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Strategy & Insights: Up Close

5 Things to Avoid Failure In Social Media Marketing

While recognized as a powerful tool for broadening business reach, social media marketing can be challenging for many businesses to master.

Numerous guides suggest authenticity and compelling content as the key to successful social media marketing. However, these strategies sometimes yield different results, leading to business pages with only a handful of followers. These businesses may need to improve despite their best efforts.

To ensure the success of your social media campaign, it's crucial to be aware of and avoid these five common pitfalls, putting you in control of your marketing strategy.

Lack of a clear strategy

The foremost pitfall to evade is the need for a concrete strategy. This entails not establishing a goal or setting an impractical one. Begin by identifying the problem and then consider potential solutions.

It's easy to get sidetracked by others' activities on social media if you don't have a clear objective. Instead of trying to match their pace, focus on your own aspirations. Be ambitious, but also be realistic about what you can achieve.

Another stumbling block to circumvent is a need for more enthusiasm. Your audience can easily sense this, and it can influence their perception of you. How can you expect others to if you don't have faith in what you're doing? Therefore, ensure that you maintain positivity and zeal for your project, even when faced with challenges.

Failure to use data

Understanding your audience is critical, but it is equally crucial to comprehend their online behavior.

The end goal of social media marketing is to establish rapport with potential clients or customers. To accomplish this, you require data that reveals the effectiveness of your shared content in terms of audience response.

These tools, Google Analytics and Facebook Insights, are not just free and user-friendly, but they also provide valuable data. However, for a more comprehensive analysis of audience interaction, consider using an analytics tool like Sprout Social. It offers an in-depth dissection of all the data associated with your social media initiatives, providing you with a wealth of information to make informed decisions.

Lack of planning

As a marketer, the importance of planning must be balanced, but it often gets overlooked in social media marketing. Without a well-defined plan for your social media strategy and content, there's no reliable way to assess its effectiveness.

So, what constitutes a solid social media marketing plan? A robust SMM plan should comprise the following:

Objectives: Define your objectives for each platform and how you will quantify success. Remember, it's unrealistic to expect every post to generate hundreds of comments or shares across all platforms - if this happens, it's likely due to other factors.

Audience: Identify the demographics of the users interacting with your posts. If they share common interests with those who typically engage with similar brands in your niche, continuing in the same vein is advisable. If not, it may be time to switch tactics!

Approach: Determine how your social media efforts align with your online strategy/content inventory management plan (OCM).

Avoiding trends

Living in a culture that is heavily influenced by trends can profoundly impact our purchasing habits, media preferences, and even how we interact with others. Recognizing these trends can be incredibly advantageous for businesses or brands looking to expand their customer base and increase revenue. However, it's important to distinguish between beneficial trends and detrimental ones.

Beneficial trends are those that truly serve your audience, addressing real issues they face and offering valuable solutions. It's crucial for businesses to be discerning in their trend adoption, as detrimental trends play on people's fear of missing out (FOMO) without providing any real advantage or utility.

Focusing on social media follower count

The number of followers is not the ultimate indicator of success on social media.

The significance of your follower count is determined by how effectively you utilize it and its purpose. A large following can prove beneficial if the goal is to market products or services. A high level of engagement increases the probability of followers visiting your website and making purchases. However, if your strategy solely involves sharing links to articles on other sites, hoping for clicks or likes, it might be time to reassess your social media marketing strategy.

A substantial follower count should include a significant percentage of engaged followers who frequently interact with their favorite businesses (through likes, shares, and comments). Some businesses favor this metric because it evaluates actual engagement rather than sheer numbers. This approach allows companies to maximize each post by leveraging existing relationships with their followers instead of continually striving to attract new ones with little success.

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