Social media and marketing go hand in hand nowadays, but a successful campaign requires more than hitting the “post” button. Marketers have to be strategic in choosing which elements to focus on — and which to avoid.
How NOT to Boost Engagement
Social media marketing is all about engagement. With such a large potential customer base, it’s imperative you get this part right. If your campaign isn’t as successful as you expected, this might be due to one or more of the following eight mistakes.
- Failure to connect and engage. Your goal is to engage with your audience by developing consistent, quality content. Today’s consumer seeks authenticity, creativity, education, entertainment and humor; your best bet at achieving this complicated mix is through unique content that focuses on these elements in your posts, captions and hashtags. It may sound like a cliche, but thinking outside the box really does help.
- Not understanding your target audience. You can’t engage with your target consumer if you don’t know who they are! It’s important to understand not just their demographics, but their lifestyle and personality, in order to provide something of value that will appeal to them.
- Focusing too much on yourself. It’s natural to want to share posts about your company, but being too self-focused is a turnoff to your audience. Experts recommend devoting 10 percent of your posts to your company; 30 percent to original content that is educational or entertaining; and 60 percent to curated content from other sources. Be sure to include a mix of photos, video, quotes and links.
- Not matching the right content with the right channel. Despite the variety of social media platforms, not all channels are the same. Cross-posting between Facebook and Snapchat, for example, will do little to boost engagement. Curate content for specific channels in order to reach the proper audience.
- Ignoring what is currently happening. A lack of authenticity will doom you; instead of striving to publish only the “polished” side of your business, aim for all angles. This also means not shying away from what is going on in the world today. Pretending there is no pandemic and that racial inequality doesn’t exist will alienate your audience. The world is imperfect — especially now — and authenticity demands you at least acknowledge that.
- Not having a plan. To ensure a consistent, authentic voice and tone, you need to have a fully defined plan that takes into account your audience’s needs. This will help you determine which social media platforms to utilize, when to publish and what types of content to share.
- Improper use of hashtags. Avoid the temptation to get cute with hashtags; doing so will almost always render them pointless. Your audience depends on hashtags to find relevant content they will engage with, so take the time to do your research and #getitright.
- Overemphasizing visuals. Sure, images and video play a large role in your social media strategy, but relying solely on them won’t create that connection your audience desires. Pay attention to your captions and messages, too; this is a great way to establish a brand personality and differentiate yourself from the competition.