Social media has become a world of its own, with a growing population of over 3 billion users and counting. Social media marketing can help in increasing traffic to company sites, building conversions, creating brand identity and raising awareness. It is a more contemporary and powerful type of digital marketing that can help businesses get wide exposure and a larger reach. A most potent marketing tool offered by modern technology, you can enjoy its fruit when it's used in a proper and systematic manner.
Most startup entrepreneurs know that they need to use this opportunity to build up their brand, but sometimes fail to utilize the proper marketing techniques. In this technological era, even small business units are promoting their brand and products to the public through the social media channel. So, in between this, we should use more modern strategies to attract audiences and to engage them. But the factor which repels the social media customers are the mistakes made by brands' social media strategies. Even small alleviated mistakes that aren't initially considered can affect companies' social media plans adversely. As the competition is increasing, making a very good first impression is vital in this field.
Here are five common mistakes made by startups to be aware of so you don't risk making the same mistakes.
1. Wrong Choice of Platform
The most common mistake made by new startups is selecting the wrong social media platform for their brand marketing. By selecting an irrelevant or unpopular platform to your specific target market, you are wasting your time and money without gaining anything.
Select your platform according to the nature of your business, for example: If you are in an apparel business or fashion business you should select Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, rather than opting twitter or other writing media. Also, don't try to post the same stuff on all the social media platforms because each media has its characteristics and the users will also expect the same from that particular media. So, select a suitable platform for your business and work according to the nature of that.
2. Working Without Strategy
A strategy is critical to any effective marketing plan, including social media. By working with a strategic plan in place, your social efforts are more likely to contribute to a surge in your brand value along with a hike in business. Take some effort to develop a strategic plan that works best for your business. While talking about strategies, many think that it's all just about the number of posts that need to be published or gaining more followers on the social channel, but it's more than that. If you depend on a social media marketing agency to manage your campaigns, make sure they understand your business goals and come up with the right strategy for you.
The key goal is to have an action plan outlined with your objectives along with the type of posts you need to publish. Identifying qualities about your target consumers, such as targeted age group, locality, hashtags you need to use and tone of tweets you need to post. All this should be identified within your strategic plan. Creating a documented strategy focused on your goal will help to improve the results.
3. Fake/False Advertising
Fake or misleading advertising will adversely affect the long run of your business. Advertising with false information to attract more customers will affect your brand value later. While initially with this type of advertising you may attract more audiences, but if the end product that you are selling is not what you have advertised, all your value will go down drastically. Along with that, customers who come to know the truth will fill up your comment box with negative feedback. In the long run of your business, the customers won't trust your advertisements even if they're true. So, only try to promote genuine and proofed content that holds true what you do.
4. Ignoring your Audience
Consistency is vital in social media marketing. To maintain interest from your target audience, always try to keep in touch with the followers by replying to their queries. However, be aware to not try to copy and paste your replies. If everyone is getting the same reply from your side they will see it as an automatic bot message. Try to engage with them by responding to comments and queries, which in time can make audiences feel more invested and trusting of your business. Don't try to delete the negative feedback from the audience; it's essential to identify and correct your mistakes. Be ready to accept their views and try to learn from them.
5. Disdaining Competitors
We can classify this mistake into two segments:
a) Not paying attention to the work done by your competitor
b) Directly mocking your competitor's business or products through your post.
Both of these are common mistakes in online marketing if your competitor is a reputed company who pays attention to their social media activity. Always remember to not bite off more than you can chew. This only attracts unwanted attention and problems. Also never try to duplicate your competitor’s activities. Do not try to make fun of the products or businesses launched by your competitor which will make a negative image among your audience. Giving too much focus on your competitors can choke your own business activities because of distraction.
Social media platforms open up endless possibilities when properly implemented into your business. Try to learn from your own activities and also from your competitors. Be a good activity tracker and learn from the mistakes of others. In the end, it’s all about increasing the value of your brand rather than the increasing number of followers. By maintaining consistency you will gradually achieve a good number of true patrons. Don't fall in the trap of social media errors, utilize the opportunity to attract your true audience, be a good listener, keep your audience satisfied, and work with a good strategy. Be shrewd to guess the trends and be astute with your time. Follow this and you can hit your arrow of efforts at the target of success.
Tony John is Executive Director of Digital Marketing for Spiderworks, a digital and social media marketing company.