Social media has become an essential tool in every marketer’s toolbox. No matter the industry, service, or product – if executed properly, social media can effectively drive your customers to action.
There are, however, still a number of marketers and business owners that struggle to showcase and drive real results from their social media platforms.
We’ve seen it hundreds of times – business owners or marketers tell us “we’ve tried social media but it doesn’t really do anything for us”.
When we hear this sentiment towards social media, it only takes about ten seconds into an audit of their platforms to understand why. In a number of cases through an audit of their social media channels, we’ll discover a few common mistakes.
Here are 5 of the most common mistakes we see made by businesses on social media.
Not Having an Objective
The first thing you should do before posting anything on social media is understanding why you are posting. What do you ultimately want to achieve and how will you measure the success of your social media campaigns and posts?
Once you can understand what success looks like from your social media posts, you can then start to measure your performance and determine whether you are reaching your objectives.
Common objectives for social media include: increase your website traffic, sign-up for a free trial, increase engagement and brand visibility, drive revenues and product sales, generate qualified leads, increase newsletter sign-ups, etc.
Whatever your goal may be for your social media campaigns and posts, make it clear and make it measurable.
Missing or Ineffective CTA (call-to-action)
A CTA for social media is a piece of content that prompts an audience or follower to do something specific. There are a variety of actions that can be taken by an audience to drive results and achieve your social media goals.
In our audits, we find that the majority of businesses do not use strong CTAs, or even don’t use any at all. How can you achieve success on social media if you’re not directing your audience to do something that you want them to?
Creating compelling CTAs begin with choosing clear action words. It should be crystal clear what you’d like your audience to do, and so should be the benefit to them if they take that action. Where appropriate, consider using urgency to ensure they take action right away.
For example, if you are looking to increase subscribers to your newsletter, instead of using “Subscribe to our newsletter” as your CTA (boring), try CTAs with a little more pizazz and persuasion, like “Subscribe and receive 10% off your first purchase today”. Even the slightest word choice can change the results.
If you A/B test your CTAs you’ll be able to optimize your CTAs moving forward. Try things like “Buy Now” vs. “Purchase Today”, “Start Your Free Trial” vs. “Get Started Today”, “Call Us Today” vs. “Book Your Free Call”, “Reserve Your Seat” vs. “Register Now”.
You’ll find your power words and be able to convert more social media followers into taking the desired actions you want them to.
Below is a great example from HelloFresh. They have clearly defined their objective, driving consumers to their desired action through an effective CTA with a special offer. They have created urgency by indicating it’s a flash sale lasting for one week only, and effectively persuade consumers to take action by offering $100 off, plus free shipping.
Copy & Visual Don’t Grab Your Attention
With the abundance of social media posts on a news feed at any given time, it is essential to create engaging and attention grabbing copy in your captions. The first sentence should hook your audience into clicking “read more” and check out the whole caption and take valuable time out of their browsing to engage with your post.
Your CTA or most important messaging of your post should be at the start of the caption with hashtags and mentions at the end.
In addition to grabbing your audience’s attention with your caption, the graphics or imagery you use must stand out in a feed as well. If there is a boring stock photo you’ve seen a hundred times on your feed, you’ll likely scroll past it. Take time to create engaging visuals that are clean, unique, and catch the reader’s attention.
Never underestimate the importance of visuals – it can be the make or break factor for achieving results or not. There are a number of tools available like Canva that have a number of professional and eye catching templates that you can customize without having a design background. There are also a number of applications like StoryChic that create professional and eye catching video stories for social media.
Being Too “Salesy”
Social media is about engaging, entertaining and providing value to your audience. There are still a number of businesses that try to sell in every post they put on social media. Nobody enjoys being relentlessly sold to.
Engage your audience and provide them with real value. For example, if you’re an accounting firm, don’t simply post that you do taxes. Instead, post relevant and educational content to help your audience better understand the intricacies of taxes.
If you’re an interior decorator looking to promote fireplace design services, don’t simply promote your services and tell people what you do. Instead, showcase your projects to inspire your audience and provide valuable content that helps them with their decorating needs, for example, “the latest trends in fireplace design”.
I can guarantee that you’ll sell more services by providing value and engaging with your audience as opposed to selling to them.
Posting the Same Sh*t
There is so much noise on social media platforms and the attention spans of your audience on social media is extremely low. With that said, there are a number of companies we see that continue to post the same things on social media without having a variety of different types of posts.
If every post is redundant, they then become part of the noise on social media and are not effective. In order to be successful on social media, you need to excite your audience. If you post the same types of content day after day, your audience will get bored with you very quickly and will likely not engage with your business. Get creative, be original and keep it fresh!
If you are one of the businesses that has not prioritized or optimized your social media channels to perform, it is time to create a new strategy and content calendar. Set goals, objectives and test posts to see what resonates best with your audiences. Optimize your plans and start seeing results.
Social media is an extremely powerful tool if executed properly.