While a social media marketing strategy is included in the marketing bucket of almost any company these days, off-line or online, there are still some common mistakes that are repeated time and again even by experienced professionals. Here are three critical mistakes to avoid while making your first social media marketing strategy.
Mistake 1: Not knowing who your customer is. It is extremely easy to be misguided about your own customer, partly due to not making enough efforts and partly due to our inherent biases. A huge majority of entrepreneurs fall into the trap of spending all the time on product development and none on customer development. While this is a mistake in itself, it becomes a critical failure point when drafting a social media strategy. There is almost no way that you can be efficient in your social media outreach if you cannot point your exact customer segment. There are many ways to understand your customer segment – one of them is to have a target persona ready even before you take your first step. Of course, creating a persona is an art in itself. You have to be careful of not including so many details that you get confused and also of not limiting to so few details that the persona is extremely generic.
Mistake 2: Not knowing where your customer is. Even after spending a lot of time on developing your persona and knowing exactly who your target customer is, many companies fail to understand where exactly this target customer spends his time and attention. Both of these factors are extremely important for your social media strategy. If your customer is a corporate professional who spends most of his time on LinkedIn, it will be difficult for you to reach him if you are focusing on only Instagram. Again it is also entirely possible that while the target customer does spend his time on LinkedIn, he is not there to do any purchasing decisions. In that case you have to find which platform captures his relevant attention. Perhaps a subreddit is where the most effective balance of time and attention can be found.
Mistake 3: Not knowing what you want to achieve with your social media marketing. Again, a lot of companies try to do social media marketing in a manner akin to throwing a bunch of stuff on the wall and hoping something sticks. The reason is that most entrepreneurs are unsure of what they want to achieve by social media marketing. Of course the end goal of most companies is to get more sales, but the road to sales is unclear. Depending on the product/ service, it might not be possible to convert the customer immediately via social media. In those cases the right aim is to just get the first contact with the customer and not try to do a hard sell right at the first meeting. In other cases, perhaps you only want engagement or feedback from the customer. The point is that different products require different social media marketing strategies and you need to be aware of your decisions.