If you’re wondering how this post, part 2 of my 5-4-3 series, will be different from the previous post, 5 Reasons Your Social Media Strategy is Broken, it’s simple: my first blog post is targeted at beginner-level social marketers and shares common mistakes made by MOST people and businesses with respect to social media marketing.
Now that you know your audience and you’re sharing interactive, engaging content, here are other common mistakes to avoid, and how you can better optimize your social efforts.
1. You Don’t Know the Difference Between Organic and Paid
While you may know the definition of organic and paid social media advertising, you may not fully understand how to leverage each audience to your advantage or what each has to offer. Here’s a breakdown:
- Builds credibility more quickly: People are more likely to trust you and revisit your site if you offer excellent, useful content without trying to sell your product or capture leads.
- Generates higher-quality traffic/leads: Organic and referral traffic have a greater chance of bringing interested people to your site versus automated responses and bots that can come from paid ads.
- Leverages your existing followers: Social organic traffic can likely be attributed to traffic from your followers or friends of your followers, helping you take advantage of your existing trust and brand recognition.
- It’s free! With the exception of the time put into the content and promos, organic traffic costs nothing.
- Attracts new audiences while expanding your reach: In addition to your current followers, paid ads allow you to reach a broader audience.
- Enables niche targeting: With paid social media, you can target a specific audience based on numerous parameters such as demographics, location, keywords, interests, industry and personas.
- Increases brand awareness: By promoting to an audience outside of your current contacts and followers, you put your brand in front of others who may not already know you.
Incorporating paid social media into your strategy is important, as long as you realize you should use it to increase your organic traffic, in addition to expanding your brand reach. Remember, the more you give away for free, the greater the chance of someone being willing to pay for more. Recognizing the different benefits of the two types of social media advertising and knowing how to balance them is essential.
2. You’re Not Optimizing Your Content for SEO
Even if you’re not completely sure about what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is, you’ve probably heard of it, unless you are new to marketing or have been living under a rock. SEO is utilizing keywords in your content and on your website to generate a higher ranking in Google and other unpaid search engines. Think about it: How many times have you Googled something or someone and their Twitter handle or Facebook profile popped up first? This is precisely what you want to happen with your company when certain keywords are searched.
Also, tying back into to what I said in my previous blog post, Facebook is the new Google, so don’t forget that social platforms are free search engines as well.
3. You’re Not Using Personalization across Each Social Medium
Posting the same content to the same channels at the same time will land you a fast ticket to the land of the unengaged and uninterested. Personalization is key for any successful marketing strategy, on and off social media, and plays a large role in digital transformation. Ask yourself this: when you are on LinkedIn, do you expect to see the same type of posts you would see on Twitter or Instagram? Probably not. Know which types of content resonates with your audience on each individual platform.
The following are my content type recommendations for various social platforms:
- Twitter: Blogs, case studies, infographics, contests, polls, chats, memes, etc.
- Facebook: Video (live and recorded), real-life images (employee engagement at work), innovative ideas, etc.
- LinkedIn: Thought leadership articles, webinars, slideshares. etc.
- Instagram: Videos, inspirational posts, authentic images, etc.
What works best for your organization will vary depending on your specific product, service and audience, which you can determine by A/B testing and measuring your results.
4. You’re Not Trying to Turn Your Audience into Customers
One of the key takeaways I want to share with you is to get away from the concept of trying to sell to your social audience. The most effective way to increase your audience and engagement is to build trust and credibility with a substantial amount of free, useful and entertaining content. Then, and only then, should you have the courage to ask someone to buy from you. For example, if you have been giving away free yoga tips on Instagram for the last several months, you can then invite your followers to check your new studio and to ask them to support you. Sharing free content naturally attracts interested prospects to you as opposed to you constantly “pushing” your content to a broad audience.
In addition, if you have helped people with your content and are establishing yourself as a thought leader in that space, you should provide a call to action (CTA) via a website, so followers can learn more about your product or service and have the opportunity to move forward if they choose. While social media isn’t typically the place to go for a hard sell, that doesn’t mean you should overlook its potential to grow your business.
The tips in this article are designed to help you increase the number of high-quality followers and drive engagement. Don’t miss the final installment in my 5-4-3 series, in which I’ll share three more additional strategies that can quickly turn your social media results around.
Didn’t get a chance to read the first part of the series? Read it here and tell me what you think.