefore, sharing content from other accounts isn’t something you can afford to do mindlessly. It’s unfortunate that one misstep can cost you and your brand everything, but thankfully you’re aware of it now, thus it’s less likely to happen to you. Having your brand be seen as having a social conscience is a great thing, but refrain from getting too political, or wrapped up in other people’s issues.
7. Do not focus on the numbers too much
Having a lot of followers on your social media is very enticing, however, it is not all there is to social media marketing. Therefore, for your own sanity and peace of mind, don’t let it be your goalpost for success. Afterall, half your followers might be bots which would mean your content is wasted on them. It is far more reasonable to chart your progress by the amount of engagement you’re getting from your followers. This can be seen through comments, questions and messages. A sure sign of growth is an increase in online engagement
8. Do not ignore questions, comments and messages
As your engagement grows, so will your workload. You might be tempted to ignore this comment or that message, don’t. A big part of good customer service is making the customer feel that they are important and seen, no matter how insignificant they might feel. It might take sometime to respond to comments, messages and questions; but if you don’t make time for it, your competitor surely will.
9. Do not ask too much of your followers
Constantly asking your followers to share, reblog or comment on your posts tends to come off as nagging. No one likes a nag, trust me, I should know. If you take your time with your social media marketing and are consistent, the followers will end up doing all the things you’d like them to without you having to ask. Maybe even more! All that’s required of you after you do the work is patience because there are things you cannot control. Social media marketing in Kenya has a mind of its own!
10. Do not overuse hashtags
I remember a time in the not-so-distant past when hashtags were the in thing. Believe me, I also fell victim to ‘the more the merrier’ vibe of it. Hashtags are a useful tool to link your posts to the topics associated with your brand. However, lay them on a bit thick and they go from useful to making you look a bit cat-fishy. The advice here is to use them intelligently. I’ve seen this thing on twitter where a business marketing their product hashtags all the trending topics of the day to have their tweets show up when people search those tags. Frankly, I think it’s unsightly and not something you want for your brand, humble beginnings or not.
As you can see, using social media is both an art and a science that anyone can learn. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of all the things you should not do when marketing on social media. However, it gives you all the basics as well as the broad range of things to consider while social media marketing. Do you have any thoughts or comments? Maybe something that did not make the list? Let us know in the comments section below.