The explosive success of social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ (and many more) can be overwhelming when you really think about it. Almost everyone is online, and most people act like it's their day job. From toddlers to adults, social media can provide companies with a large target audience. And, since the popularity of these social networking sites is constantly growing every day, small business, internet marketers, and even large corporations are beginning to understand the opportunities within this digital marketing space.
Even though all businesses agree that social media could have unlimited potential when it comes to drawing in leads and converting them into clients, for some, that's about as far as their understanding goes. So, many companies turn to social media experts to get their social media campaigns on the fast track to success. The real problem lies in the fact that there are a lot of so-called "social media experts" out there, and most of them are not so expert.
If you're struggling with starting your social media marketing plan on your own it's still a great idea to seek outside guidance, but make sure you do some research before acting on any advice you receive. Here are some of the worst pieces of social media marketing advice we've seen to get you started on what NOT to do in your campaign:
1. You don't need to focus on a strategy for social media. Do you think Atilla the Hun mastered the art of war just by winging it? No, of course not. While you may have to veer off your plan from time to time (depending on how many curve balls you are thrown) for the most part, it's important, and advisable, to have a plan of attack. Good strategies focus on what you want to achieve from your social media efforts, and how to get there. Ask yourself: Do you have content that you need to drive traffic to? Are you looking to engage more clients? Are you interested in raising the awareness of your brand?
2. You need to be on every, single, social media site. If you have the time, energy, and resources to be on more than one social media site then good on you. However, for most businesses starting a social media campaign, less is more. You don't want to run into the problem of biting off more than you can chew when it comes to the upkeep (and there is a lot of it) of each networking site you are a part of. Research and learn about particular social media sites that interest you, then decide which you would like to tackle. Also pay attention to which sites will yield the best audience for your market, because if your audience isn't there, you are wasting your valuable time. Usually Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are popular sites to start on that tend to be the easiest for newbies in the social media game.
3. You should automate all of your updates for every network. We know that social media can be time consuming, so automating your updates can seem like a helpful and savvy idea. The reality of the situation is that you can't just automate your posts for the day and then forget about it for a day or two. People are constantly talking and interacting on social media so you could be missing out on opportunities by not responding in a timely manner. People will eventually catch on to your robot tweets and forget or lose interest in you. Take time to support real conversations with the people within your networks to let them know you care.
4. Don't respond to negative comments or just delete them. If someone says something negative about your company there's nothing you can do to change that. It's out there, and chances are someone has read the post already and the damage is done. By not responding or deleting the comment you will just make matters worse for yourself. Turn the negative comment into a positive for your company by responding and addressing the issue within the negative comment. For example, if someone tells you your product is out of date or adverse to change, comment back by saying your product has a established reputation, and a tested long lasting design. And if you made a mistake admit it, but share how you are going to change those issues in the future.
5. Don't worry about other marketing strategies as long as you're on social media. A social media plan isn't really a stand alone kind of marketing strategy, nor was it made to replace other marketing strategies. Social media should be used as a gateway to prompt prospects to visit your blogs, landing pages, and offers. Without other marketing strategies like content or inbound marketing, businesses will struggle to find a real use for their social media plan.
Looking to increase your lead generation through social media and other venues? Take a look at these lead generation lessons from 4,000 businesses!