3 Mistakes in Social Media Marketing That May Come Back to Haunt You

Picture this.

You order an item online and it takes way more time to arrive than it should. Plus, a few items are missing in the package. Frustrated, you take to the vendor’s Facebook channel to voice your concerns and expect to be compensated.

And despite repeated prodding, there is complete radio silence at the other end.

The experience didn’t feel good did it? You think maybe this business doesn’t care about you – how you trusted it to give you a good experience and it shattered this trust instead. So you do what any frustrated individual would – you vow never to order anything from here again and hit the “unlike” button.

For social media strategists, there is a lesson to be learned here. A social media marketing strategy can eventually falter with a few unlikes and negative comments.

As a business owner, social media gives you limited chances to make a good impression. How you take advantage of these chances might make your business or break it.

The proof is in these stats:

• 71% of users who have a positive social media experience with a brand are likely to recommend it – Ambassador

• According to a study, hardly 20% of social media posts hardly generate any emotional reaction on social media – Havas Media

• 42% of Twitter users expect to be expect a business to respond to their inquiries within an hour – Ambassador

As a social media marketer, the best way to improve your social media strategy is to first find why it falters in the first place. Here are some mistakes that you might have overlooked:

1 – Being careless with negative feedback

If you have ever dealt with a salesperson, you wouldn’t expect him to become defensive when you have a complaint or be careless about your concerns.

So why would your followers on social media?

Keep in mind, whenever anyone says something negative about you on social media, the rest of your followers can see them. And they will be as interested to see how you respond.

For businesses, this is a nail-biting scenario. But it is totally avoidable. Here is how:

Put someone competent behind the wheel: Experienced professionals like social media experts will take an unbiased approach to the negativity and know that being careless about it serves no purpose.

For example, they know that being unresponsive to comments like “your service sucks! I want my money back” doesn’t really help anyone. A well worded reply on the other hand, helps both your reputation and appeases rising tempers.

To illustrate, your reply should go something like, “We are sorry that you had a bad experience. Can you tell us exactly what happened so we can make amends?” This way, you are more likely to ease frustrated customers.

Become alert to mentions by using online tools: It’s easy to forget about something you don’t encounter every day. Comments on social media are the same. You can’t track every one of them. No one inboxes them to you and there is no guarantee that followers will tag you.

To keep track of all comments, you can use tools like Google Alerts which notify you when anyone uses your keywords on their social media fields.

2 – Using social media management tools to schedule same posts on all platforms

Social media management tools allow marketers to post the same content on several social media platforms at once. Many businesses use it to schedule posts. And it has worked for them too, freeing up the time they need to focus on other tasks.

But oftentimes, people use these tools as a shortcut to schedule same posts on several platforms. It’s a lazy tactic and shows that you don’t care how your content is received by audiences.

Keep in mind, what works on Facebook or Twitter won’t necessarily work on LinkedIn. Every social media platform was created with specific target audiences in mind. A 140 character tweet, for example, won’t sit well with LinkedIn audiences who expect more comprehensive posts.

Use tools to schedule optimized posts

To make the most of social sharing tools, improve your social media strategy first. Take the time to learn about the unique capabilities of each platform. Limit yourself to two or three platforms if that is what it takes. For example, posts that are rich in imagery are more successful on Google+.

Hootsuite and HubSpot are two of the many social media management tools that you can use to automate posts and even see which channels are driving the most engagement. In addition to automated content sharing, these platforms also offer free online social marketing training courses that can help you make the most of each platform like optimizing your posts for different social media channels.

3 – Skimping on social share buttons

Business owners usually reserve their best content for their websites. Content like informative blogs, for example, establish them as experts in their niches.

It also give visitors a chance to stay longer on these websites. Perhaps they would like to look around to see what else is on offer?

Unfortunately, you could feature content that everyone would love to share – but if visitors don’t have any way to share it, it isn’t going to get the exposure you are looking for.

To make this work for you:

Make your social sharing work on mobile: Statistics show that over 15% of tweet mentions are from the tweet buttons that are embedded on your site. This also proves to show that people share a lot on mobile devices.

Tools to create social share buttons for WordPress: You can use online tools to create customized social share buttons for different audiences.

When selecting appropriate plugins, a good rule of thumb is to select those that allow you more freedom in the type of social share buttons you can create for different platforms.

For example, to improve engagement with mobile audiences you can tell your developers to download WordPress plugin tools like Simple Share Buttons Adder to create customized share buttons for your web or mobile audience and add them to all of your social media posts. Another plugin tool is Addthis.

Have a social budget: If anything is worth doing, it’s worth doing right. Tools like Simple Share Button Adder are free to download and use. But if you really want to make your share buttons shine, it’s best to have a budget for it and use it to purchase their pro or premium packages. These offer more customization options and retail for around $10 to $100 dollars.

Select shareable content wisely: If you want to take advantage of social media, your content must be something that people would want to share. Image rich posts, for example, are shared a lot more than text-based content.

To illustrate, consider infographics. Studies show that infographics are shared and “liked” on social media 3 times more than any other type of content.

Wrapping Up

Use tools to keep yourself alert to negative comments and rely on professional help. Avoid taking the lazy way out by ditching the auto posting strategy. Pay attention to the type of content you post, how your followers share content on your social platforms of choice and optimize it for mobile to expand your reach.

It’s a mistake to regard social as a quick and easy solution to market your brand. It takes time, effort and patience. Learning about the mistakes and pitfalls can help you avoid them.

THe Difference Between Digital Marketing and Social Media Marketing

It utilizes an assortment of digital channels like SEO (search engine optimization), social media and PPC (pay per click) to entice audiences towards a prospective brand. Digital marketing uses internet as the core medium of promotion which can be accessed using electronic gadgets like computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones.

Internet marketing techniques such as search engine marketing (SEM), e-mails form an integral part of digital marketing. Moreover, it also includes non-internet channels like short messaging service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS), callbacks, etc. All these different channels form an integrated part of digital marketing. Digital marketing is considered a BTL Below-The-Line marketing as it targets a smaller and more concentrated group and works on forming loyal customers and creating conversions.

SMO or (SMM), on the other hand, is a branch or subset of digital marketing that excels at promotion using social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and so forth. It makes the use of social media for the purpose of marketing. Social media relies heavily on the interaction of the users, sharing information and forming a community of sorts and hence has a ‘social’ element to it. It utilizes the creation of artistic content which is presented accordingly to lure the audience towards your products or services and create a brand following.

According to Zephoria Digital Marketing Consultants, there are over 1.71 billion monthly active Facebook users worldwide. This means that statistically Facebook is too big to ignore and hence, should be a vital part of your social media marketing strategies. Online video consumption on such platforms has been on a steady rise and is the next big thing in terms of marketing strategies. SMM is also a BTL Below-The-Line marketing as it relates to segregated groups formed over common interests on social media platforms.

Companies looking to address their marketing needs need to choose between a digital marketing agency or a specialist agency. If you are looking for someone to plan out your entire marketing strategy, then a digital marketing agency would be a good choice. However, if you are looking for someone to only handle the social media aspect of your strategy, then you are better off working with a specialist agency.

With the extreme popularity of digital media, people are more willing to incorporate digital marketing into their everyday lifestyle. As per the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) report, Internet ad revenues in the United States reached a staggering $27.5 billion in the first half of 2015.This has opened up several job opportunities world over. There is a high demand; however, we experience a dearth in the skilled workforce as people are still coming to terms with the rapid evolution of digital media.

To meet the increasing demands of talented individuals, there are several online courses in digital marketing available. A quick Google search on this topic will enlist a host of institutes that offer the mentioned lessons. The courses run for a number of days where all the related topics under the umbrella of digital marketing are addressed. Students gain valuable insights into the subject that enables them to carve a niche for themselves.

The digital marketing course includes basic understanding of marketing and advertising concepts and fundamental knowledge of statistical and analytical tools. They are also given comprehensive information about email marketing, SEO/SEM, pay per click, mobile marketing, online video among others.

Social media marketing courses include an in-depth understanding of the principles of social media, major social media sites, social media strategy and measuring social media. It offers a look into the strengths and weaknesses of the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, etc. and delves deeper into the newest trends surfacing on social media.Social media is an indispensable part of digital media strategy. SM platforms are leveraged for the purpose of branding of a product or service as it provides a more interactive medium open for a two-way conversation. Digital marketing is more relevant in terms of creating brand awareness, marketing or reputation management. Although they have different online applications, they serve the larger purpose of brand advancement and customer conversion into leads and sales. Consumers have become more brand conscious with active participation and most spoilt for choice with the plethora of options available online. Their share in the overall marketing strategy has grown manifold rendering traditional strategy techniques obsolete. The rate at which digital media is advancing, it won’t be far fetched to imagine a future where virtual reality has transpired to every aspect of our existence.

10 Social Media Marketing Tips to Help You Avoid Social Media Failure!

Used correctly social media marketing can give you a platform for brand awareness, exposure, networking, and a huge boost in traffic & sales. The problem is, most people don’t know how to use the social media properties correctly…

Social media marketing gives you an edge over larger competitors. Studies show that most companies are not yet adopting social media, leaving a sweet gap for the “little guy” to do big business in that space.

Follow these 10 simple tips to create your own strategy for Social Media Marketing success:

1. Map Out Your Social Media Strategy

What is it you most hope to accomplish with your social media marketing plan? What response do you expect from your target market? Ideas to consider in your overall objective might include:

-Inbound Links/SEO
-Relationship/Trust Building
-Customer Relations (think @comcastcares on Twitter)

2. Connect With Your Target Market

Get an image of your ideal customer or website visitor clearly in your mind. Who are they? What are they searching for? What do they want and need the most? What do you feel they expect from you through social media communications?

Consider what they experience on their end in everything you do. They are the person that you want to attract into your funnel, so you want to make a great impression – and also include a strong, specific call-to-action.

3. Offer Consistent, Quality Content

The content that you post to social media properties should be both consistent as in regular updates, and also consistent with your overall message or objective.

If you are an MLM recruiter for example, provide quality resources for recruits. If you own an ecommerce gardening site, offer gardening tips. Whatever your message, you want to make it consistent across the web.

This helps you achieve your branding objectives, and allows you to create the perception that you want people to have of you or your company. Anyone who follows you online should easily be able to fill in the blank: (You/Your Company) is known for ___ .

Being consistent with your message and your branding also lends toward your goal of relevance and theming when it comes to SEO, or Search Engine Optimization.

4. Focus on Content, Not Marketing

Most people get this backwards. If you focus on valuable, high-quality content then that content will do the marketing for you.

You shouldn’t have to digg or bookmark your own content, but rather focus on writing such great content that your readers give it an unsolicited digg or stumble for you.

Your job is to write, and provide easy access to social media services where your readers can share your content with their friends & groups.

When people like what you have to say, they will share it – period. And when they share it, the search engines will take notice. Write top quality content & updates, and let the rest happen naturally.

5. Caution! Do Not Over-Optimize

Social Media Marketing can help you achieve top search engine rankings for specific keyword phrases. But be careful… because there is such a thing as over-optimization.

Using the same anchor text everywhere that you link to (or request a link to) your site leaves a ‘digital footprint’, throwing up a red flag that you may be trying to manipulate the search results (or PageRank).

Avoid this by using natural variations in anchor text for the links that point back to your primary website. You need a certain number of “click here” or similar links to give balance to your optimization strategy.

6. Stop Linking To Your Home Page!

Social media is about micro-topical conversations, so consider how you can introduce internal offers or pages of your website into these conversations.

This will keep your groups and followers engaged in the topic at hand, and provide higher value to your readers.

These deep links, or links pointing to internal pages on your site or blog, help it gain authority in the search engines as well. All other things being equal between two identical websites, the one with more deep links will outrank the other. This also gives you more exposure in the search engine results, since your internal pages will begin ranking for specific relevant keyword phrases.

Tip: Your home page may not be the best link to share on your Profile while networking on social sites. Consider linking to your “about me” page instead for a more personable introduction to you and your site.

7. Provide a Valuable Resource

There’s a reason its called Social Media, and not Self-Promotional Media. Keep that in mind when you consider your social media marketing plan.

If all you post is self-promotional links and requests, you will eventually become a part of the “noise” and ultimately be filtered out by your target market. They may not unfollow or delete you, but they will begin to scan over your posts and tweets without even realizing it.

Avoid this by becoming a valuable resource in your niche. Share links to domains that you don’t own. And I don’t mean your own Squidoo pages or Facebook profiles – I mean domains you have ZERO association with. Provide value to your groups by sharing relevant links and resources.

You mean, you want me to *gasp* promote my competitors?! Yes – and become friends with them too. Interlinking and networking is powerful!

8. Social Networking

To truly achieve your social media marketing objectives, you need to do some social networking as well. Forget the word “competitor”. Other publishers or webmasters in your niche will be your best friends in the social media landscape!

Locate every competitor on your level (or within reasonable range) and create an “inner circle” of friends or business peers. These are people you can interview or be interviewed by, exchange links with, joint venture with, etc. Stop looking at them as competition, and start looking at how you can leverage each others’ position in the marketplace!

Tip: Don’t ask for favors. And don’t flaunt the favors you do. Simply follow, comment on, link to, or otherwise become “known” to select publishers in your niche. They will notice… and generally begin to reciprocate. Given a little time the relationship will form naturally and be incredibly beneficial on both sides.

9. Build Rapport

Get involved in discussions, reply to blog comments, ask for feedback (and then respond to it and act on it!). People want to know that you’re a real person, and not just “a company” – or worse: a bot spitting out links and sucking in cash.

Don’t be afraid to have an opinion or to express your thoughts on hot topics within your niche. Your unique voice in the market will attract your ideal visitors and customers.

Social media gives you an opportunity to be personable. An ecommerce site has its limits when it comes to establishing trust and building long-term customer relationships, so use social media as an opportunity to make a real connection with your target market.

10. Link Freely – And Don’t Apologize For It!

This is somewhat of a combination of tips #3 and #7. One thing that really makes me cringe is the 2 words “shameless plug” – promise me you wont ever use that phrase!

The people that follow you, subscribe to your updates, or ‘friend you’ on social media sites… want to hear your latest news and tips. If they don’t, they’ll quickly unfollow you – which is fine. This is not a numbers game or a vanity contest – it is a means of syndicating and socializing in a professional yet personable way.

There is a right and a wrong way to link to resources and content on social media sites. The wrong way is to say “read my blog post” or “visit my website”. The right way is to share a cool link (whether its yours, or something of interest to your readers from another website) and to open a discussion on that topic.

Have a clear objective, be a valuable resource, and use social media properties in the way they were intended to be used. Anything else will get you filtered out, unfollowed, banned or blacklisted… and ultimately be a complete waste of your time.

Done right, following these 10 simple tips, social media marketing can currently grow your online business faster than any other means.