Never underestimate the importance of a cogent social media strategy for small businesses. Done correctly, B2C social media marketing has the power to strengthen your relationship with your customers and target audience, improve sentiment towards your brand, cement customer loyalty and even increase revenue. Failure to properly invest in this channel can lead to disappointing results, usually a result of common social media mistakes. These can damage the value proposition of your brand, make you less visible and competitive and potentially lose you sales.
Below are 11 common business social media mistakes and how to fix them.
1 - Posting inconsistently
Without a clear business social media strategy you run the risk of posting content on an ad-hoc basis whenever someone in your team gets around to it, rather than posting quality content consistently. Posting regularly and leading with a proactive apporach, doesn’t just help you to become more visible to the search algorithms of different social platforms, it shows your target audience that you are consistent, steadfast and reliable.
Would you buy from a company that only posted on their social accounts a handful of times 18 months ago? Many would assume they are no longer in business or lack confidence and trust in placing an order.
2 - Failing to tailor your content to the audience
Before posting on a platform, you should always ask yourself ‘who is this for?’. All too often brands fall into the trap of not resonating or alligning with their audience.
As with all promotional and marketing activity, your social media posts should relate to your audiences’, needs, lifestyle, desires and pain points. Otherwise, it may fail to resonate with customers and prospective consumers. Spend some time going over your customer directory, reacquaint yourself with your buyer personas and think about what your target audience wants from you on your social channels.
3 - Not modifying your content to the channel
Every social platform offers a different experience to the user, and brands need to account for this. Tailor your content to each platform’s particular features, environment and user base.
For instance, when using Instagram, you should focus on telling stories with high-quality images and videos, and crafting provocative captions that encourage saving and sharing. Twitter, on the other hand, is a great space in which to encourage conversation and debate; hold polls and engage your audience with clever hashtags.
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4 - Not embracing social commerce
Speaking of not using platforms to their fullest, if you’re not employing social commerce, there’s no way you’re using your social channels to their full potential. Social commerce simply means selling on social media. Grab the attention of prospective customers through your social presence, impress them with your content, wow them with your products and remove a barrier to purchase by allowing them to shop through their favourite social platform. Social commerce sales are expected to reach almost $3,000 BN globally by 2026. Make sure you get started this year. Take a look at how we can help you with social commerce.
5 - Making communication with your audience a one-way street
An effective social media business plan needs to focus on reciprocity. It shouldn’t be all about you and your team shouting into a vacuum. Social platforms offer a great opportunity for brands to interact with their followers, yet too many use them to talk at audiences rather than to them. A particularly successful strategy retailers use is asking questions in the caption of Instagram feed posts for people to respond to in the comments.
Interact with engagements; like and reply. Hold polls which also doubles as free market research. Post Q&A or AMA (ask me anything) sessions. Your brand will resonate much more strongly with your audience when communication is a two-way street.
6 - Ignoring or deleting negative feedback or reviews
Reciprocal interactions with your customers and followers on social media can be a double-edged sword. It can facilitate meaningful, joyful and hilarious interactions with your target audience. Inevitably, however, someone will eventually post something not-so-positive. This may be a negative review, a complaint about you or a member of your team or a post comparing you unfavourably to a competitor.
One of the worst things you can do is ignore or delete these posts.
Instead, use them as an opportunity to demonstrate to all the prospective customers who are watching, how seriously you take complaints and how much you value criticism. Being caught deleting negative comments can also look as if you have something to hide and demonstrate an inability to resolve issues. Own the problem, appreciate the poster’s point of view and work towards a resolution through your official channels.
This is a much better look for your brand than ignoring any and all negativity that comes your way.
7 - Not adding social icons to your website
Any missed opportunity to engage with your audience through your social channels can be seen as the loss of a potential customer. When visitors come to your website, make sure they can clearly see where to find you on the social platforms of their choice. This also adds credibility.
Your eCommerce platform should make it easy for you to add social icons to your online store to help you turn customers into followers and advocates. Take a look at how to add social icons to Square online for more information.
8 - Overlooking Pinterest
If your business social media strategy doesn’t include Pinterest, you’re far from alone. This platform, which is essentially a visual search engine, is commonly overlooked by businesses both large and small. Nonetheless, there are some extremely compelling reasons why you should consider adding Pinterest to your repertoire, especially if you already use visually-led platforms like Instagram:
Pinterest has 400 million active users worldwide
It is far easier to engage audiences with 97% of its top searches unbranded
Pinterest has extremely high buyer intent with 83% of users saying that they make purchases based on content they saw from brands on the platform
9 - Forgetting that being square is key (with images and videos)
While many brands have made landscape images staples of their B2C social media marketing output, recent studies by social marketing experts Buffer suggests that square images and videos perform better on social feeds than their rectangular counterparts.
Square content takes up 78% more space in a mobile newsfeed, making it much more likely to be seen and engaged with.
10 - Over-automating
Automation can be extremely helpful in helping brands post content regularly and at optimal times for peak engagement. However, companies can run the risk of becoming over-reliant on automation. Remember, your social media presence should be engaging, reciprocal and reactive to what is going on that matters to them. Your followers want to feel as though they’re interacting with real people. This can be lost when your social feeds become over-automated.
##11 - Inauthentic content
Finally, social media content that feels inauthentic, inconsistent or at odds with your brand values can be confusing for audiences and undermine your brand in the eyes of followers and onlookers.
You may want to consider compiling a ‘brand bible’ and tone of voice guidelines that are accessible to anyone in your team who posts on your social profiles. This will ensure that content feels authentic, consistent and spoken with your brand’s voice.
Contact our sales team to learn more about how Square could help your business.