“The definition of insanity,” as coined by Albert Einstein, is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
To help you avoid going insane next year trying to figure out why your Facebook posts or Twitter outreach is not leading to better results, we’re taking fresh look at social media marketing strategies to find ways to improve results in 2021.
Here are 5 mistakes to avoid with social media to help you improve your results, generate more leads and ultimately grow your business.
Mistake #1 – Not Having a Social Media Presence
It’s VERY hard to believe that in 2020, there are still some businesses that are slow to embrace social media for marketing and brand-building purposes.
The importance of having a social media presence cannot be overstated. According to Statista, this year alone, nearly 3.6 billion are using social media worldwide. That number is expected to increase to a whopping 4.41 billion by the year 2025.
Many small business owners desperately cling to “Old School” marketing methods without considering just how influential and far-reaching social media has become for consumers in B2C and B2B purchasing.
Here are some important marketing stats from Hubspot to consider:
- There are more than 80 million small businesses using Facebook’s free business tools (Facebook, 2018).
- In 2023, Instagram is projected to reach 120.3 million monthly active users in the United States. That’s up from 107.2 million users in 2019 (Statista, 2020).
- In April 2020, the United States became the country with the most LinkedIn users in the world, with 160 million (Statista, 2020).
- Video is the second most-used content type on social media that is used to increase audience engagement (HubSpot, 2020).
- Nearly 93% of brands generated a new customer thanks to a video on social media (Animoto, 2019).
What does all this mean?
Social media is prevalent and influential in buyer’s research and purchasing decisions, so it is no longer a good idea for businesses that want to succeed not to have a social media presence.
Mistake #2 – Thinking It’s All About the Followers
Follower count is one of those highly touted social media metrics that gets thrown around by SOME social media managers as a KEY INDICATOR of quality of the job that they are doing. Let’s face it, a large following is good for the ego and gives us belief that something is happening.
Back in the olden days of social media (the early 2000’s), the predominant thinking was more followers = more success. However, as the industry has grown up, and a profession (social media management) was born, the thinking has changed.
Followers are great, but don't fall into the trap of using followers as THE primary metric for success.
Social media users have become very good at tuning out the noise, making it harder to make an impact with social media campaigns.
It’s far more important, and hard work by the way to try and BUILD a community around your business or brand instead of collecting followers.
Social media guru, Gary Vaynerchuk puts it best.
“I can’t say numbers don’t matter, but the value everyone places on these numbers needs to be reconsidered. There is just too much emphasis on the width of engagement—how many potential connections they make—rather than the depth of those interactions which, in my eyes, is far more important.” (Source: Numbers Don’t Matter, Influence Does)
Final Note: Don’t buy followers
It’s an inexpensive and unscrupulous tactic. Most of the followers that you buy will be fake, and even if the accounts are real, they will have ZERO INTEREST in your company or brand.
Mistake #3 – Joining Every Social Media Network
Your friend at the neighborhood cocktail party was telling you how much success his business was having with their social media marketing campaigns.
You’re convinced that this is the way to go, and you’re ready to join them all.
Not so fast!!
First of all, you’re not in the business of social media management. There is a learning curve.
Secondly, trying to be active on social media networks is very difficult. Not only will you be stretched for time and content but many networks won’t resonate with your buyer personas.
Don’t know what those are?
This article will give you an understanding of what they are, why they are important and the keys to finding your ideal buyer persona for your business.
The key takeaway, spend some time figuring out where YOUR PEOPLE hang out online BEFORE you jump on every network, and then select the RIGHT place to invest your time and energy.
Mistake #4 – Not Taking Advantage Of Helpful Tools
Social media is more than about writing a post and hitting “post.” There are many aspects to social media that can help you manage your accounts and get the most out of them.
One of the most recent tools available is the all-in-one business tool for Facebook and Instagram. As any small business owner knows, time is money, and this new tool helps you save time while allowing you to better evaluate your social media presence.
This new business suite offers the ability to:
- Post to both Facebook and Instagram at the same time
- Receive messages, notifications and alerts all in the same place
- Organize incoming messages and comments from both platforms
The all-in-one business tool also provides an analytics tab that offers a full overview of how your Facebook and Instagram pages are performing … all in one glance.
Analytics are important with any social media channel, which is why it’s critical to take advantage of this tool as well. Analytics give you a snapshot of which posts are performing well and whether you are reaching your targeted audience.
Here are a few additional examples of how analytics tools can help you with your social media marketing.
- Analyze followers - You can use the information you learn about your followers to make your business more customer friendly.
- Analyze the reach and results of your posts - It’s crucial to be aware of the impact that all of your posts are having. Which posts are being shared or liked most frequently? Which are leading readers to your landing page or website?
- Identify influencers - Influencers aren’t necessarily famous, but they are contacts who create a disproportionate amount of activity around your content. You probably want to know who is most active in sharing, liking or commenting on your posts.
- Compare platforms - Analytics can help you identify which platforms work best for you. This allows you to focus your efforts on sites that work for you and scale back your efforts on sites where your brand doesn’t resonate.
- Save time - As you observe what kind of content works best for you, it’s possible to stop wasting time on less effective content.
Perhaps most importantly, analytics help you improve your ROI because you can track how many leads your social media efforts are bringing in and how many of the leads turn into customers.
Mistake #5 – Not Getting Help With Your Social Media
If all of this sounds overwhelming, you aren’t alone. These mistakes outlined above are just the tip of the iceberg of what it takes … and what you should avoid … to have a successful social media presence.
Also important are the type of content you share on social media, when and how often you should post, and whether you should use social media ads. (You can read more about these tips in our article, 5 Ways To Use Social Media To Ignite Your Lead Generation.)
Social media can be a beast to manage effectively, and as a small business owner, the last thing you likely have is a lot of time on your hands. That’s where hiring an inbound marketing agency can help. And, hiring an agency is a lot more affordable than you think.
A marketing agency that provides inbound marketing services will:
- Modernize your strategy by staying up to date on new technology and techniques including market research, content development, metrics and data analysis, and mobile marketing integration
- Free up time for you to run your business, which is critical since the learning curve for anyone with little experience in marketing is staggering
- Help you keep payroll costs down, since hiring an employee to manage social media accounts can be costly between payroll, benefits and other associated costs
- Produce long-term results, ensuring a sound, long-term investment
Social media is a marathon, not a sprint, so having an experienced marketing team by your side to ensure your social media strategy will produce results is an important tip not to overlook when growing your business.
Samantha, an Inbound and HubSpot Certified Marketer is the Social Media Director for InTouch Marketing.