Social Media is no longer a question of if brands should join its ranks, it’s now a question of how, when, where, and to what end? It should be a no brainer, right? Wrong. Brands, from those who are fresh to a network to veterans that were early adopters, should consider taking basic steps to enable fans to gain value and build a solid relationship that extends past the screen.
If you’re looking out for what could pose as a road block for your brand in social, or have come to a speed bump that you’re not quite sure you can clear, the tactics below may help. Think about these barriers next time you’re between a rock and a hard place, and re-evaluate your Social Strategy to work for your fans once again.
Social Media Mistake #1: Focus on Only One Social Media Network
Choosing the first Social Media Network to debut your brand’s presence is important, and should be picked based on where your target audience is most heavily engaged. However, budding brands shouldn’t necessarily stop there. For some brands, fans are concentrated on one platform, and if that’s the case it’s wise to stick to one alone, as long as research guided the selection of that specific network.
Otherwise it’s wise to choose a solid variety of networks to focus on. Keep messaging, imagery, and voice consistent while tailored to each platform’s target audience (LinkedIn for business, Facebook for friends, Twitter for networking, etc.). Providing fans with a range of networks to engage with allows fans to choose which network best suits them so they may get to know, connect with, share, and potentially builds a relationship with your brand where they already spend time online.
Social Media Mistake #2: Focus on Only One Measurement of Success
Whether it’s important to grow your presence, increase the number of shares of your content, get consumers talking with and about your brand, or allowing fans to bring content to you (UGC), all measures of progress and success in Social should be treated equally important. If you have a fan base of 1 million, great, but if no one is joining in to chat, share, and influence, your large fan-base loses its importance. Keep an eye on the metrics most important to each social channel & tie into social goals that directly relate to your engagement, awareness, ROI, and overall marketing goals. Also, don’t forget to monitor that growth (or at least a consistent ebb and flow) is present throughout the month. Keeping an eye on KPIs is an essential way to know what’s working, what’s not, and what your brand can do to maintain a solid profile and community.
Social Media Mistake #3: Publish Content Curated for One Network Across Others
The process of researching, drafting, editing, scheduling, and finally moderating curated content for a platform can be cumbersome, but there’s a rhyme and reason. Tailoring content for each network’s target audience means the correct brand message is received and understood by fans every time. Not only does making sure your content is on point, interesting, and of value to consumers, carefully curated content shows your fans you care about the relationship you are building with each one of them. Although it is good practice to carry a campaign, voice, theme, etc. throughout all social networks consistently, each message should be tailored to fit its corresponding audience. Re-using content might save you time, but in the long run it will cost you brand credibility amongst your fans.
Social Media Mistake #4: Publish Content without a Focus
It’s essential to develop a solid content and social strategy before you start posting, especially if you’re new to social. Maintaining a healthy mix of content, as well as making sure it is on topic, and relates to a brand is key to consistently keeping the attention of fans. Defining and maintaining a focus is also vital for brands that have had a social presence for an extended period of time.
Whether it’s time to jump into social, or rejuvenate your content flow, brands should look at what their focus and goals are in relation to the content being published. If you’re a finance company, and only publishing videos of cats because they “work” on social, there just might be a slight disconnect between what works for your brand and audience in social, and what you are deeming as valuable and presenting to your fan-base. Having a variety of content, an open mind, and a sense of humor is great, but all content should relate to your industry, fans, and overall Social Strategy before the publish button is ever pressed.
Social Media Mistake #5: Ignoring the Content of what is Published
You could be posting too much or too little. You could be filling your copy with marketing, sales, and business speak. Maybe posts are riddled with spelling and grammar errors that go unfixed, or the tone being used isn’t connecting with fans. Keep an eye out for these potential follies, as it will hinder you from developing a valuable and memorable conversation with your fans. Fans remember both the positive, and negative experiences they have throughout your conversations. Make it easy on your brand by making sure that all loose ends are tied; copy, images, and links are approved and correct; and your voice and tone are that of a person, not a billboard trying to sell something to your fans. Fans do notice mistakes and will call you out on it, just as a friend would in real life. Take note of brands that do not value the process of building a relationship, they are not so kind. So remember, treat your fans like friends, and give them the best that your brand has to offer to make their experience with you that much more valued.
Maintaining one Social Media channel is tough, and managing many is even more of a challenge. To keep everything in check, we ask you to remember these simple things to make sure you are successful, and build meaningful relationships with fans:
- Focus on the quality and content of what you publish
- Maintain consistency for your brand throughout it’s lifespan and on all networks
- Treat all metrics as valued assets
- Give each Network you choose to represent your brand on the time needed to build up relationships with fans
What are some examples of brands that you think have nailed Social Media?