It's been less than 15 years since Facebook and Twitter were founded, but 69% of the public uses some type of social media according to the Pew Research Center.
Despite its growth in popularity, many brands are struggling to connect with audiences and drive lasting engagement via social media. If you're not seeing the sort of results you'd like from social channels, you're not alone. Fortunately, a few simple tweaks to your current strategy could lead to an uptick in online interactions.
Here are six common social media marketing mistakes that could be hurting your engagement.
1. Not Having a Clear Goal
What do you want from your social media efforts? If your answer is "more leads," you need to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Where does social media fall in your overall marketing strategy, and how is it being measured? Consider the steps a social media user takes to become a lead, and identify exactly what tactics will help you nurture potential customers along that journey.
2. Poor Resource Allocation
Consider what behooves you more: dedicating one employee to growing an organic (unpaid) reach, or cutting the number of organic posts and reallocating that budget toward paid social efforts. Carefully measure results to determine the strategies that drive the best ROI. Keep in mind that organic reach has dropped significantly over the years and many marketers believe it is a waste of time and dollars. "You might as well take your budget to the bank, cash it out in greenback $20s, pile it up in the parking lot and light the money on fire," said Ogilvy's Marshall Manson.
3. Not Re-Sharing Content Regularly
Speaking of resources, your marketing department likely spends a significant amount of time and effort creating content. By only sharing that content once or twice via social, you're limiting your content's lifespan and influence. In fact, constant re-sharing of content can increase engagement by 686 percent, according to research by BuzzSumo.
4. Not Being Prepared for Going Viral
While the chances of going viral on social are slim, it's still possible. However, not being prepared for the surge in traffic or uptick in audience size could transform one of your greatest successes into an embarrassing failure. Make sure both your website and your customer service team know what to do in the event your brand suddenly gets a lot more attention.
5. Only Focusing on Your Followers
You probably don't follow every single brand you like on social media, and neither does your audience. So if you're only interacting with those who already follow you, you're severely limiting the potential of your social media efforts. Instead, make use of influencers who can help spread the news of your brand, or invest in social ads that can help you target users who are similar to your followers and attract new customers.
6. Trying to Do It All
Unless you have a marketing department the size of a brand like Apple or Google, you likely don't have the manpower to be highly successful on all platforms. Instead, you'll need to decide which social media outlets are the best fit for your brand, and focus your resources there.
Social media has grown rapidly, and will likely only continue to evolve. By avoiding these social media marketing mistakes, you can increase engagement and enjoy a healthier ROI.