The quickest way to advertise a product, service, or brand today is through social media. One hit post can multiply rapidly through the grapevine of social networks. Even if people don’t actively promote a post, the mere act of liking or commenting on one is often enough to let other people see it as well… thereby repeating the process again and again until the said post has been seen and circulated by thousands of people within the same day.
This is the power of effective social media campaigning. However, mistakes in social media can be equally damaging. People are very vigilant and sometimes very sensitive on social media platforms. One blunder, intentional or not, can be blown out of proportion and rehashed again and again and again…
It is very important for marketers and social media managers to avoid committing mistakes while doing social media campaigns. To help you avoid those pitfalls, here are some of the things you need to avoid.
Poorly Written Posts
Don’t underestimate the importance of correct grammar and spelling. Consumers expect that official social media accounts of businesses and brands have high standards. Thus, whenever an account has too many posts with flawed grammar or spelling, people are bound to think that the account is not the official page of the business or brand.
Aside from wrong grammar and spelling, what else makes a post “mediocre” or “poor”?
- Boring and uninteresting.
- Always generic statements and greetings (which makes followers think the posts are automated, if they aren’t in the first place).
- The details included such as dates, prices, promo periods, et cetera are not correct.
- Posts that are obviously made with poor judgment (ex: racist slurs, taking advantage of a tragedy to advertise, discriminatory statements, attacking religions or politics).
It’s easy to see why mediocre posts are ineffective and counterproductive for any social media campaign. QA-ing social media posts will prevent you from being a laughingstock or regarded as spam.
Too Impersonal and Generic
We’ve just mentioned generic and sounding automated to the public. Although there are businesses that seem to benefit from this strategy (either the nature of their business is very formal and dignified, as with a law firm, for example, or they are endeavoring to maintain a strictly professional environment on their social media walls), most of the time this backfires badly.
The whole point of social media platforms is for people to socialize: interact with one another and react to posts they see on their feeds. If a brand or business will not take advantage of this opportunity, they are underutilizing their social media accounts. It won’t be too different from simply having a website and entertaining all communications through formal email.
Being impersonal all the time increases the risks of:
- Followers ignoring your posts.
- Followers being passive the few times they do read your posts.
- People concluding that your social media accounts are not reliable methods of getting in touch with your business.
- Followers being dissatisfied with your posts. Eventually this will lead them to unfollow your page.
Not Posting Something Valuable
By valuable, we mean valuable to your audience. Put yourself in their shoes. Why would they want to follow your business’s Facebook page or Twitter account? Perhaps they want to be the first to find out about product updates, promos, and sales. Perhaps they love the images you post (this is then followed with what kinds of images and subjects do they like to see?), or funny anecdotes, or the contests you hold with awesome prizes like GCs and freebies.
Review the statistics for each post you’ve made. This is possible in both Facebook and Twitter. Identify the common denominators of the posts that garnered the most likes, responses, shares, retweets, and other kinds of interaction. This is one way to find out what type of posts are relevant for your audience.
Another way is to ask them outright. The advantage here is you’ll also be encouraging customer and audience interaction on your wall.
Here are examples of content that usually get plenty of responses from social media users:
- Blog posts with engaging and interesting titles
- DIY articles
- How-to articles
- Web pages with fun/funny content
- Direct links to buy links (along with a call to action)
This is basically all about getting to know your audience, especially your customer base.
REMEMBER: The more your followers interact with you and respond to your walls, the more likely they are to see your posts in their newsfeeds. Their responses to your posts can also be seen by their own network of friends, thereby extending the reach of your posts.
Posting Offensive or Insensitive Content
This is one of the biggest mistakes a campaign managers and marketers can do. There have been so many social media blunders committed by the biggest brands and companies in recent years, and the results were very damaging.
Those posts were mostly offensive in nature. By offensive it could mean:
- Tolerance of anything immoral or whatever society deems negative
- Taking advantage of a calamity, tragedy, or any other devastating event
Even if the offense was unintentional, the moment people find something remotely offensive in a post a massive outcry usually happens on social media. A spotlight will be invariably trained on the company’s mistake; name bashing and product maligning may occur. Moreover, the incident will be brought up repeatedly whenever people have a complaint, a critique, or simply in the mood to incite ire. These outcomes can burn a campaign to the ground.
Not Using Calls to Action
You’d be surprised at what calls to action can do for your social media posts!
The point of a campaign is to achieve a certain goal. It could be to funnel more traffic to an external website, earn more likes and follows, or increase product sales. Sometimes all you need to do is give audiences a little shove at the right direction and they’ll do as you bid them.
- An arrow pointing to a URL will draw attention to it even if the user won’t read the entire post.
- A simple “Here is the buy link” can incite a response.
- Formatting a post and using bullets for multiple URLs can also have the same result.
- A personal account of why they should click on a link, buy a product or read a blog post will work the same way as calls to action.
The point of social media, again, is to interact with the public. If you want to wax poetic about your business or the brand you represent, do that back at the website. You can only go so long praising yourself on social media before you get called out for being arrogant and a self-centered company.
Most people use social media to let their complaints be heard to brands, commercial establishments and service providers. This is the easiest way for the common folk to reach them instantly. If they are being neglected, they will be dismayed and have a negative conclusion about the establishment’s customer service.
Take advantage of the opportunity to establish ties with customers. When they have a question, write a reply. If they have complaints and are hoping that the business do something about it, give them an honest response. Don’t lie or mislead customers because that will be negative PR-something no business will surely want.
Not Acknowledging or Forming Contacts
Social media is the perfect venue to network! There is opportunity to constantly be in touch and get to know each other. If you find another business that is parallel with yours, or whose customers may take an interest with your products or services, it will be wise to establish a connection with that entity and make it a business contact. Such partnerships can benefit both parties in the long run.
Aiming for Viral… All the Time
The possibility of going viral is the dream of most marketers. The purpose of a marketing campaign, after all, is to make a large audience aware of the brand and its products or services. If a viral post is followed-up with a smart strategy that will capitalize on the instant (but often fleeting) fame, a brand may soon be recognized for what it offers instead of just a single viral post.
Unfortunately, one can never predict what will happen in social media. One post may go viral instantly; another may take months before it takes off. Many will never reach viral status. Aiming for viral all the time may backfire if you end up neglecting your core audience: this smaller group of the population that nevertheless waits anxiously for each post, that likes your posts and leaves a comment every now and then.
What do they say about looking so far out ahead? You don’t get to see the value of what’s sitting right in front of you.
Avoiding these mistakes can increase the success rate of social media campaigns.