Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Don’t be the Annoying Brand: Social Media Marketing Plans Without the #FAIL

Social media is becoming the go-to avenue for businesses to directly communicate their marketing to their potential customers. It is also a place where many amateurs show up with the worst social media marketing plans imaginable. These are the #Fails.

You don’t want to be a #Fail, right? Read this article to learn about ten of the worst problems with many social media marketing plans.

Social media marketing plans that are full of #Fail

Posting randomly with no marketing plan at all!

You have taken the time to meticulously plan and strategize for every other part of your business, why not for social media marketing too? Your business is going to need to work on a solid plan that has an achievable goal. Those goals could be:

  • To get more fans and followers
  • To increase engagement levels
  • To push for more shares
  • To get more clicks to your website
  • To have a certain campaign go viral

And on and on. The start of your social media marketing plans should always include a goal that you’re working towards. And that goal can’t be ‘to post some stuff every day and hope people like it.’

Posting random content

People follow brands for the same reason they follow their friends – to hear and receive consistent stories. For brands, these stories are the brand story and the content they share that builds that story. Just as I’d be confused by my mom suddenly posting about how she loves movies by John Waters, your fans will be confused by you posting something random and off-message too.

You social media marketing plans for every platform needs to:

Make sure that your brand is right for the platform. You don’t have to post everywhere just because everyone else is. Pick and choose your social platforms wisely.

Choose brand and industry appropriate content. If you own a comic book store you post about comic books and superhero movies. You don’t post up the latest basketball scores.

Steer clear of trending/viral content that doesn’t have anything to do with you. I’ve unfollowed more than a few social marketers who have tried to newsjack a story that has nothing to do with them.

Choosing the right social media platforms to post on, and then choosing the right content to post, are high priorities for every brand’s social media marketing plans. My favorite comic book store posts about comic book movies, and that’s perfectly on point:

Having no schedule for your social media activity
This ties into the idea from above. Just as I’d have a big WTH upon seeing my mom suddenly posting at 3am, your fans will be as put-off by your posting at an odd hour. Instead, you need to work out a schedule for when you’ll post to social media.

For a platform like Twitter this will be a ‘how many times per day’ question. For Facebook, this will be about what time of the day for that one post. For YouTube it will be which weekday you’ll upload your video every week.

You can use the blog itself as an example. I post a new blog EVERY Friday. If I have any fans out there (HELLO!!), they know to be here on Friday for a new post. Your social media marketing plans need to build that anticipation in as well.

Waiting until the last minute to post

When is it ever a good idea to wait until the last minute? The problem with putting off your social media posting until the last minute is that it’s so easy to forget it. I personally get all my social posts ready on Monday morning and schedule them out for the week. Sure, I hold off on some space for new blog posts, but the bulk of it is done in advance.

Failing to use the right tools

Sure, you’ve used Facebook or Twitter personally before. Enter a status, hit send, engage with your friends. That’s fine for a person just looking to have fun, but this is business.

Multi-platform social media dashboards are the go-to tool for the serious social media marketing plans that you’re working on. They will all have powerful analytics and data tracking features that will help you figure out if your marketing tactics are working or not. My favorite social media dashboard tools are:

Sprout Social

You need to use tools like these to see the nuances of your social marketing. It’s like trying to play baseball without a glove: You can still catch a ball, but wouldn’t you rather have some help?

Neglecting your social proof

Many brands out there have no idea what social proof is, or how to use it. Your brand’s social proof is the number of followers, and the amount of quality engagement, you’re getting. This can be:

  • Your number of subscribers on YouTube
  • How many retweets a viral message of yours has on Twitter
  • The number of repins your post has on Pinterest
  • one other

Having more of each of these important numbers will positively influence the decisions of your fans to also share, subscribe, repin, etc. This is why people come to use for our Twitter follower service, to buy YouTube subscribers from us, or purchase Pinterest likes and repins. These brands know that social proof is real, they have clearly seen what more social proof can do for their real marketing goals, and they want help on having more right now.

Trying too hard to be everyone and everything

There are six major social media marketing platforms to choose from. Do you have the time, the skill, and the right attitude for each platform? Unless you’re suffering from multiple personality disorder, that is like a ‘No.’

If you can hire on more than one social marketer that can grow an understanding of your audience on each platform, by all means do so. But trying to task one person with any more than three platforms will be a waste of time. Focus on three at most and don’t stretch yourself too thin.

Spreading your brand message too thin

There’s only so much information that your fans can take in and remember. On social media, you can usually only focus on one brand message at a time. This could be:

  • Pushing an upcoming product release.
  • Hyping your big end of season sale.
  • Keeping your brand slogan on people’s mind.
  • Growing anticipation for an event.

Remember that Nike told us to ‘Just Do It’ and we just did it. The simpler you keep your messaging, the easier it is for fans to remember.

Failing to engage with your community

The entire point of social media is being social. Your followers didn’t join social media because they could wait for a brand to market to them. They joined to speak with their friends and family.

Your brand can become an honorary member of that group by being a bit more human and engaging with fans in conversations. If they ask you a question, you had better answer. If someone has something interesting to say, let them know what you think. And if someone has a valid complaint you had better give them some of your time. Read this article for more on community building for Pinterest. The strategies can apply across multiple platforms.

Social media marketing plans which add in time for community engagement are the most effective plans there are. Social media marketing is social first, media second, and marketing last for a reason.

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