Five ways to NOT use social media correctly

However, social media marketing isn?t as simple as setting up a profile and broadcasting updates. Many businesses are failing to harness the power of this medium because of a few simple mistakes. 

To ensure your business isn?t one of them, here are the five top mistakes to avoid.

(1) Launching without a plan

The simplicity of social media and the fact brands can set up a profile for free means many rush into social media marketing without a plan. 

Brands need to first conduct an audit to see what your competitors are doing in the space (and assess your brand’s presence if already active). The learnings from this can be used to write a social media strategy for your business. Your strategy needs to include the following:

  • Business objectives social media will address
  • Social media marketing vision
  • Network objectives
  • Content creation
  • Departmental responsibilities 
  • Success metrics
Typically this should include yearly goals, but if you’re just starting out focus on the next three to six months.

(2) Becoming a broadcaster

Many brands (small and large) fail when it comes to social media because they churn out continuous updates about themselves. 

These sales messages no longer cut it. Social marketing is about interacting and engaging with customers and potential prospects. This means replying to followers? questions, listening in on conversations, and getting involved when appropriate. It may be time consuming but it’s well worth it.

(3) Following all the latest trendsu2028

Jumping on the latest trends is a big mistake a lot of brands make. This includes trying to fit your brand message into the latest internet trend (including hashtags) for extra exposure or launching on the newest social media platform without finding out if your audience are there (and that they want you there). 

Before starting a new campaign ? however small ? take a step back and answer these two important questions:

  • How will this support overall business objectives?
  • How does this fit in with the current social strategy?
After you?ve answered these questions you will be able to determine if the project is really worth your time and resources.

(4) Forgetting about content

Content is the backbone to any successful social marketing ? without it you are highly likely to fail. 

Sharing content that your followers find useful or entertaining is a must. This can be branded content or interesting stuff from around the web. But, remember that visuals such as infographics, videos and images are the most popular content on social.

However, don’t fret if you don’t have a big budget to create visual content ? there are loads of free or cheap options available. For instance, Piktochart allows users to easily create infographics, while Imgflip let?s you make shareable gifs that are perfect to use on social.

(5) Thinking it?s free

Updating your social networks everyday but not attainting any reach or engagement? That’s because social media isn’t free. 

To really get cut through and stand out from the crowd paid-for advertising is necessary (especially on networks such as Facebook and LinkedIn). 

However, don’t blow your whole budget at once. Use as little as ?5 a day to understand what works and what doesn’t before thinking about carrying out a larger campaign.

Jessica McGreal is marketing manager at Carabella Gifts.

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