Because of the amazing rise of social media, marketers and business owners from around the world are clamoring to get their companies involved. But with this clamoring comes inexperience on how best to use social media to its fullest advantage. Avoid these costly pitfalls often done by social media marketing initiates.
Avoid using social media exclusively as an announcement pulpit. Companies lean on social media as an announcement tool as soon as they enter the community, but it’s a big mistake! Social media is supposed to be, as the names says, social. Announcements are simply one-way communication; they aren’t interacting with other members and they certainly aren’t helping you build your engaged community. Yes, social media makes an excellent bullhorn for announcements, but don’t start there. Start with real social communication. Ask questions of your followers, get involved in their conversations, and reach out into other relevant groups to share your expertise. Get involved like any individual would.
Don’t ignore LinkedIn. Your general target audience may use the more popular, and informal, social media sites like Facebook and Twitter more often, but LinkedIn has an integral place in the social media schema. It is the professional social media built for business networking. This means it is the perfect tool to help you build strategic partnerships, define new sales opportunities and find new vendors. Take the time to get involved in LinkedIn, and it will pay off.
Beware of silencing your brand’s personality. It’s often the case that companies think they need to appeal to the masses since they are on social media sites with millions and millions of people. With that comes a neutralizing of any brand personality that may rub certain individuals the wrong way. If you are doing this, you are doing yourself a great disservice. Social media loves unique personalities. The brands that thrive have personalities as big, or even bigger, than some of the biggest celebrities out there. Don’t be afraid to go there if your brand has a certain swagger to it.
Don’t assume immediate results. Social media is a community, and just like any community, you need to prove yourself to it before you become an integral part. This takes time. You’ll see, though, that if you dedicate yourself to social media and consistently post, at some point you’ll hit a tipping point where you are gaining new fans each and every day.
Be sure you are posting original, relevant and engaging content. Many new companies don’t know where to begin when it comes to a content strategy. Sit down and map it out; it’s that important to your social media success. You need to develop a content voice that is unique and remains relevant to your brand and the topics related to your brand. If you veer off into irrelevant topics or if you only post content found elsewhere, you will lose your fans over time.
As you can see, there are many pitfalls to avoid when starting out in social media marketing. But now that you have these tips, you can steer clear of them with ease. Get out there and begin building your social media followings today!