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Social media presents endless opportunities for brands. It offers the ability to not only generate leads, but significantly grow your digital presence — all within a free platform.
Research conducted by Hootsuite found that from January 2016 to January 2017 alone, there was an increase of 21% in global social media use — reaching an impressive 2.8 billion global users.
However, with so many social sites, accounts, and platforms to manage, carrying out successful social media marketing can be a tricky business. A lot of social managers think they’ve got everything under control, when really they may be making some classic mistakes. Plus, with social media, there’s always new stuff to learn and you have to constantly adapt to a market that’s always growing and evolving. Here are nine signs you need help with social media marketing.
1. Are you still doing everything manually?
When it comes to business, there’s one thing that’s clear, and that’s the fact that time is very very valuable. You don’t want to be spending any unnecessary time on things that can be either automated, or managed elsewhere.
If you’re manually planning, running and managing all of your social media activity then you are essentially wasting everyone’s time. Buffer have found that with an effective social media management platform such as their own, you could potentially save your business 6 hours a week! If you’re going on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn, all individually, and at different times in the day, then it’s safe to say that you need help with your social media marketing.
You may benefit from getting a talented freelance social media manager to kickstart your social strategy and editorial calendar.
2. Very little results from your social media efforts
If you’re not seeing a consistent flow of positive results from your SMM pursuits then it may be time to question where you’re going wrong.
Whilst it’s sometimes hard to measure how effective individual posts are on a commercial-level, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t obtainable results to be had.
Product marketing on social does work — if it’s done right. On Instagram, products were the most engaging content types for the top 200 global brands — so don’t be afraid to post about your products and services overtly, as long as you connect them to an interesting story or commentary.
Using social conversion tracking on your ecommerce site means that you can see exactly where your paying customers are coming from — with an effective social media strategy, you have the power to convert social followers into loyal customers.
Explore web and social analytics side-by-side with sales data. Look at the commercial outcome of your SMM and keep diverting budget to areas that are driving revenue.
3. Lacking in brand personality
Ambassador conducted research into online consumers, and found that 71% of consumers who had a good social media experience with a brand were more likely to recommend it to others (reported here). The power of referrals is why it is very important to have a consistent and engaging brand personality online.
If your audience can’t relate to your brand personality, they will switch off. You need to connect with your audience on a deeper level and inject some personality into your tweets, Facebook posts, and Instagram stories. If your brand is coming across as bland, then this is a clear sign you need a little assistance with your social strategy.
Live-streaming is a quick and easy way to ‘lift the lid’ on life at your brand’s HQ and make your social posts more real and engaging.
4. You’re operating on too many platforms
Whether it’s online or offline, you never want to spread yourself too thin. Just because there’s a lot of popular social media platforms to choose from, doesn’t mean that you’re required to be active on all of them. After all, not every social media platform is going to bring you leads and customers. If you’re a business trying to sell homes for the elderly, you won’t generate any leads from Instagram. But a designer may find that a specialist social platform like Behance is the perfect place to find new business.
In order to run an effective social media campaign you need to understand, not only your industry, but also how different social platforms serve unique purposes and demographics.
For ecommerce brands, bringing all your sales and social platforms under one central dashboard is possible with intelligent store builders that allow you to streamline your ecommerce operations. You can also invest in social management platforms like Hootsuite to bring in disparate platforms under one tool.
5. Ignoring the purpose of your platforms
Something which goes hand in hand with the consideration of operating on too many platforms is the importance of generating a unique strategy and voice for each of your different platforms. If you’re simply copying and pasting your posts from Twitter onto Facebook then unfortunately, you’re already failing.
Different platforms require different tones and personality attributes. Your loyal Facebook fans may not want to be spoken to the same way you communicate with your Twitter followers.
6. You’re spamming!
Maybe the simplest indication that you need help is… repetitive spamming.
You need to move away from a robotic approach to your social media posts. Your audience want to feel appreciated and a handful of generic and non personalized tweets a day will have the opposite effect.
When it comes to Facebook, you can even find yourself being penalized for posting in a spammy way; Facebook know that your audience don’t want to see spam posts and therefore hide it from their view. As a business this is the last thing you want.
7. There’s no campaign strategy
Similarly to the second point, without a clear campaign strategy you will see very little results from your SMM activity. If there isn’t a thought-out process behind what you’re pushing on your social media platforms, then you really are wasting your time.
The biggest brands strategically plan and execute every single social post, whether it’s a link to their recent blog post, or a call to action to their most popular product. Learn from the big brands and be equally strategic.
8. Are you overusing hashtags?
A simple scroll through Twitter and Instagram will show you just how often hashtags are used badly — a #hashtag fail can be embarrassing.
Don’t put a hashtag in front of every word, don’t overuse them, and always spell stuff correctly.
It’s important to integrate relevant hashtags organically in order to take full advantage of their power for engagement. Hashtags are ideal for event-based marketing.
9. You’re not using data to optimize your campaigns
The final indication of needing help with your social media marketing is the lack of any real data analysis.
Some tweets do better than others and some posts are more engaging than others — it’s vital that you explore the best performing assets and optimize them across future campaigns.
Social media data is a vital marketing tool — ignore it at your peril.
Social media marketing is relevant across all industries and businesses, so don’t let your digital potential go to waste.
Guest Post: Victoria Greene is an eCommerce marketer by trade, and she runs a marketing blog in her spare time. Growing a brand’s reach by cooking up a long-term growth strategy is her forté. Connect with her on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook and visit her website.