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They’re heinous. They’re awful. And they’ll tank your social media strategy faster than you can say “Whoops.”
2018 is shaping up to be a powerful year for social media marketers. Currently, seven out of ten consumers expect a business to have a well-maintained social media presence, and 17 percent of consumers actively use social networks when looking for information about a business. Now, one problem is that most business owners have an iffy understanding of social media strategy at best. However, by identifying what NOT to do, you can form a successful plan that will result in more brand awareness, customer engagement, and a lift in leads and sales.
These are the worst social media marketing mistakes you can make in 2018, and you need to avoid them like a someone with a bad rash:
- Not defining your goals
- Not having a social media plan
- Marketing on too many social media platforms.
- Targeting the wrong audience
- Marketing on the wrong social media platform
- Ignoring your reviews
- Not investing in video
- Posting crappy images or stock photos
- Neglecting paid social media advertising
- Picking the wrong social media ad objective
Below I’ll dive into each one and how to avoid it. If you can successfully avoid these common social media marketing mistakes in 2018, it will be smooth social sailing.
The Worst (and Most Common) Social Media Mistakes Companies Make
Social Media Mistake #1: Not defining your goals
One of the biggest social media mistakes companies make is not defining their goals. Let’s say you and your buddies go play golf, except there are no holes. Three things happen:
- You hit your balls all willy-nilly over the course
- You have no idea who wins
- You don’t improve your game
Basically, without a goal, you can’t win. Here are a few goals that work well with social media:
- Improve engagement by XX%
- Improve reach by XX%
- Increase event attendance by XX%
- Increase website visits from social by XX%
- Increase leads from social by XX%
Once you’ve got your goals, you can start working on your social media strategy and create a plan.
Social Media Mistake #2: Not having a social media plan
Let’s say you’re a builder. Your goal is to build a house.
Do you go and buy your supplies and head out to the job site or do you first create a blueprint to plan out your strategy? It’s the same with social media. Without a plan, you can’t tailor your social media campaigns to your goals.
Social Media Mistake #3: Marketing on too many social media platforms
Unless you’re McDonald’s or American Airlines, you do not need to be on every single social media platform. Here’s why:
You have a specific target audience. Not all target audiences spend their time on the same platforms. At most, you should be on four social media platforms (unless you have a dedicated team devoted to social media marketing). Find out which social platforms are best for your business here.
Social Media Mistake #4: Targeting the wrong audience
Hoo, boy. If you don’t know your target audience by now, we’ve got other problems. When figuring out who these core customers are, these are the questions you want to ask yourself:
- Where is your audience located?
- What is the average age and gender of your target buyer?
- What’s their average income?
- Are they homeowners?
- What are their hobbies?
- What industry do they work in?
- Do they have kids?
- What challenges do they face, and what problems do they want solved?
- How do they get their information (are they tech-savvy or more traditional)?
- Which of all of the above are my top-paying and most loyal customers?
Once you’ve answered those, you have a pretty good idea of who your target audience is.
Social Media Mistake #5: Marketing on the wrong social media platform
Okay, so you’ve identified your target audience, but if you’re trying to target them on the wrong social channels you’re setting yourself up for failure. Identify your target audience, and match them with the right platforms with the infographic below:
Social Media Mistake #6: Ignoring your reviews
One of the biggest social media fails is ignoring reviews.
Reviews matter to your business. A LOT. How much? Take a look:
- 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business
- 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation
- 72% of consumers say that positive reviews make them trust a local business more
- 10% of website traffic value is attributed to online reviews
- 90% of consumers say that their purchases are influenced by online reviews
- Product page visitors who read reviews, convert at a 58% higher rate
Social media reviews are just as important as Google and Yelp reviews, because they are listed in Google’s Knowledge panel when you search for a business.
Social Media Mistake #7: Not investing in video
Social media video marketing will be huge in 2018. I mean, it’s already huge—90 percent of internet users claim that video plays a big role in purchasing decisions. On top of that, think about this: By 2019, video will account for 80 percent of global internet traffic and 85 percent in the US.
You don’t have to have a boatload of cash to make powerful videos on social media, either. Most smartphones have great camera abilities, and deconstructed, candid videos are gaining in popularity. That being said, do not post videos that are grainy, have poor sound quality, or don’t have a point.
Social Media Mistake #8: Posting crappy images or stock photos
By now, consumers know what stock photos look like, and they don’t like them—especially in their social media feeds. Heck, my marketing buddies and I have a running group text where we post the hilariously awful stock photos we come across. Don’t be in that group text.
If you absolutely MUST use stock photos, choose ones that tell a real story and look like an actual candid shot.
Social Media Mistake #9: Neglecting paid social media advertising
Most social media platforms are pay-to-play for businesses. Organic reach on Facebook hovers under 10 percent, which means the likelihood of your message being seen (and heard) by your target audience are slim to none. Currently, your main options for paid social media advertising are:
But don’t forget niche and up-and-coming platforms:
The heaviest hitters for general audiences are Facebook and YouTube, but LinkedIn is ideal for B2B companies.
Social Media Mistake #10: Picking the wrong social media ad objective
A common social media mistake is picking the wrong ad objective and freaking out when the results add zero benefit to your goals. If you’re advertising on social, you need to pick an objective, or a goal. Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest all have similar objectives:
- Build traffic to your website
- Build brand awareness
- Lead generation (Facebook and Instagram only)
- Boost engagement with your page or posts
- Increase app installs
- Increase conversions (on the social platform itself or on your website)
LinkedIn has a smaller (but growing) buffet of options:
- Increase traffic to your website
- Increase post or page engagement
- Lead generation
PAY ATTENTION: Social media platforms will show ads to people that are most likely to carry out your objective. Let’s say you’re running a Facebook campaign. Your real goal is to get more leads, but you select the “website traffic” objective. If Facebook encounters two people that are exactly the same, but one clicks on more ads and another fills out more lead forms, Facebook will show your ad to the person who is “clickier”—because that’s what you selected as your objective.
It’s self-sabotage at its finest.
Avoid Social Media Marketing Mistakes by Hiring a Pro
Are you making one of these social media mistakes? Don’t worry, you can easily turn it around for 2018. Start with your goal, your plan, and your target audience. If you’re having trouble there, go ahead and reach out to a social media marketing expert, like Blue Corona. You can contact us here, and learn more about our social media marketing services here.
Best of luck to you and your social media marketing strategy in 2018!
About The Author: Betsy is Blue Corona's in-house Digital Marketing Specialist. When she’s not directing Blue Corona's corporate digital content campaigns she’s urban exploring with her wife, diving into the latest marketing trends, or teaching horseback riding lessons. Twitter: @educatedbets
View more blogs by Betsy McLeod