by: Finella Kristle Panlilio
Wednesday, May 13, 2015 |
Brands use social media to reach out to customers and hold the interest of their target market. For startup companies with a small budget, using social media can be an effective marketing idea. It can drive referrals and leads, as well as increase brand recognition and loyalty, but falling victim to any of the common mistakes can damage your business' reputation.
Make sure you steer clear of these common mistakes that companies, especially startups, make while defining and executing their social media strategy.
Not having a clearly defined target audience
While it is true that Facebook has over a billion monthly active users (as of March 31, 2015), you can’t have the whole universe as your target audience. In these modern times when everyone is spoilt for choice, the most important marketing decision you need to make is defining your target audience. Target marketing is the key of the game. Having a clearly defined audience helps identify the platforms on which your target market is active.
B2B companies will want to consider using LinkedIn, as the platform allows for connecting with professionals and establishing thought leadership within a group of homogeneously targeted audience. Facebook is a good platform for brands that have highly visual content and want to leverage the community effect. However, be prepared to spend on ads as latest changes in Facebook’s algorithm had made it very difficult to reach out to fans organically. Twitter will help you connect with thought leaders and join the ongoing conversations. Some brands use Google+ to help them with their SEO efforts. Google communities connect you with like-minded people.
Doing too much, or too little
Commit to the social platform you've chosen. An inactive presence on any of the platforms creates a bad impression. Show activity on the social platforms and consistency. To gain more impressions, post relevant content and find out when most of your target audience is online so you don’t end up bombarding your followers’ feeds with 10 updates a day.
Ignoring content marketing
Content marketing is the fuel of your social media efforts. It’s responsible for drawing in your audience. Showcase your expertise by having good blog articles. Share interesting infographics. eBooks are perfect as free giveaways. You can also establish your thought leadership through white papers.
Pushing the same content on all platforms
It’s important to note that each platform requires a different tone of messaging and type of content. Have a proper plan in place and schedule your posts. Also, keep an eye on the type of content you share. Too much self-promotion is a big turn-off. Have a good balance of educational posts, industry insights, engagement, and self-promotion in your content sharing.
Not having personal branding
You need a face for your company. That people relate to other people is especially true for startups, where consumers are buying services from founders more than from the company. It is for this reason that startups should include the personal branding of their founders in their social media planning and strategy.
Posting canned responses to negative comments
There are companies that shy away from social media because of the fear of negative comments. Bear in mind that negative comments are good opportunities for you to build trust in the minds of your readers. One of the first things to remember while handling negative comments on social platforms is that you should never give a canned response. Be personal and show genuine interest in solving the problem. Acknowledge the issue, and take immediate action to resolve it.
Not aligning with the target audience in terms of tone and messaging
Introduce some quirkiness in your overall messaging if you are targeting the youth. Maintain a professional tone if you are targeting CXOs. Make sure that your marketing tone matches your company culture. Today, marketing is no longer confined to the marketing department - it’s the job of each and every person representing the company.