Social media marketing traps and how to stay away from them

Do you have a social media account? Most likely, maybe not one. Social media is everywhere now, and a vast majority of the population (from kids that barely went to school to seniors) have an account. Currently, Facebook has 2.23 billion users right now while Twitter has 336 million active users all over the world.

But does your company have a social media account? No? Big mistake. You and your business need to be a part of the social media world too.  Where else your business could get such an exposure? The more people know about your business, the better your chances of generating sales!

It’s basically no longer a question “if” your company will have a social media account but “when” and “where”. Using social media like Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook helps with introducing your business to not only your target audience but also their relatives, friends and followers. But that’s not the only benefit of a social media marketing:

  • Having a social media account boosts your company’s site SEO.
  • Social media account helps to build relationships with your audience.
  • Social media is crucial when it comes to lightning-fast customer service
  • Being present on a social media helps to engage your audience and build brand loyalty.
  • Social media can help you with getting more sales.
  • Your competition is undoubtedly already there, can you afford to stay behind?

Not convinced? Here are some stats to show you just how important social media websites are in today’s world:

  • 75% of male internet users are on Facebook as well as 83% of female internet users.
  • 81% of millennials check Twitter at least once per day.
  • LinkedIn boasts more than 530 millions user profiles
  • Facebook continues to be the most widely used social media platform, with 79% of American internet users.
  • 59% of Americans with social media accounts think that customer service through social media has made it easier to get questions answered and issues resolved.
  • 88% of businesses with more than 100 employees use Twitter for marketing purposes.
  • 93% of marketers use Facebook advertising regularly, which translates to about 3 million businesses that use Facebook for marketing.
  • 78% of people who complain to a brand via Twitter expect a response within an hour.

Impressive right? However, having a successful company’s account on a social media is not as easy as you might think it is.

There is a number of things you need to have in mind and many mouse traps waiting for the inexperienced. To help you stay away from those, here are ten most significant social media traps you can fall in if you are not careful.

10 biggest social media marketing traps

Trap 1: Creating a social media account because everyone does that

Everybody’s doing it, and everybody tells you should do it too. You aren’t sure how it can help your company, don’t really have any strategy for using a social account and you don’t have good content to share either. But the only that matters is for you to have the account right?

Wrong. If you don’t know what benefits social media can bring to your business and you don’t have a clear strategy how to use a social media account, there’s the risk are you aren’t going to use the account properly and unwittingly cause a marketing disaster (which might go viral if you are unlucky).  

Having no social media account in today’s world is bad but having the account and misusing it is several times worse – so before starting an account, take the time to prepare strategy (and budget) and understand social media.

Trap 2: Getting into social media without learning the netiquette.

Etiquette rules aren’t just for business meetings –  people posting on social media need to know how their manners too.  Especially when posting on behalf of a brand – you want to earn new customers, not scare them off right?

That’s why you should learn how to act politely and elegantly before starting to post on social media to avoid annoying or scaring your customers off with your bad manners.

Proof-read all your posts before hitting “Publish” button, don’t nag people to buy your product or your service and don’t “force” people to give you likes and shares (for example, by spamming more popular profiles).

Trap 3: Getting on every social network site there is

Many companies decide to go out and instead of one or two accounts on most popular websites, they create 10. “If I will be everywhere, I could find more customers and have more sales!”

Unfortunately, it doesn’t work this way. Instead of having ten weak and barely used social media accounts, it’s much better to have one or two regularly updated accounts.

Updating regularly so many accounts will take too much of your time, and the quality of your content will suffer too. And would you be able to answer customers questions on all of those ten accounts?

It would be more efficient to pick two or three social media account on which your target customers are most likely to be.

If you are a brand focused on young, active people, using Instagram or Snapchat is a great idea but for B2B company, LinkedIn will be a better idea.

Trap 4: The more posts, the better!

The main aim of your social media presence should be to raise brand awareness, build trust in your company and engage with your customers.

How can you do that?

With valuable, useful and interesting for your audience content. If your content is helpful to your followers, they will show it to their friends who can share the content with their friends and so on – that should be your primary goal.  

Unfortunately, too many businesses use their social media channel purely as a free place for advertising or selling their product.

Instead of entertaining and informing their audience, they only publish 10 “Buy our product” posts, in hopes of getting more sales (it’s especially tempting if you have an automation tool and you can schedule the post to be published automatically).    

The result?

Annoyed followers, a wave of “unfollowed” messages and spam reports. People don’t want to see 25 posts a day from one company, especially if the posts have no value to them.

If the page doesn’t provide enough value, customers won’t bother with following and engaging with a brand.

To build your network on social media, you must think about your customers’ needs and prepare content tailored to them – quality content wins over quantity every time.  

Trap 5: Who bothers with customer’s comments?

Investing time in building brand awareness and growing network is essential.

The problem starts when companies become so caught up in it, they forget about having an actual conversation with their customers, even if the customers start the conversation themselves.

If a customer posts a comment on your profile, he wants to start a conversation with you. And yet, 9 out of 10 social media comments posted on companies accounts are ignored.

Isn’t it ironic?

Companies spend so much time on building a relationship with their customers and showing how much they care, but the moment the customer needs something, they can’t get a response.

According to Social Media, 42% of customers that ask a question or have an issue expect a response in 60 minute – but many don’t even get one.

Ignoring customers comments (especially the negative ones) show you as an indifferent and dishonest brand – if you really cared about your customers, you would respond to their comments.  

Trap 6: Deleting  negative comments

Did your newest software update turn out to be buggy? The server went down? 

Whatever you did, you surely have many infuriated customers to deal with now. And plenty of complaints and negative comments on your profile.

One solution to this is to respond to those complaints, apologise for the problems, fix the issues as soon as possible and offer your customers a small gift to make them happier.

The second option still used fairly often even by big companies is to sweep all negativity under the carpet (by removing all negative comments) and pretend the problem doesn’t exist.

End of your problems?

No, just the beginning.

Customers (already dissatisfied with you because of the issue) will become even angrier, and even the customers who didn’t notice the problem won’t be happy with your behavior.

To show your company as reliable and trustworthy, you have to show your customers you are prepared to face criticism and learn from your mistakes.

Trap 7: Posting when there’s nothing better to do

Some companies overdo it and annoy their customers with several posts, but many businesses have exactly the opposite problem: a lack of posts. They don’t have time to post regularly, so they only post when “they feel like it”.

If a customer visits your Facebook profile and sees your last post was last a few months ago, they might wonder if you’re still even open. If one week you publish several posts and then stay quiet for three weeks, your followers will get confused.

The key is to be consistent and have a posting schedule.

According to eClincher, you should post one to two times per day during the week and once per day on the weekend when using Facebook and around eight times a day on Twitter.

But it mostly depends on your audience – you want to post enough to keep your audience engaged and informed but not annoyed with several posts a day.

Trap 8: “Don’t forget to subscribe and share my post with your friends!”

You want your followers to like and share your content – that’s your primary goal. If your followers share your content with their friends, you can earn many new followers.

But demanding from your followers to like and share your every post or asking for retweeting your post every time will give the opposite effect – people will see you as unprofessional and needy.

Liking or sharing content is a spontaneous decision made by your audience to show they like what you do and they think your post is valuable enough to show it to others.

If you keep making great and useful content, people will share and like your post because they like what you do – if you keep nagging them for likes and shares though, they will unfollow.

Trap 9: I’ll get even more customers if I post links to my profile on more popular blogs!

Everyone on the Internet knows that Spam = Evil. And no one likes it. Pretty sure you don’t like it either. 

Posting profile links on a popular blog won’t only make you lose your credibility and ruin all chances of having new followers, your account might be deleted for spam practices.

Same goes for adding only posts related to making more sales – if your profile doesn’t offer anything more than “Buy our software” posts, it will be reported as a spammer profile and deleted.

Instead, why not ask those blogs for allowing you to guest post on their blog?

Writing guest articles for more popular websites and blogs will helpyou in showing yourself as an expert in your field, build credibility and get more followers (if they liked your guest post, they would surely follow your own account)!

Trap 10: I’ll just leave taking care of my social media accounts to automation.

Social media automation tools can save you quite some time – for example by adding posts at scheduled hours and helping you find ideas for new content.

But for some companies it’s not enough – so they attempt to automate sending private messages, comment replies, tweets in a Twitter conversation or customer service.

Even if it seems like automating conversations saves you a lot of time, in the long run, it will hurt your reputation. Your followers want to see there is a human being behind the company’s profile, not a robot.

Especially if they have a problem or a complaint – the last thing they want to get when calling you with a problem is an automatic response. It makes them think you don’t care.

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