A couple of decades ago, social media was this weird, messy fad that many businesses assumed (and frankly, hoped) would disappear; or at least, stay confined to the realm of teenagers obsessing about music, fashion, who-likes-who-at-school, and so on.
Well, fast forward to today, and social media is not just a mainstay on the digital marketing landscape, but for many businesses it is the primary channel to engage their marketplace. Indeed, today more people connect with brands like Apple and Google through their social media accounts than through their corporate website.
And it’s not just enterprises and unicorns that are happily riding the social media bus. For startups and small businesses, social media continues to be a gift from the marketing gods, and a viable way to promote everything from iPad screen repair services, to gourmet herbal teas, to business signs (learn more about this at landmarksignusa.com) — the list goes on.
However, despite the fact that social media now has a permanent seat at the grown-up marketing mix table, there are many businesses — probably around 95% of them — that are still making one, some, or all of these costly mistakes:
- They aren’t targeting all of the right platforms.
While having a presence on Facebook is important (or make that essential), many businesses aren’t aware that their target market also congregates on other platforms such as Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Spiceworks, and the list goes on. This is a major missed opportunity, and a big win for competitors that have a larger social media footprint.
- They aren’t regularly pushing out fresh content.
Social media fans and followers don’t merely want a diet of company updates. They also want a steady stream of fresh content, such as articles, infographics, videos, polls, contests, and more. However, most businesses aren’t cooking this up for their target market — which leaves them hungry, and sends them to the competition where the menu is tastier and more nourishing.
- They aren’t cross-promoting content.
Businesses should — but usually don’t — announce new content across all of their social media platforms. For example, when they publish a new blog on their website, they aren’t sharing this news (and link) on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and so on.
The Bottom Line
Social media isn’t a magic wand that instantly generates customers, sales and profits. However, it is a valuable — and vital — piece of the digital marketing toolkit. Businesses that avoid the costly mistakes noted above put themselves on track to generate significant gains, win more customers, and blow past their competitors. What’s not to love about that?