As you’re probably aware, social media is kind of a big deal. According to We Are Social, there are almost 3.5 billion social media users worldwide, with penetration in the US standing at 95%.
And yet many marketers simply aren’t using social effectively. They’re amassing the wrong types of followers, posting the wrong types of content and promoting it in the wrong ways.
Fortunately, it’s not too late to do something about it. If you’re looking to revamp your social strategy, read on to find out what you should be doing differently.
1. You’re still hoping for a ‘free ride’
While reports of the death of organic social marketing are greatly exaggerated, social has increasingly become a pay-to-play channel in recent years.
With Facebook News Feeds now clogged up with posts from individuals and Pages, it’s becoming more difficult for brands to get any sort of organic reach or engagement.
Yet many marketers still aren’t prepared to pay – despite the fact that social advertising is easily one of the simplest and most effective ways to reach your audience online.
In short, if you aren’t running social ads, you really should be. It doesn’t cost as much as you might think.
2. You’re focusing on the wrong metrics
Social media offers so much to measure that it’s easy to get wrapped up in irrelevant metrics.
But while they might look good in your monthly reports, likes, comments and follower counts probably have little to do with your actual goals. If you need convincing, consider the example of Arii, the Instagrammer with 2.6 million followers who failed to sell a paltry 36 T-shirts as part of a collaboration with a clothing brand.
Ignore those tempting vanity metrics and focus your efforts solely on what matters to the business – whether that be lead generation or sales.
3. Your customers don’t behave how you want them to
If you’ve ever invested in a social media monitoring tool, you’ll know that consumers don’t act in the simple, easily defined way that we marketers wish they would.
We’d love shoppers to see a social ad, click the link, proceed to checkout and make the purchase. But in reality, they’re much more likely to visit your site multiple times – and via multiple devices – before they’re ready to buy.
You’ll need to familiarize yourself with Facebook Insights, Facebook Analytics and Google Analytics – and possibly also the alternatives from Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, depending on the type of campaign you’re running – in order to fully understand the results of your social marketing efforts.
4. You’re being dazzled by fads
In the glamorous world of social media marketing, a new “must-try” approach seems to rear its head every other week.
Remember all the furor last year when it transpired that Facebook had been over-reporting the average viewing time of video ads? It doesn’t mean that video ceased to be an effective tactic overnight, but it did cause a few headaches for marketers who had simply jumped on the video trend.
The important thing to remember here is that great social campaigns are built on a consistent, measurable approach geared toward meeting your specific business goals, rather than repeatedly flitting from one faddy tactic to another. When it comes to building a social strategy, start out with your objectives and work backward from there.
5. You’re trying to build the wrong type of community
Sure, community-building is important. But too often, brands expect to sign up thousands of followers who hang on their every word.
It doesn’t work like that. According to HootSuite, most businesses now maintain between four and ten social profiles. That’s a lot of branded content. Why should anyone listen to what you have to say?
Rather than chasing mythical followers who are obsessed with your brand, focus on giving your community valuable content. That way, when they need something that you can provide, there’s a much better chance you’ll be front of mind.