In 2015—and for the foreseeable future—social media is necessary if your end goal is to assert yourself as a successful business owner.
But while social media is a more fun and interactive marketing practice than direct mail or email, it can be hard to navigate, and is not without its pitfalls.
Fortunately for you, dear reader, this is pretty much all I do with my 40ish hours per week. Let’s read on.
Lessons in social media failure
The Guardian recently explained some of the more widespread errors and pointless investments companies make in the social media marketing realm, affirming that this type of advertising is far from being the simplest or most straight forward. After all, other forms of digital marketing have been around a little longer, and are inherently less rich with opportunities to make major mistakes that could lead to poor brand recognition or stature among current and prospective clientele.
According to the news provider, the most common goal of social media marketing campaigns is to increase the number of followers or volume of retweets and likes, which is somewhat of a frivolous pursuit from a raw return on investment perspective. Instead, the source urged marketers to look at social media as an effective public relations tool, as this is where the websites and platforms will be most valuable for a brand.
This has become a theme of sorts in social media marketing circles, as companies are finally beginning to realize that the methods of monetizing these campaigns and efforts is far different from those contained within search engine optimization, content marketing and email ads. The Guardian pointed out that another common mistake is to develop a social media account and presence, but then not submerge the brand image in conversation among followers and others.
Right from the beginning of social media marketing prevalence, it became clear that less is more, especially in terms of the number of accounts set up and selection of specific websites. For example, only having accounts on social media channels that target audiences frequent is a critical and basic step that so many companies tend to overlook, as directing all efforts toward keeping up with loyal customers in their favorite mediums should be the goal.
Finally, the source stated that analytics must be frequently viewed and evaluated to gauge performance in each channel, and that the content distributed through these channels should be the main focus, as higher-quality information will trump greater volumes of insubstantial communication.
Aesthetic meets social media substance
Meme Burn recently argued that while so many business leaders believe that social media success is completely founded on the aesthetic appeal of pages and accounts, this is simply not the case. Having a relatively boilerplate visual component within social media accounts that then acts as a sounding board for quality, informative and engaging content will be far more effective than putting all of the proverbial chips on the aesthetic nature of the pages.
According to the source, companies should be looking to engage their audiences in quality conversation, not only using the mediums to get the word out about new products and services, but instead looking to build a rapport and stature as a thought leader. One example of getting this right is taking a subversive approach to the communications sent through the channels, which would essentially mean explaining the benefits of what the items do without even mentioning them at first.
This will get conversation going and fuel preemptive attention toward the brand that will strengthen engagement among consumers once the product and service announcements actually come through. Finally, the news provider pointed out that certain social media websites will take a bit more effort in the setup stages, and that businesses must ensure that their house is in order before really putting energy into building a foundation of followers and connections.
Meme Burn used the example of LinkedIn profiles, which certainly take more time to develop than Twitter accounts, but cannot be left incomplete should the company want to have a sound start when partaking in relevant campaigns.
Other common mistakes can be readily found through a little market research, but the successes of others are a bit more challenging to identify given how rarely a social media marketing campaign provides optimal outcomes. Because of how difficult this specific form of digital marketing can be, acquiring support and services from experts in the field can help to ensure higher returns on investment.
Taking that a step further, a firm that can converge email marketing, social media, direct mail and other forms of physical and digital advertising campaigns might be the best to generate more leads and conversions in the future.