Social media marketing plans are a crucial aspect of many businesses today. However, many businesses, especially those without a digital agency backing them, tend to make common mistakes in their campaigns
One common issue with social media marketing plans is the competition for attention and visibility. With over 60% of the world’s population on social media, there is a large amount of competition. You’re vying for the attention of your target audience against everybody: family, friends, news, other businesses (especially your competitors), and more.
But that’s not the only concern. Let’s take a look at more issues with social media marketing plans, many of them interrelated, that can negatively affect both your overall marketing and business goals.
No Clear Marketing Strategy or Measurable Goals
The proliferation of different social media platforms, especially in recent years, means a lack of clear marketing strategy and measurable goals is how companies fail in leveraging their social media.
A clear objective with an actionable plan to reach that goal is a must before you start posting content. For example, consider who your target audience is and the message you want to convey. You’ll also want to define the outcomes you’re pursuing.
Not Tracking, Measuring, or Analyzing Results
With no clear objectives or actionable plans, measuring the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts is difficult, as it can lead to unfocused, ineffective campaigns common issue with social media marketing plans. After all, you can’t measure your success if it hasn’t been defined.
That’s why tracking results and analyzing key performance indicators (KPIs) of your social media efforts is so crucial. This allows you to evaluate the success of your social media marketing strategies, better identifying what’s working and what should be improved so you’re running campaigns that are properly optimized for success.
Poor Market Segmentation
Without proper target audience research, a business can struggle to determine if its social media marketing campaigns are reaching the right (or wrong) audience, driving engagement, moving the needle on sales conversions or other desired actions, etc.
When you identify your target market, create content to cater to their interests. Failing to segment results won’t get you the desired results, as generic content on your social media platforms can be a detriment to your business goals and reduce potential website traffic.
That’s why it’s important for your social media marketing efforts to segment your audience based on age, income, interests or hobbies, purchase history, and engagement with your brand, among others. This helps ensure the right content is reaching the right people at the right time.
However, it’s crucial not to overemphasize follower count or other such vanity metrics. Yes, a large number of followers seems impressive, but it’s not a great way of measuring success because it doesn’t necessarily translate into meaningful engagement or conversions. If you focus on increasing your followers without considering the relevance of engaging content or the quality of engagement, you’ll diminish the effectiveness of your social media marketing efforts.
Not Engaging Enough with Your Followers
Among social media marketing problems, inconsistent or sporadic posting is as common as it gets. Social media platforms flourish when you post regular, consistent, engaging content because it helps you generate leads.
If a business, or even an individual, fails to post regularly, the results are plummeting engagement, reduced visibility, and a loss of followers. Inconsistent posting also makes it challenging to increase brand awareness and maintain audience interest.
Producing high quality content on a regular basis gives your audience the sense that you’re always there for them, ready to solve their needs when they’re ready. When it’s informative and engaging, you increase brand recognition spreading by word of mouth (i.e., going viral) to untold numbers of potential customers.
Every social media marketing strategy should include as one of its main goals to drive engagement. Many brands, including many of your competitors, don’t respond to user comments, which is an opportunity to take advantage of.
By not responding, those businesses give the impression that they actually aren’t interested in engaging their community. This is one of the biggest mistakes a business can make.
Start conversations with your customers. Make sure your social media team responds to replies. Customer engagement rates will skyrocket when you reply (even a “like” helps).
Every Comment about Your Business Is an Opportunity
Businesses every day make the common mistake of not engaging their audience. This includes your competitors, which leaves the door open for you because if you take a proactive approach, you’ll increase engagement and your follower count.
Even negative comments are an opportunity. If they’re handled with professionalism and empathy, you can turn it into a success.
To effectively manage negative feedback, you should have a clear plan and attainable marketing goals. You may have to dig deep to find the real issue, so having a team member who takes ownership of this can have untold positive effects on your social media marketing. So make sure your social media managers monitor comments on different platforms and respond to them, especially addressing customer concerns in a timely and professional manner.
This is another reason why it’s so important to create quality content. It helps you proactively manage your online reputation because you’re known as an authority in your field, which can also help in managing negative comments. Building and maintaining positive, reputable online presence takes work and time, but it’s crucial for the success of your social media marketing plan.
Constantly Changing Algorithms
The ever-evolving nature of social media platforms is among the most vexing common issues. Because you never know when or how or even if the algorithms will change, staying up to date is crucial. Admittedly, it’s full-time work: the different social media platforms regularly introduce new features, updates, and functionalities while user behaviors continuously evolve. Combine them all together, and it will negatively impact the visibility and reach of your content.
To stay ahead of the curve, it’s imperative to stay updated with these changes. If you don’t adapt your strategies quickly and accordingly to keep pace with the latest trends and updates, you’ll suffer decreased visibility and your social media marketing campaigns won’t be successful.
This is a good time to experiment with new features, do A/B testing, update your content strategy, and invest in paid advertising if you haven’t already. Stay informed of your industry’s best practices, continuously evaluating them so you can adapt your social media strategy accordingly to remain successful and relevant.
Balancing Paid and Organic Strategies across Social Media Platforms
It’s key that you find the right combination of tactics to reach your target audience effectively while sticking to a budget. While it’s true that paid advertising can help you more quickly reach a wider audience and increase visibility, it can also take a big bit out of your marketing budget, which can reduce your ROI.
In recent years, organic reach on some social media platforms has declined. It’s more difficult now to reach your target audience without paying for a promoted post than it was in the past. Content from family and friends, as well as paid advertising, is now prioritized, making it harder to get your content in front of your target audience and potential customers.
To overcome this, focus on creating engaging high quality content, use paid ads to reach a wider audience, develop a strong presence on social media, and build a community around your brand to help increase organic reach. While these strategies are much less costly, it will take longer to see results. Finding the right balance means considering factors like your goals, marketing budget, target audience, and the competitive landscape. You may have to try different combinations of tactics to see what meets the needs of your business.
Not All Social Media Networks Are the Same
Your social media marketing plans should keep this in mind: not all social media networks have the same audience or work in similar ways. Make sure to accommodate for this when publishing content, as what works on one social media platform won’t necessarily get the same results on another one.
In other words, don’t use the same content; make it singular for each platform. Audience age, behaviors, usage, and preference are unique to each social media platform. This means planning and implementing a marketing plan tailored to each platform and its users. Each platform should have content that represents your brand and resonates with your target audience to drive engagement rate.
How long your content takes to consume or which format you use varies from channel to channel. For visual content, short videos are ideal on Instagram, while long-form videos or podcasts work best on YouTube. Facebook is great for posting text, uploading videos, or making announcements about your brand, while TikTok demands short, catchy videos.
When you tailor your content to meet the needs of the audience and platform, you’ll more easily and authentically connect with each audience and draw attention to your brand and its products and services. Otherwise, you’ll suffer from inconsistent branding.
The Effect of Inconsistent Branding On Your Target Audience
One way to ensure your branding is consistent across all platforms is to have a clear brand identity, including your brand voice, tone, typography, logo, color scheme, etc. While brand tone can change to adapt to each platform, your voice should still be recognizable. All other elements of your identity should stay the same.
Another way is to create a solid and actionable social media marketing plan. Your content strategy should be consistent across all platforms, and the person or teams managing your social media platforms should know and understand the brand identity and social media marketing plan. Your social media accounts should be monitored regularly to keep the branding consistent and to address any inconsistencies that occur.
Consistent branding will help you build a stronger business identity, boost recognition, and engage with your customers more authentically.
Use Hashtags Wisely
Hashtags are a great traffic-generating tool because they help boost brand visibility to relevant audiences on saturated media platforms. You can use hashtags to promote a specific marketing campaign, products and services, upcoming events, special announcements, and more. This makes it easier for audiences to find your posts.
A common issue with hashtag usage is hashtag hijacking. This is when other brands or irrelevant individual social media users use your hashtag on posts that aren’t related to your brand, burying your post in an avalanche of unrelated posts. Even worse is the potential for someone to appropriate your hashtag which reflects negatively on your brand. A few years back, a famous fast-food chain launched a campaign with a hashtag in hopes that people would share their happy memories. Instead, users flooded their Twitter feed sharing their worst experiences, including food poisoning, sanitation issues, and more.
That’s why it’s important to keep your hashtags short and unique. When you incorporate the name of your brand or marketing campaign into a hashtag, this can make it more exclusive. Using these along with more commonly used hashtags helps ensure that your posts are appearing in the feeds and search results of your target audience. Your uniquely curated hashtags make it easier for potential customers to look up the right hashtag on their social media platforms when they want to know more about your product.