JUST recently I had some training on social media in the workplace. Social media is here with us and it cannot be ignored in business.
People Management Issues Robert Mandeya
What emerged from the workshop was that most businesses in Zimbabwe are still very skeptical about using this innovation.
I must underscore here that social media platforms can be used effectively to achieve important business goals. Be that as it may, this innovation has come with its own fair share of problems socially and business wise. In this installment I will dwell on certain mistakes some people in business often make in the use of social media, particularly in the marketing of products.
Making mistakes on social media is easier than you might think. It will not always lead to disaster where your brand is destroyed. Often, your customers will simply shake their heads and move away without telling you. That is why so many companies are often left scratching their heads over why they are not getting the results they want from social media.
If you are one of those using social media platforms in business, I will take you through some of the social media mistakes you may be unknowingly making.
Posting the same thing multiple times
Formerly, the advice for any organisation was to post the same thing twice or three times a day so you can reach as many followers as you can. This is because social media used to operate using chronological feeds, so the newest posts appeared at the top. Today, this is more likely to lose you traffic than anything else.
The reason for this is that relevance is the main influencer when it comes to what appears at the top of your feed. If you have liked a page and interacted with it before, new posts from that page will appear at the top of your feed even 24 hours later.
But if you post the same thing multiple times you are diluting your engagement per post, thus your followers are going to be less likely to receive your updates going forward.
How does it fit into your sales funnel?
The problem with social media today is that most people do not know how to measure success. When it comes to the critical building blocks of social media, success is about how it fits into your overall sales strategy. Social media has to lead somewhere. Its place as the first major touch point means nothing to some companies because they are gauging how well they are doing based on how much engagement they are getting.
So what if someone comments on your status and then moves on to the next thing?
Some companies would consider this a success, but the truth is this is a sign of failure. Your goal should be to drive social media traffic through to your website, where you will convert it into paying customers. The only commodity that pays your rent is money, so do away with social media metrics as a sign of business success.
Social media is a tool to drive traffic to your paid products and nothing more.
The trends that are not for you
Real-time marketing is something that has grown lately. This is where the social media updates your post, reflecting what is going on in the world right this minute. Brands are increasingly using popular events for the benefit of generating a buzz for their brand.
Yes, you do have to take advantage of real-time marketing. On the other hand, if a trend is not for you, there is little point in trying in vain to make it relevant to your company.
Most current events can be linked to your brand in some way. But if you are trying your best to find some tentative link then real-time marketing will not work for you.
To tell whether a trend is right for you is to consider whether your target audience is interested in that trend.
Remember, everything must go back to your overall sales funnel.
Talking too much
The average corporate social media feed is filled with links to interesting content and updates about the company. You will notice that this is the company talking to someone.
There is nothing here that prompts someone else to speak. On social media, you should be talking less and listening more.
Social media is about building up real human connections. Brands can expect 45% of consumers to stay loyal so these connections are important. You want people to identify with you and you want to speak to people about their needs. The only way you are going to do this is by giving them something to reply to. A question is almost like a call to action in the world of social media.
Pruning your social media strategy
Your social media strategy and approach is something that you are never going to get right at the first attempt.
The fact is it will take some time in order to get the right marketing mix. It will involve you going through troubled waters and lots of mistakes. But if you listen to your customers and learn from the very beginning you are going to reach your social media targets long before your competitors even get close.
What are the biggest social media mistakes you are making?
Robert Mandeya is a an executive coach in human capital development and corporate education, a certified life coach in leadership and professional development at the Institute of Leadership Research and Development. You can contact him on firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.