It’s no secret that social media can be used as a powerful marketing tool to reach larger audiences and boost brand awareness.
In fact, according to Social Media Examiner, 80 percent of Americans use a social media network and 23 percent of online time is used on social media. These numbers are huge and show just how beneficial these social networks can be for businesses of all sizes.
The allure of the sheer size has finally convinced marketers that social media is a must. But with all the hype comes lots of "experts" and plenty of advice—which can totally contradict itself. If you have been using social media for your business but haven’t been seeing any results, you could have fallen victim to bad advice, the worst of which we've detailed below.
Related Article: Post Like a Pro: Social Media Tips for Every Small Business
You Need to Sign Up fo Every Social Media Account Available
It’s true that the more social media networks you are a part of, the more exposure you will get. However, this only holds true if your target demographic is also using those websites. Otherwise, you will be wasting your time on websites that aren’t supplying any results for you and your business.
To determine what social media sites you should be an active member on, think about your audience. What are some characteristics of the people you are trying to sell your products or services to?
Image via Leverage New Media
If you want to get the attention of business executives and industry professionals, LinkedIn would be a great choice. However, if the demographic you are trying to reach is in the 18-24 age group, you may want to spend a majority of your social media time on Facebook.
Social Media Should Be Used to Sell Your Products
One of the biggest mistakes I have witnessed on social media is businesses trying too hard to sell their products. Increasing sales is definitely one of the biggest reasons companies want to use this marketing medium, but if you aren’t providing valuable information, your posts are going to get ignored.
Include links to articles, infographics and other information your audience may find interesting.
Automate All of Your Updates
Sure, automated updates will make your life easier since your social media posts will automatically be published with very little effort on your part. The problem with this is the fact that you could be losing connections that could have been built with your audience.
Social media is about, well, being social. This means you should be commenting on other posts you see and responding to comments on your posts in order to help build relationships with your fans, followers, or industry professionals.
Related Article: The 10-Minute Social Media Workday
Keep Your Personal Life to Yourself
Your posts don’t all have to be about business; in fact adding a little bit of your own personality and life to it will have your audience feeling like they know you. In no way am I suggesting you overshare by letting the world know what problems are going on in your life at the moment.
However, including light personal anecdotes every once in a while would entertain your audience, which can be a much needed break for both you and them from the usual business-related posts.
You Don’t Need to Hire a Social Media Expert
If you have the time and energy to focus on your social media plan, then great, you probably don’t need a Social Media Expert. But if already have a full plate and aren’t able to dedicate any time to it, it’s time to surrender and find an expert that can help get positive results.
Ignore Negative Comments
Not all comments are going to be positive ones, but you need to respond to all of them.
Image via J Social
Let’s say that someone had a bad customer service experience with your company and decides to let the whole social media world know about it. Instead of pretending you never saw the comment, take this opportunity to apologize for their bad experience and come up with a solution that would make you both happy. By doing this, you will not only keep your business’s reputation intact but you will actually be strengthening it.
I Can Post Something When I Have Time
Posting a tweet here or there is not going to cut it. By only posting once a day or every other day, you could be missing a major part of your targeted demographic since most do not look at their social media feeds at the same time. This article from Buffer will tell you just how frequently you should be posting to your social media pages, as well as how many times you should be blogging.
No Need to Have a Social Media Strategy
Having a social media campaign without a strategy is very similar to running a 10K marathon without training; while some people can do it, you are asking for failure by not having a plan. Your strategy should consist of a goal, an editorial calendar to help you keep your content organized, a competitive analysis and auditing your social media efforts every month to find out what is working and what isn’t.
Related Article: Your Target Audience Awaits in These Niche Social Networks
It’s Easy to Get Likes, Shares and Retweets
I’m sure you have seen those posts that have gotten thousands of likes, shares and retweets. Getting that kind of attention looks easy, right?
Wrong! These companies have most likely become successful through a lot of trial and error. They quickly discovered what gets their audience’s attention and what gets ignored. I wish I could tell you the secret to getting more likes and shares, but it honestly comes down to just testing out different types of posts to see which ones get your audience’s attention the most.
Having a successful social media campaign takes dedication, patience and consistency. By following these nine tips, you are sure to gain popularity among your target audience online.