The heading says it all: advertising. While social media is from of advertising, it’s completely different to the conventional types of advertising, and that’s where a lot of businesses get it wrong.
They have the misconception that it doesn’t take as much time and effort as traditional forms of advertising, often putting little effort into their social media advertising, which leads to dire results.
Social media has broken the traditional mould of what advertising has always been. Conveying a message and including a call to action has been the general way that businesses have communicated to their audience.
But, now with the popularity, reach and how users interact with social media, organisations around the world, big or small, have a totally different way of communicating with their audience, on a much larger scale.
According to Statista, 3.02 billion people will be using social media by 2021. Now if that isn’t an opportunity then I don’t know what is.
Digital marketing agencies around the world have shifted their focus and are largely concentrating on social media advertising as a way to market their customers offerings. They’re also popping up more now than ever before, as young millennials take on the opportunity to provide social media management to their customers.
But that’s where it gets tricky, there’s a distinct difference between an experienced digital marketing agency, that adds social media advertising to their service offering, and a pop-up agency that doesn’t have the business know how that goes hand in hand with successful social media management.
While these new, trendy digital marketing agencies may understand how social media works, they also need to understand the businesses that they’re promoting.
They need to be able to link the dots, and that’s why there’s so much more to social media management than just putting up content. A successful digital marketing agency will have a strong understanding of how their customers businesses work, what their goals are, and how to communicate that on social media.
They will work closely with their customers to get a depth of understanding and then create a social media strategy around that understanding.
In saying that, many businesses just want to get on the social media bandwagon because they see their competitors gaining ground and popularity on the various platforms.
But social media isn’t for every business, you need to do an in-depth analysis into the compatibility of these platforms to your vision, mission and goals.
Many businesses try social media and fail dismally due to poor research and planning; not only is this a waste of time and resources, it can also damage your brand.
Here are the top 9 social media advertising mistakes business make and how to avoid them:
Lacking a social strategy
You may have the misconception that successful social media accounts are popular because they’re just randomly popping up interesting, funny or outlandish content, but that’s generally not the case.
Successful social media management has a large amount of strategy behind it. Social media management plans are involved, detailed and well researched. Anything and everything that happens on social media should be planned for, from the content that you post to who you’re going to target.
Social media is like a puzzle and you need to have a strategy for every piece of that puzzle to ensure that your social media advertising is spot on.
Knowing where you want to be and how you’re going to get this is invaluable, it will dictate your every move on social media, making it easier to execute your plan. If you know where you’re going then you’ll have the direction you need to get there.
2. Not targeting the right audience
Ineffective targeting is a common mistake that businesses make. The joy of social media advertising is that you can target audiences quite specifically based on their location, demographics, interests and behaviours.
So, this means that you have to know your target market inside out. From how old they are to what their interests are; the more you know, the more you can utilise the platforms to your advantage.
If you don’t know these finer details, then you should conduct research to find out; every marketing strategy begins with who you’re going to communicate with.
Different platforms are more popular with certain target markets so you need to understand which platform is best suited to your target market, and how to correctly use that platform to reach them.
For example, Snapchat is hugely popular with teenagers so you would have a certain way you convey that message to that audience.
3. Ineffective PPC goal setting
It may be an obvious one, by if you don’t know what you want to achieve then you won’t achieve anything.
Social media is no exception to the general rule. You need to determine what you want from social media in order to execute a successful social media marketing plan. Think about the message that you want to portray, what you want from these platforms and how you’re going to execute it.
When you’re goal setting, having a long-term end goal and as well as short term goals that if achieved, will ensure that you reach your end goal. In saying that, social media doesn’t really have an end, it is a constant and is here to stay, with no “end” in sight.
Social media advertising can be as complicated or simple as you want it to be, so make those goals and ensure that you stick to the plan in order to have a successful social media advertising campaign.
4. Inadequate platform specific content
A common misconception that businesses have, is that each social media platform is the same. But as I mentioned, different platforms are communicating to different audiences in a different way.
Each target market responds to different messages in their own way.
So, in order to be successful over different platforms, your social media advertising offering needs to be unique to the specific platform that you’re using. Just like traditional advertising, a billboard advert wouldn’t be the same as a magazine advert.
Don’t make this common mistake and ensure that you’re considering the platform as well as the audience when you’re planning your social media marketing strategy.
5. Lack of Ad creativity and uniqueness
Let’s face it, creative content takes time. But standing out from the crowd is the only way to be successful on social media.
If you’re posting boring, standard content, your audience is not going to be engaged, and won’t feel like they’re worth the effort. Your social media advertising needs to pop and grab your audience’s attention. Striking, unique images and video content play a large part on platforms like Instagram and Pinterest.
Today’s social media users, steer more towards visuals than content; who’s got time to read long content these days? Just think about it, if you’re browsing through heaps of content, what draws your eye?
A unique, appealing image will stand out for sure. Get brainstorming and come up with some creative ideas that are guaranteed to make you shine in an already crowded landscape.
6. No call to action
Like all types of advertising, social media advertising needs to include a call to action. There’s no point in putting a lot of time and effort into an advertising campaign, if you’re not going to ask your audience to do something.
You don’t specifically have to ask your audience to buy your product, but asking them to like your page, share a post or do something that will benefit your social media advertising strategy is a must.
7. Non-existent PPC landing page
A no brainer, but a common mistake. If you don’t look like a professional organisation, then people aren’t going to take you seriously. Whilst having a website takes some initial investment, it is well worth the effort.
It’s a critical part of your digital marketing strategy so don’t make the common mistake that so many businesses make, and ensure that you not only have social media pages, you have a website and landing pages to match. Your website is the digital face of your organisation in today’s digital world.
Ensure that you have a professional website, as well as an advert specific landing page to direct traffic to. This is guaranteed to convert likes to sales and will boost your revenue.
A landing page allows you to have much more content, explaining your offering in more detail, because social media often doesn’t allow for this.
8. Absence of tracking metrics & results
A benefit of social media advertising is that all the platforms have their own analysis services that allow you to track metrics and results.
Once again, knowing what you want from social media, and tracking if you’re achieving those goals will ensure that your social media advertising campaign is a success.
You can track all sorts of metrics from conversions to how your boosted post performed. It’s all there, you just need to utilise these free services to your advantage.
Track those results and metrics as much as possible, and compare them to your goals to ensure that you’re hitting your targets.
9. Inadequate monitoring
You need to know how you’re doing and where you’re going. If you’re not monitoring your social media advertising performance, then you’re missing out on opportunities.
The joy of social media is that it’s flexible. If your social media plan is not performing as expected, or needs tweaking, then you can make those needed changes. If you’re not constantly monitoring your social media advertising then you can’t make the changes that you need.
A small tweak here and then can make all the difference. As you develop your social media advertising, you’ll learn new things, see how your audience responds to certain things, and know what works and what doesn’t.
Social media advertising may seem appealing, but it takes a lot of time and effort; it’s not a simple set and forget system. You need to plan meticulously and adjust things along the way as you monitor your performance.
Make sure that social media is suited to your organisation before you plunge into it; it’s not for everyone. Remember that having a poor social media presence can negatively affect your brand in a large way, so take it seriously.
Planning is key to social media advertising success; it’s like anything, the more planning and effort you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.
So, heed our advice, and avoid these common mistakes to ensure your social media advertising campaign not only succeeds, but exceeds all of your expectations.
Whether you decide to go it alone, or involve a PPC management company, you can achieve the goals that you set, but be patient as it can take time. Social media is a long-term strategy, not a quick fix.
If you stick it out in the long run, you will see the returns that you’re after. If you decide to go it alone, there are loads of online resources that will guide you through the process.
YouTube is a great place to start if you need current, free information from an array of experts as well as self-taught amateurs; all available to you at no cost.
If you’re prepared to take on the challenge, you will reap the rewards down the track.
Social media advertising has a lot to offer both small and large organisations, and can be what you want it to be. It’s hugely flexible and suited to all sorts of brands and businesses, so don’t hesitate; your business has the potential to reach a global audience that will consist of more than 3 billion users in the next few years.