Social media can be a very powerful marketing tool (and sales tool!) for your business when it is used correctly.
However, getting it right can be a minefield.
If you get it wrong, you won’t achieve the results you’re looking for or a return on your investment.
What’s worse, even if you make simple mistakes on social media it can actually do more harm to your business than good!
Like anything worth doing, it’s worth doing well. Therefore, using social media for marketing is worth taking your time to understand it properly so you can achieve your desired results.
“….Social media marketing is not a quick fix marketing strategy. It takes time to see real results.”
It takes time to build and develop a profile, to grow your follower base, and to develop trust and loyalty with your audience with business-consumer relationships that are tangible.
If you have been working on your social media marketing strategy for a while and are yet to see a positive return on your investment, it’s most likely that you are making some common mistakes.
These mistakes are made by many businesses using social media, and no matter how otherwise great your social media strategy is, these mistakes will negatively impact upon or even destroy your potential success.
4 Social Media Mistakes to Avoid
1. Your sales strategy is too pushy
It’s true that people love to buy. It’s also true that people hate to be sold to. Pushy salespeople in a physical store are not only annoying, they eliminate consumers’ trust.
Many potential sales have been killed by pushy sales staff using aggressive sales tactics. Even customers who are bullied into making a purchase (it does happen!) will eventually just return the goods if their purchase experience has not been satisfactory to them.
Not only this, the potential for future sales to these customers is extinguished.
So too does a pushy approach to selling on social media turn audiences away. Your social media profile is not an advertisement or a billboard. No matter what your business or your product, or how great it may be, there is another to take its place just a few clicks away when consumers are online.
The approach to leads on social media by sellers must be modified for the platform so that you don’t push potential customers to your competitors.
Note: spamming to your audience will turn them off.
“People don’t use social media to receive the hard sell. They use it for connection, information, fun, and interest.”
They use it to learn about your brand and who you are – not to be pressured into completing a purchase.
Social media is the forum where businesses and sellers can build trust and relationships, which will later translate into sales.
Instead of focusing on when your audience will be ready to buy from you, ask how you can be of help to them.
Personalise your responses to commenters and show that you understand the needs of your audience. As much as you might like it to be all about you, it’s not – it’s about your audience. Social media for business is not the place to feed your own ego – it’s a place to offer value to your followers. Fail to do this, and they will disappear.
“…As much as you might like it to be all about you, it’s not – it’s about your audience.”
2. You don’t make buying easy
This may seem to be in direct contradiction to the point made above, but you need to make it simple for genuine leads to convert into paying customers.
This means offering a convenient, easy way to click on a clearly identifiable link to your website should they choose to do so.
When you do showcase a product in a post, include a direct link to its page on your website where it can be purchased. Also, include a button on your profile to SHOP or a link to your site in your bio.
This puts the onus on the consumer to make the decision to convert – you are simply offering a very passive push in the right direction.
Include a Call-to-Action (CTA) in suitable posts (and remember the golden rule that no more than 20-30 per cent of your social posts at most should be direct sales pitching).
3. You fail to provide content that helps consumers make a purchase decision
When you get social media for business right, you can passively convince audiences to purchase.
This is most effective in those audience members who are “fence-sitters”; you convince them that you can provide what they perceive to be the right solution to their area of need.
Great content results in sales conversion. It’s a delicate balance between direct marketing and providing value via information, inspiration, humour, and a voice of authority.
Great content helps prospective customers evaluate you in a positive light when compared with your competitors.
4. You don’t evaluate your social media leads
What happens on social media after you receive a new lead? Do you cater to their needs? How do social media leads differ from other leads?
Understanding and constantly evaluating your social audience and your content marketing on social media is the key to success.
5 other brand-killing social errors
The examples above represent some major social media mistakes that can harm your sales, but they are not the only mistakes that can harm your business and your brand.
Also, consider the following common mistakes:
- Today, social media drives up to one-third of all lead traffic to your website, and this number is growing.
Social media becomes the face of your company in the online world, and you need to be certain that your social media managers are suitable and up to this task. Mistakes are made innocently by inexperienced or poorly informed posters can destroy a brand very quickly.
2. No matter how great your product or service is, negative feedback is part and parcel of running a business. Sometimes mistakes happen, and some customers are never satisfied, no matter what.
Always respond promptly and calmly to negative feedback – never delete negative comments. You need to be seen to be transparent and taking responsibility for any shortcomings. Show your commitment to customer service and use complaints as a way to improve your brand.
3. Buying followers is a major faux pas – it decreases your reach and makes you look dishonest. Fake followers don’t engage with your posts, and your visibility will be impacted by diminished algorithmic reach.
You’ll also risk being banned or deleted by the social platform. When consumers understand you buy fake followers, they will perceive you as being fake too.
4. Lack of consistency is harmful to your brand – you need to maintain consistency in voice, posting schedule, and tone. At the same time, offer a variety of content – the same kinds of posts time after time will become boring to your audience very quickly.
Never use generic responses to comments or criticisms. Social media is about connection, and the only way to do it well is with personalised, authentic responses.
Social media can be a great sales and marketing tool for your business–unless you get it wrong. In which case it can be detrimental to your business.
Focus on getting it right so you can achieve the results you desire.
And most importantly, take as much time as you need to fine tune your approach with your audience to build long-term relationships.
Looking for more clients or customers? Join our contest for free and you could win a free Digital Marketing Campaign worth $10,000. Click here for more info: I want to win!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adam Houlahan is an International Keynote Speaker specialising in Social Media for business, and CEO of Web Traffic That Works. Adam lives in Australia’s famous tourist destination the Gold Coast Queensland, and he is considered to be Australia’s leading expert in Linkedin for business. Over 12,200 people globally have sought his skill and insights to leverage the power of LinkedIn for their businesses.
Adam is also an Australian Brand Ambassador for Microsoft. He consults on Social Media to private clients in Australia, New Zealand, North America, The Middle East and Singapore. His work as CEO and owner of 6 successful companies has given him the hands-on experience to understand business from the inside.
Adam believes real and meaningful change comes through the world’s entrepreneurs. His purpose is to provide their businesses with powerful tools to grow and accelerate their global footprint. And that together we make a huge impact!
Through his Lifetime Partnership with the Global Giving Initiative B1G1 www.B1G1.com he is well on track to positively impact the lives of more than 1 million people in need.