So, you've heard that social media marketing is one of the best ways to grow your small business. Marketers and business owners worldwide use platforms like Facebook and Twitter to reach their customers, and some have found success. One report shows that 78% of marketers that work with social media see more business growth than those who don't use these platforms.
However, just because 78% of people see better results doesn't necessarily mean that they have reached their full potential. Every social media site is different, and marketing strategies can vary across platforms.
Many marketers make mistakes when they first implement a social media marketing strategy due to the wide variety of options. I want to look at several things you might be doing wrong while attempting to reach your target audience. I am also going to show you how to correct these mistakes and help your business flourish.
Failure to research your target audience
Did you know that over 3 billion people use social media? This large number means that you might have a hard time pinpointing your target audience when posting content or sending out promotions. You have to dig deep and learn about your ideal customers before you start marketing. The reason this tip is No. 1 is that it can potentially derail your business before it ever gets started.
Some people create their brand accounts and start posting random content with the hopes that their audience will find their profile. In some cases, this works. In most instances, it will not. You have to actively work to reach the people that can benefit most from your product or services.
We suggest creating several customer persona sheets from your Google Analytics, email and social media statistics. Once you compile all of this data, you'll know more about your target audience's habits and interests. You can use this information to build profiles that briefly sum up the customers that will find value with your product.
If you have comprehensive customer persona sheets, you'll have an easier time creating both written content and promotions for your customers. You'll also get the opportunity to segment your leads across all platforms with this information. Lead segmenting is a common practice used to show content to specific customer subsets.
Not using negative feedback to your advantage
You should look at customer feedback as an opportunity to grow instead of a hit to your ego. Some professionals try to overlook negative feedback and get to the bottom of the issue so they can improve their business, while others see the review as a personal attack.
If you find yourself in the latter group, thinking about how to use the negative things customers say to your advantage. For example, let's say someone posts a negative review on Twitter and tags your brand. Instead of letting frustration get the best of you, encourage the user to directly message you so the issue can be resolved.
You might be surprised to learn that many customer complaints can be resolved on the spot. As such, you can use this information to improve the experience the customer had with your brand. A simple apology or correction can turn any negative review into a positive experience.
Alternatively, you can identify larger problems in your sales process and fine-tune the experience for customers. The feedback you receive on social media may be harsh at times, but you can use what people say to improve your brand.
Lacking personality or brand identity
A surprising 50% of people said that Facebook impacted their purchasing decision. The platform brings people together, but it's the meshing of consumers and brands that really seal the deal. If you've already identified your target audience, it's time to make sure that your content and messaging align with your brand identity.
Brand owners and marketers usually want consumers to perceive their business as helpful, energetic, and caring. If you want consumers to see this side of your brand, you have to show it across all social media platforms.
Let's say you publish content that helps people learn the rules of popular sports, and your goal is to sell sporting equipment on your eCommerce storefront. You have to show your audience that you have an energetic, sporty attitude or can say goodbye to plenty of extra sales and leads.
Social media sites help connect you to consumers, but it's your brand personality that acts as the glue that holds everything together.
Forgetting to diversify your content
Another common mistake that many marketers make is they don't diversify their content. Social media has countless ways to upload and share content with your followers. You don't want to miss out on these opportunities because you're uploading basically the same content every day.
For starters, you'll want to share plenty of your most helpful blog posts. We already know that blogging can help your business, especially when you consider that companies that blog see a 126% increase in lead growth. But you can take that number to the next level by sharing your content for users on social media.
Beyond standard written content, consider adding videos to your profile. You can either repurpose an existing post or create something brand new. Some marketers and business owners take advantage of Instagram Stories and Facebook Live if they want to engage with their audience in real time. You can host a live ask me anything event where you take questions from your fans. Additionally, you can create press releases that highlight new products and features in the coming months.
Are there other businesses in your industry that sell different products? If so, you can partner with them and make great content, where you showcase how both products work together to solve pain points, and help users reach their goals. Not only will you get you the added exposure from the new brand, but you'll build social proof in the community – especially if the partner business is well-known.
You can also implement different games into your social media marketing strategy – some companies like hosting giveaways, where they offer a free version of their product to the winner. Consequently, more consumers visit their website, and some become customers even if they don't win the contest.
Back to you
Social media marketing is a valuable tool that can help you grow your business beyond your wildest dreams. At the same time, we are all prone to making mistakes, and messing up here could cost you big. The most significant takeaway from your experience should be this: There's always a way to grow from your mistakes.
Instead of seeing everything that goes wrong as a roadblock, you have to find ways to turn the problem into a solution that helps your business and audience. You can't get to this point without properly researching your target audience and discovering your brand identity.
Once you make it this far, you can start gathering customer feedback and looking internally at your products and marketing mistakes. Instead of letting your mistakes harm you, let them define you by building a path of success with the knowledge you pick up along the way.