Social media is a vital part of a complete digital marketing strategy—it allows you to communicate with a wider audience in a unique way online, reaching more people in the process. Social media acts as a free channel to distribute content, introduce new products, build online visibility, and raise brand awareness, among many others.
But that’s only if you have a well thought-out plan and do things right. The intricacies of social media marketing can make it a challenge for businesses. Truth be told, while social media is a valuable tool for getting more eyes on your brand and your products or services, it is by no means a guarantee of success. So, which are the major reasons that cause social media marketing strategies to fail? We discuss three of them below.
Ignoring Critical Metrics
Metrics are an important part of an effective social media marketing strategy. The data you derive from engaging the market through social media platforms, when analysed, offers a tremendous amount of insights. These insights lead to actionable changes that can improve your strategy and tell you what you’re doing right or wrong.
Many social media platforms provide available data; you can also make use of external analytics tools to gather the stats for you. Ignoring this data is one of the main reasons why your social media efforts will fail—doing so leaves you blind in terms of measuring your campaigns’ effectivity and efficiency. You also end up wasting more time and resources if you don’t analyse the stats moving forward.
Don’t forget to consider the important factors of your social media marketing strategy, such as your target market, goals (e.g. information dissemination vs. increasing sales), and platforms used and look for the stats that are most relevant. This allows you to focus on what you want to achieve and streamline the analysis process by ignoring or giving less priority to secondary information or useless data. Once you’re able to analyse the data, you’ll know what works and what you need to do. It may be a bit of trial and error at first but you’ll get the hang of it as you go along.
Misunderstanding Your Market’s Social Media Behaviour
How well are you targeting your ideal clients or customers in social media? If you don’t correctly identify where your customers are and their social media habits, then you’ll have a much more difficult time achieving success. If you’re able to do so, you’ll have a better idea of when and which social media platforms to target them with as well as the type of content you should post to attract them. Understanding your target market’s social media behaviour goes hand-in-hand with using analytics—the former is what you want to achieve while the latter gives you important numbers on how to do just that.
For example, if you’ve determined that your target market likes watching videos, you could concentrate on pushing visual content on Facebook, YouTube, or even on Twitter, where 82% of users watch videos. You can even determine what time they’re usually on social media, allowing you to come up with a posting schedule that gives the best visibility and engagement for your content.
Using Too Many Platforms
Are you trying to be on every social media platform? If you are, there is a good chance you’re not optimising any of them and just wasting your time. Bad news, especially for SMEs which usually have limited resources and a smaller margin of error. When it comes to social media marketing, it really doesn’t make sense to be on all of the platforms. It’s much better to focus on the ones that are more relevant and related to your brand and target market, and you can find that out by asking yourself questions such as these:
- Which social media sites do my target markets use the most?
- What type of social media content do they engage with frequently?
- Which ones make the most sense when it comes to my brand profile and goals?
Think about it. If your business specialises in fashion, you should have a presence on visual social media sites such as Instagram and YouTube. On the other hand, a new professional services firm which targets professionals and executives will probably find LinkedIn more relevant than, say, Pinterest not only for marketing their services but also for networking purposes. Of course, having a Facebook business page is already a given since practically everyone’s on it.
A great example of a business using the right social media platform is the eco-friendly company Palm Beach Collection. They use Instagram to showcase each product to drum up interest and encourage engagement and now have over 20,000 followers who love seeing their candles, soaps, and other offerings up-close via great photos. Not only is the company showing off their products, they’re also inspiring users with ideas for displaying their products in their homes. Since the company markets products that look aesthetically pleasing and are aimed at people who favour a more contemporary style, making creative image posts on Instagram is certainly a wise move.
As we’ve said, social media can become a powerful tool that pushes you closer to digital marketing success. However, if you’re not careful, you’ll commit major mistakes like these that will jeopardise your plans. So, as with other marketing efforts be it online or offline, it always pays to review your plans and goals carefully, know your target market, and analyse the different tools and channels available to you.