There are 800 million Facebook users and 225 million Twitter accounts worldwide (SocialSkinny.com). Everyone seems to be on the social networking bandwagon. As a business, you should be too, but you need to approach it in the right way. You need a clear social media strategy, as you can’t simply delegate the task to an intern and hope for the best. There’s more to social media marketing than just an occasional update and getting people to like you on Facebook. Many businesses think that it’s an easy process, but this mindset will guarantee blunders. Here’s what to look out for and what you can avoid.
1. You’re not giving incentives
People usually won’t follow or like your business if they don’t have a driving factor to do so. Forbes uses the analogy of being in a restaurant and seeing a sign on the wall that says, “Like us for a free dessert”. Obviously, people will like them, as a free dessert is a great incentive! You need to think outside of the box; use discounts, coupons or any other form of incentive that will create engagement with your customers and which will allow you to re-market to them (Forbes).
2. You don’t give a reason for people to follow/like you
This is similar to lacking incentives, as your customers need to know why they must follow you. According to Upstart.BizJournal.com, many businesses simply demand that customers like or follow them (for example, stating “Like us on Facebook!”). Give them a reason to like you. How about, “Follow us and get recommendations for the best bars in town.” You need to convince your fans and followers that you provide some kind of relevance or usefulness to them.
3. You’re not asking questions
Social media marketing is all about engagement, so you need to get people talking! According to Upstart.BizJournal.com, the perfect way to get communication started is by asking a question. For example, “Beers tonight $2” versus, “What’s your favourite beer?” The former might just get ignored in a news feed, whereas the latter could actually start a conversation.
The key to avoiding social media marketing blunders is to give your audience good reasons to follow you, give them incentives and engage with them. Just remember, you can do all of these things, but if you lack consistency, you’re still doomed to fail. You must have a regular online presence. Upstart.BizJournal.com recommends that you spend 30 minutes each day on your social media marketing. It takes time to build up fans and a following, but a little perseverance will certainly pay off!
This post was written by Ang Lloyd, a freelance writer based in Cape Town, South Africa. Ang relishes the challenge of writing on a diverse range of topics, including the importance of social media in marketing courses in Australia.