Four social media traps to avoid
Social media is still a relatively young marketing channel. As such, there are very few ironed-out best practices for small businesses to follow. It isn’t like other promotional tools such as email marketing where entrepreneurs have in-depth knowledge of things like how long to make a headline or what time to send a message to consumers.
With that in mind, there are a few basic practices that most entrepreneurs agree will negatively impact a social media strategy. ClickZ recently outlined a number of these potential pitfalls that could hinder an otherwise successful social media campaign.
1. Lack of planning
Many small businesses view social media as a reactionary communication tool – they wait for consumers to mention their brand (either positively or negatively) and then respond to them. While that is a key component to social media marketing, it’s paramount to actually have some sort of plan that can be executed and has distinct goals, Rock The Post explains.
“Social content plans don’t need to be set in stone. In fact, with social media content, it’s important for such plans to be adaptable and capable of analytical input and iterative improvements as data increases through growing network participation,” ClickZ asserts. “A plan will help marketers better evaluate and scale their social media initiatives as well.”
2. Making it about the company
Social media is not the same as an email marketing campaign or a television commercial – it’s not a communication channel through which you simply broadcast one-way messages that promote goods or services. Social media needs to be about the consumer and the relationship a business has developed with this core audience.
While press releases and product announcements can be made on social media, a company Facebook page should not simply be a repository for these pieces of information. Companies need to provide value to followers and understand their needs and interests. A customer-centric business that shares interesting social content and engages users will generate a much stronger response.
3. Don’t hide content
The famous adage from Field of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come,” is simply not applicable to social media. Many business owners have this preconception that if they create great videos, blogs posts and promotional offers, then people will naturally go to their social pages and follow them. That couldn’t be further than the truth, and part of a successful social media strategy is being able to disseminate this content.
Small businesses need to optimize their social content for search engines such as Google and YouTube, include relevant collateral in email marketing newsletters and cross-publish articles, images and videos on all of their social profiles. A video published to YouTube should be promoted on Facebook, noted in emails and keyword-optimized if entrepreneurs want to get the most out of their content.
4. It’s push and pull, not push and push
Entrepreneurs need to realize that it’s up to their fans whether they follow a brand, interact with them and share their content. There is no way to just push them into engaging by repeatedly publishing new content. Social media is all about push and pull or give and take – both sides need to work together, with the brand leading these interactions.
“Provide something of value before expecting anything in return,” ClickZ asserts. “In fact, it’s smart to find out more specifically what consumers and those who influence them find valuable as inspiration for a social content plan. Deliver useful information, listen to how audiences respond and make adjustments. Then repeat.”
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