Sales & Marketing

Classic repeat social media mistakes made by SMEs

7 min read

18 October 2016

When it comes to social media mistakes, SMEs tend to repeatedly make the same blunders, so you might want to rethink your social media policy.

Of course, social media mistakes aren’t just experienced by SMEs. Larger firms have fallen foul of digital marketing too – remember the time House of Fraser launched a Twitter campaign so strange that users suspected a hack?

Have you ever said any of the following? You might want to rethink your policy when it comes to social media mistakes.

“Twitter is where it’s at for serious businesses, Facebook’s just for football mums and teenagers.”

As a virtual newcomer to marketing communications, social media’s impact is evolving all the time. This is direct contrast to an easily ROI-measurable existing tried and tested marcom exercise such as direct marketing or advertising.

Facebook for business would not have been taken seriously in 2009, and now, Facebook ads are seen as essential for businesses wanting an opt-in audience. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to social media mistakes.

“But my customers aren’t ‘social media types’.”

Once 90-year-old grandmothers start trending on Twitter during the Olympics, you can safely say that social media has become ubiquitous.

With so much publicly available personal data on social media these days, businesses that aren’t incorporating social intelligence into their CRM are missing out on significant, free, personalised and targeted marketing.

By using personal data shared by customers and prospects on social media, companies are now able to truly understand their customers’ needs.

Equally, consumers now expect companies they deal with to have to have robust social media management platforms. If they don’t, it’s a mark against them in terms of credibility and reliability.

“Well I need to see pound signs and all I am seeing is ‘likes’. What good are these to me?”

Social is constantly increasing its value through creating a credible online footprint for companies and brands.

The standalone value can be measured by its total reach on the one hand, and on the other hand, it should otherwise be viewed similarly to PR.

That is, it cannot force consumers to interact, or purchase, but forms the role of credible (or in some cases negative) exposure while offering value. Its interactivity allows users to validate your brand to their peers, which is the best recommendation any brand could get.

It is possible to get something close to a financial measurement. Tools such as Google Analytics and social media management platforms such as Sendible allow you to embed conversion pixels that show you exactly when a sale was made that originated from social media.

You can also assign a monetary value to a user landing on a specific page and this pixel could be added to your payment confirmation page, allowing you to calculate the actual value of the sale when a user arrives on this page after clicking a Twitter or Facebook link.

Retargeting platforms allow you to show ads to people that have recently landed on your website which is another route to tracked social media conversions.

Continue on the next page for more social media mistakes SMEs are making, including the belief that Twitter followers will grant them power. Turns out there’s another network they should use, and it’s not owned by Facebook.

“Social is just a lead-nurturing tool and has no useful role in conversion.”

Social is most effective as a lead nurturing tool, yes, but, when used properly, it can also be great for driving conversions further down the sales funnel.

Social media users are not actively looking to buy immediately, so you need to share a link to something that can add value to your prospect’s business.

Instead of immediately pushing them to your product page, you would direct them towards a landing page that entices them to download a piece of content that could help their businesses. In exchange, you would capture their contact details so that you can convert them later on.

“It’s all about Twitter followers.”

Right now, if you sell any kinds of products online, Pinterest is the most effective social network for driving sales as you can convert customers near the top of your funnel.

This is because Pinterest users collect products they like with a view to possibly purchasing the product later.

Other social networks are more effective later in the buying process, when a social network lead is reminded of your company and returns to make a purchase.

“Social media sales are less important than other channels.”

No. Very often, sales that are made through social selling tend to be of a much higher value than sales made through other channels. This is because a sales team who uses social media to source their leads can be extremely specific about who they are targeting.

They can also monitor these prospects’ activities on social networks to get to know them on a personal level. This gives them a competitive advantage over rival companies who may employ a more traditional sales approach

The prospect is much more likely to respond to someone who really “gets them” and will always think of this sales person first when they’re ready to buy.

“I should keep my employees off social media.”

The 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer shows that employees are among the most trusted of all company spokespeople – even more than the CEO – and as such allowing them to sing your praises on social media is a good thing.

Starbucks, for example, actively encourages its staff to tweet their daily activities via a dedicated account. Increasingly, savvy companies will start to include this sort of social activity in their marketing strategy through employee advocacy programs.

Gavin Hammar is the founder and CEO of Sendible, the UK’s only homegrown social media management dashboard, which generates leads for businesses.

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