Social media marketing is no longer considered an option for brands who want to create cohesive and successful digital marketing campaigns. With nearly 4 billion social media users across all platforms (practically half of the world’s population), missing out on the opportunity to reach this staggering amount of people is a huge mistake.
According to Dreamgrow, Facebook, Youtube, and WhatsApp all have over 2 billion active users. Instagram is up there with 1.2 billion. TikTok, even though everyone seems to be on it, still hasn’t quite reached these heights yet.
The sheer numbers are enough to demonstrate the power of social media.
Let’s now take a look at the biggest mistakes brands make on social?
Also, what you can do to avoid them 💪
1. Highlight your value proposition
It can be tempting to get very clever and creative with the branding of your social media profile. You might want to feature animated cover images or create something interesting and unusual.
What most brands forget, is that a lot of the hits they get on their profile will be coming from people who don’t actually know what the brand is. Or, even about what the brand does.
They may have seen you in their feed, whether as an organic suggestion or as a sponsored ad.
Then, have clicked through from there.
If you don’t tell them what you are about early on, you are likely to lose their attention.
This is why highlighting your value proposition with your cover image helps you introduce yourself to potential new followers and establish clear messaging. Yes, you can make the cover visually appealing too. But aim to use as few words as possible to clearly demonstrate your offer and values.
Quetext did a great job with their Facebook cover. Their slogan, “plagiarism-free writing,” sends a very clear message about the service the brand offers and what they stand for. Even if you’ve never heard of them before, you’ll get the gist of them in under a second.
2. Make the most of your bio
Believe it or not, your social media bio will be read by a large portion of your audience, specifically on LinkedIn. If you fail to utilize this space to convert your audience, or at least to give them an incentive to follow you, they may leave you feeling disappointed.
Especially on Instagram and Twitter, where there is some very limited space to work with, you need to get very creative and get as much value from it as possible.
Everyone who clicks on your profile will see this bio. It will be the first impression you can never undo. Adding your location, using a different font, and adding emojis and other symbols can help you further attract the eye and add a bit more interest to your bio.
Take a look at some Instagram bio examples before you start working on your own. Decide on the tone you want to go with, and remember that Instagram is not about being all that serious. You can afford to be cute, funny, and a bit quirky.
When it comes to Twitter bio ideas, you can go down a bit more serious route if you want, but there is still plenty of space to be unique. Bear in mind that you also have space for a cover photo here, so try to align the bio with the cover. Share your USP and communicate the kind of brand you are by choosing the right voice and vocabulary.
3. Respond to major changes on the platform
The thing about social media is that you can never predict what a platform is going to look like in the future, nor what kinds of new rules will be in play. For instance, Instagram now lets you remove the number of likes from your profile, which is not something we’ve ever expected to see.
Similarly, the platform has pivoted towards video in an attempt to keep up with YouTube. What was once considered the prime space for sharing photos is now a space where most users tend to watch Stories or Reels.
As a brand, it can be very easy to stick to your old ways and miss out on adapting to these inevitable changes. If you are used to producing one type of content, you will rarely consider how implementing another will impact your views and engagement.
While most brands have had a tougher time adapting to this pivot, Voices did a good job of producing video material that aligns with the new algorithm. They’ve taken the time to consider the changes and new requirements and ensured their marketing strategy keeps working, no matter what the platform demands of them.
Their Instagram feed is video-heavy, and they’ve created plenty of reels, but they offer a lot of still images as well. They’ve made sure that their profile is never dull but also that you don’t have to engage with a video if you don’t want to.
When creating your social media marketing strategy, don’t just stick to what used to work for other brands back in the day or what is working for them now. Be ready to roll with the changes, or you will be overtaken by smart brands that are ready to adapt.
4. Take advantage of a platform’s unique capabilities
Every social media platform is unique, which is why so many people will have accounts on more than one. While Instagram allows you to tune into someone’s day in real-time with Stories, Facebook still fosters that community spirit we used to love with Groups.
When using a platform, you need to make sure you use every opportunity it offers to differentiate yourselves from your competitors. Take a look at all the available features, and decide how you can best use them to your own advantage.
Let’s take YouTube as our example. It allows brands to upload videos in 4K resolution, and it would be a shame if you missed out on this opportunity. By offering your viewers a better experience, you are much more likely to hold on to their attention and direct them to your service or product.
Impossible is a brand that does this very well. Their channel features numerous excellent videos that showcase their creed of doing something impossible. They provide just the kind of motivation and inspiration that an athlete will be looking for from a brand.
Not producing this kind of content equals missing out on a major opportunity to share your brand’s values and engage potential customers. Remember, the goal is not to sell a product but rather to demonstrate what you believe in, tell stories, and create the kinds of content your audience base likes to watch.
5. Respond to support requests and complaints
The downside of quality customer service is that it’s usually invisible to your target audience. Unless your satisfied customer leaves a review somewhere, no one will ever know how helpful your customer service rep has been.
This is why you shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to offer customer service on social media platforms. Twitter is especially useful in this regard, as all of the posts on your feed will be public, and everyone will be able to see them, not just your followers.
By addressing every complaint or support request, you can demonstrate how much you care about your customers. It’s a way to show that you are more than just a company looking to make money. If you fail to do it, you are missing out on the change to show how trustworthy and human your brand really is.
Domino’s probably has one of the best Twitter feeds on the entire platform. First, there’s all the pizza. However, they are also amazing at supporting various causes, shouting out to their customers, and sharing funny stories.
On top of that, they excel at social support. Their response feed is full of examples of how far they’re willing to go for a customer.
Aim for this kind of experience and response rate. It is unlikely you will ever see their volume of complaints, but by addressing every one of them mentions you do get, you can quickly start to stand out.
Also, make sure you thank people for their positive mentions. If someone shouts you out, thank them, like their comment, and get in on the chat. It will go a very long way.
6. Get the most out of social proof
If you have an active social media presence but you’re not taking advantage of the reviews and testimonials your customers are providing, you are missing out on the best possible opportunity to create immense credibility.
Social proof works because it is genuine. Given the fact that most shoppers will check out a brand’s reviews before they make their first purchase, if you don’t leverage what your customers have said about you, your conversion rates may suffer.
You can easily integrate your social media reviews with your brand’s website. Or, you can even integrate your on-site reviews with your Facebook page. Rain or Shine Golf, for example, used this option to their advantage. Their page features reviews that will help anyone who comes across them on the platform make a purchasing decision.
They also feature user-generated content and show plenty of customer photos alongside their reviews. This is the kind of content that is most valuable in marketing, as you can never create it yourself, which makes it the most honest and most trustworthy. Make sure you make it an integral part of your social media strategy.
7. Choose the right platforms for your brand
Let’s quickly debunk a very popular myth: you don’t need to have a profile on every social media profile, let alone an active one. All you will be doing is spreading yourself too thin, as you are likely to overextend your available resources and not make the most of each individual platform.
There’s only so much you can do in a day, and if you try to create unique content for a multitude of platforms, you won’t be getting the desired effect. It’s much better to have two active accounts than five semi-active or dormant ones.
Consider the demographics of each platform: where does your target audience spend their time? Consider their age, their location, and other demographic and interest factors. How do they like to consume content? What are their pain points, and which content format will be able to communicate the most information?
Facebook and Instagram are great if you want to run paid ads. YouTube is great if you have video material to share. If your product or service doesn’t naturally lend itself to video, you can skip the platform entirely.
Do you really need TikTok, though? Unless your audience is in the teens and 20s category, maybe you don’t need to adopt this trend.
Remember, you can always expand to another platform. This is easily possible when you’ve nailed your messaging and marketing on the one that makes the most sense.
8. Get your followers onto your email list
There are many reasons for converting your company’s social media followers into newsletter subscribers.
Email marketing is more consistent and has fewer variables that affect how well your message arrives at your leads. With email, there’s no third party involved that has an agenda of its own. It’s a simple, safe send and receives the transaction.
With email, you’re also dealing with a captive audience in a sense. Your message arrives in the recipient’s inbox and, in many cases, they’re even notified of its presence. With social media, however, you need your audience to find your message in their feeds.
Email marketing is an exceptionally effective way to communicate with your leads. You can make them aware of offers, keep them engaged with your brand, and convert them into customers. In fact, most digital marketers still regard it as the single most effective customer communication channel. Even social media users themselves say that they prefer to be communicated via their inboxes.
With this in mind, it makes sense to tap into your social media following to grow your email list.
One of the most effective tactics you can use to get your followers to hand over their precious email contact details is to do frequent giveaways. Most people need a solid reason to sign up for a newsletter and “free stuff” is about as good a reason as you can get.
There’s no need to get too complicated with your giveaway, as Ozark Armament shows us. The brand identifies a product that their followers would be interested in, they set up the giveaway on a third-party platform (there are plenty of these around), announce the giveaway, and let the competition run.
What the brand also makes a point of is announcing the winner on the social media platform. Doing this buys credibility for the contest, and creates FOMO amongst non-participants for the next one.
Maintaining a consistent and original social media presence can be your ticket to success. Aim to avoid these social media marketing mistakes that even large brands sometimes make, and slowly but surely build up the kind of following that matters.