10 Killer Social Media Pitfalls Businesses Must Avoid

10 Killer Social Media Pitfalls Businesses Must Avoid

Here are 10 basic do's and dont's, to ensure a smooth social media presence for your business

Even with the likes of the best marketing automation platforms, successfully doing social media strategy marketing is more of an art, than a science. Even the most high-profile companies are prone to social media strategy blunders every now and then, so how can these be avoided - or mitigated, in the least?

While purchasing top marketing automation software can significantly streamline and automate social media strategy duties across the organization, it alone isn’t going to suffice when aiming to build stellar social media presences. This is why this article outlines 10 good social media strategy points that your teams can adopt today, and therefore avoid disastrous pitfalls down the line.

1. Chase real customers - not likes, follows, or shares

Although the ‘like and share themed campaigns of yesteryear have long since gone out of style, many brands still continue to deploy such social media strategy campaigns which only aim to heighten the optics of the page - without paying any emphasis on whether genuine interest from real customers has been created. 

Whether it’s through gamification or by distributing freebies, it is likely that social media strategy statistics such as page likes can drop, after the campaign has concluded. This is because the wrong audiences have been attracted to that social media strategy, and interest from actual customers has never been sought using that social media strategy in the first place. 

Enticing users to like a page in exchange for freebies can reveal massive quantitative results within a very short frame of time, but isn’t a sustainable social media strategy at all since it doesn’t create the kind of awareness needed to actually generate sales from genuine customers. Although product and brand awareness through authentic content can be slow-moving, it is one of the best constituents of a customer experience social media strategy that can actually help attract valuable customers in the long-term.

2. Focus on the value your product/service offers - not just brand prestige

With customers spoilt for choice owing to a limitless array of brands out there, it can seem challenging to stand apart from the competition. However, focusing on the ultimate value that your products/services offer is what will draw attention towards your business and its social media strategy. 

When customers realize that you have something which can truly improve the quality of their lives, this can be enough motivation to purchase your product or service using social media strategy- thereby trumping even the most elite of brand profiles. In turn, this will also enable your business to create a unique customer experience, and one that will aid in long-term customer retention.

3. Engage with your customers - especially the unhappy ones

The task of handling customers in general is an emotionally demanding one, let alone facing unhappy, frustrated ones. However, it is imperative that every single inquiry and concern from your social media strategy is attended to; owing to the public nature of social media, it isn’t just negative feedback that attracts mass attention, but a lack of response from the business as well. 

Address the bad experiences that customers have had by first discussing possible solutions with your team internally, and then responding back to the customer via the same approach they had utilized (post comment, private message etc.). While this social media strategy provides the said customer with a viable solution, it also showcases professionalism on the part of your business; a win-win. 

If you’re afraid of missing out on user activity due to owning a highly active social media presence, modern CRM and marketing automation platforms offer sentiment analysis functionalities that can scour entire social networks to reveal conversations that users are having - outside of your business page as well, thus staying consistent with social media strategy.

4. Don't forget other forms of media - especially offline media

Remember that social media strategy is one channel out of all the channels you have, which also includes offline media such as hoardings and magazine advertisements. As a result, all social media strategy should complement each other, thereby creating a confluence for unified customer experience. 

Whether your customer is currently at a brick-and-mortar store or is browsing through your website, offer exposure to your social media strategy channels (with an easily scannable QR code, for example) so they can always reach out to your business, no matter where they are. Offering seamless connections across multiple forms of media is one of the many qualities of great customer service, after all - and your business needs to ensure the same also.

5. Always target a more broader audience than expected in the beginning - then narrow down from there

Being able to narrow down audiences to a niche, granular level is one key advantage that social media strategy has over their more traditional counterparts. However, it is wise to target broader audiences when conducting a display ad or social media strategy campaign, than expected - especially during the initial or pilot stages of executing a social media strategy. After analyzing and measuring social media strategy campaign performance, your team will be able to identify audience groups of high potential, which can then be further targeted during successive social media strategy campaigns.

Conversely, campaigns that aren’t attracting desired audiences can have its content iterated accordingly, for social media strategy performance optimization. Although many CRM and marketing automation systems offer social media strategy analytics capabilities, it may not be a bad idea to also connect cloud-based business intelligence tools for better decision making surrounding social media strategy campaign results and its future social media strategy.

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6. Steer clear of political opinions

With social media strategy offering a platform for every individual to voice their opinions about hot-button topics they care about, the average news feed can be replete with strong words and even flared tempers. It may certainly feel tempting for a business's social media strategy to join in by contributing their opinions but resist the urge. Instead, focusing on your product's social media strategy, and its customers will keep your entire organization mutually aligned toward the overall business's social media strategy success.

7. Don't be afraid to be candid - especially when it comes to the workmanship behind your products

Whether you’re a boutique business or a multinational corporation, feel free to get creative about how you can showcase unique perspectives pertaining to your products and/or services using social media strategy. For example, sharing a photo of a technician hard at work can offer your stakeholders a unique glimpse into your business. Unlike other forms of media, being able to get up close and personal with your customers is conveniently possible with social media strategy - and it makes sense to capitalize on this in the interest of building transparency and customer loyalty towards your business.

8. There's no need to follow the hype

From special days and holidays to trending digital campaigns, it’s important to practice discretion about whether or not to engage in the same social media strategy that your competitors may also be committing to. Whenever you are thinking about initiating a social media strategy campaign that emulates what your competitors are doing, ask yourself and your team one question - will this bring any value to our customers, and elevate the value of our products/services social media strategy? If the answer is no, then it may be okay to forgo that fancy gamification social media strategy campaign that requires the expensive development of a mobile app.

Therefore, it is important to differentiate between special occasions where every other business is sharing wishes via an image post, to dedicating your company’s precious social media strategy resources to activities that will genuinely drive revenue. For example, making the most of your CRM during the holiday season to drive sales via online discounts can be much more social media strategy lucrative than, say, putting your marketing automation software on overdrive by sharing posts en masse.

9. Focus on stellar message response times - and content

If there’s one thing that you can obsess about when it comes to social media strategy, it is the quality of your customer service for messages that your business page receives through social media. Again, the same rules apply here, such as context, awareness and emotional intelligence - especially in the wake of customer complaints. If needed, you can further streamline the social media strategy response process through automation, by first understanding what the pros and cons of automated agents are, and how they can be applied to your unique business case scenario.

10. Your employees and customers are your best influencers

Influencer marketing may be all the rage when it comes to social media strategy, but taking your products and services to the world need not require leverage from outside individuals. Your business’s employees and customers can be the best influencers for your business, as nobody knows your offerings as well as they do. 

Also, stock photography and footage; why does your social media strategy depend on any of these, when photos and videos of your customers and employees using your products/services can create the strongest social media strategy impact? Again, this ties in with getting candid over your social media strategy, so it pays to be transparent for optimum business success.