Introduction to Social Media Marketing Platform
Social media marketing has several new platforms to inform, share and collaborate with each other at the personal and business levels. Initially, it started as a social sharing tool, and most platforms are now wooing businesses from the industry. There are free and paid options for prospective business owners, but the challenge lies in effectively utilizing them.
The social media marketing platform is a relatively new platform compared to website promotion, traditional media, and short message services (SMS) campaigns that are more popular among advertisers. Hence, it is not uncommon for new users of the medium to commit mistakes or sins. Still, with a little bit of evaluation and review, the medium can be effectively used to promote products and services.
Top 7 Sins Committed to Boost Business using Social Media Marketing Platforms.
Here are seven sins committed by those using the Social media marketing platform to boost business.
1. Using Social media for both personal and business purposes
Some people use FaceBook, Twitter, or LinkedIn accounts to post personal thoughts, news, humor, and many things of interest to laymen but in no way raise brand awareness and revenue growth.
The mistake comes in two ways- one, using personal social media account to boost business and two, using the Social media marketing platform pages created for business to air personal views and share controversial or sensational posts.
In both cases, the entrepreneur loses out as the business focus is lost, and whatever time and effort is devoted to it does not produce results. Those unfamiliar with the nuances of social media postings for business could deploy social media experts on a part-time or full-time basis or get content writers or editors trained in Social media marketing strategies.
The disadvantage of mixing business and personal postings in Social media marketing platforms is that even family and friends’ pictures could come alongside the product and brand promotion, and consumers will be put off seeing those images and text.
In the case of personal social media accounts used for business purposes, friends who are just looking for fun, sharing lighter moments, and maybe looking for some informative sharing of news, information, or trivia would not appreciate the mixing of business promotional images and postings.
In short, mixing personal and business social media content would put the entrepreneur or firm in the worst of both worlds situation.
2. Airing political and religious views
Every individual will have his own political ideologies and religious convictions, but they should not be shared on business Social media marketing platforms, be it Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin. If you want to criticize a ruling or opposition political party or take a stand on a religious issue, you can use your personal blog or any other media to air your views, and it should not be reflected as the views of the business organization or in your capacity as owner or head of the institution. It should be reflected as personal views.
Apart from the fact that it does not make business sense, it could also upset the customers and the general public. Even among people who share the same faith, there could be a difference of opinion on issues related to the church, temple or mosque, or related institutions, on practices, stands taken on an issue by religious leaders, or socio-political issues. In such a pluralistic scenario within a religious congregation, even a well-meaning comment from a business owner can spark a huge controversy. It could then be discussed, taken out of context, criticized, and commented upon. Apart from getting negative publicity for the individual, it may harm their business prospects also if it hurts one section of a religious community while being pitted against the other.
Taking a political stand as a business owner is also fraught with risks when published on the Social media marketing platform, as a controversial statement can go viral and harm the firm’s commercial interests. Even as the business owner may have an affinity to some political ideology over another, it is better to discuss it in closed circles or directly with leaders of political parties if their actions are not in the public interest or in the industry’s interests. It would be better to take such issues to industry bodies such as the Confederation of British Industry, the American Aluminium Association, and so on. Such bodies representing that group’s common interests are in a better position to lobby and air views on issues of regional and national importance.
3. Using it only as a free platform
Social media marketing platform has both free and paid services. For individuals, free services are sufficient to connect with peers, friends, and acquaintances as no business motive is attached to them. However, for businesses, there is a business motive behind having a presence on Social media marketing platforms. It should help create more awareness about its products, help in brand building, achieve more sales revenue, and achieve a better return on investment (RoI). Many businessmen and enterprises feel that availing of free services is sufficient to boost business and don’t spend a penny on availing of value-added services, be it Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn. In the case of FB or Twitter, the increase in followers and likes or shares could be slower when only free services are availed, while a small investment in boosting can reap benefits in terms of increased likes or shares.
Unlike business promotion through traditional channels such as newspapers, television, and radio or hoardings, the business needs external agencies to do the creative and release the promotional material. However, Social media marketing promotions can be done in-house with the help of credit cards, online banking, or Paypal for payments which can begin with a low budget of less than a dollar for boosting posts on FB.
4. Non-responsive or over-reactive pages
Having a presence in the Social media marketing platform. I am only at the beginning of the whole process. How you create posts and images, share links, and comment on relevant issues is very important. It could be related to a product or service inquiry; it could be about a faulty or defective product or an inquiry regarding an up-gradation. If the platform does not provide quick responses or replies to such queries, visitors or customers may be put off and lack trust in the social media process of the business.
Having a dedicated team to update posts and respond to reader comments makes sense. Sometimes, it could also be in seeking new information or opinion on a product or service. The efficiency of the Social media marketing platform depends on how quickly it responds. These days social media behavior is also used by the industry to scan and get important data related to buying and spending habits, products purchased, places visited, and views on products.
The resulting compilation of structured or unstructured data is often called Big Data. A firm can obtain meaningful insights based on big data, which can be useful for designing new products, improving existing products, and devising new strategies in business and marketing.
Businesses should not take negative comments and give canned responses to consumers’ input. It should be taken as an opportunity to further engage with the consumer and set the problems right to achieve consumer satisfaction.
Some companies delete consumer complaints, so people are unaware of product defects or service deficiencies. It may be a short-sighted measure and ultimately result in lower consumer satisfaction and growth of a business.
A posting frequency is also important for success- if it is too low or too high, the result will not be encouraging. E.g. last posted a month ago or a year ago- this is enough to put off a visitor. Timely updating of pages makes your page fresh and relevant to an audience. The business is also losing a great opportunity to drive sales, audience engagement, and interact with clients.
5. Improper use of the medium
There are various options available to businesses on Social media marketing platforms, and each has merits and demerits. Therefore, careful consideration of strengths and weaknesses is very vital for getting the most benefit out of the money and effort took.
For example, Facebook is good when the content is more visual- images, graphics, photos, and videos, whereas mere textual content will not appeal to its audience. The likelihood of mere textual material being shared is less likely when compared to a posting having info-graphics, pictures, and videos.
Twitter is best for textual messages, although it also has an option for posting pictures. It is useful for broadcasting messages, joining an ongoing conversation, or tweeting popular posts.
LinkedIn would not be used for product promotion, fashion, or consumer goods categories. It is ideal for business-to-business (B2B) promotion to connect to a professional audience and establish your thought leadership within a group of a homogeneously targeted audience. Instagram should be used for showing beautiful images or videos of products, not for textual content promotion.
Pinterest would be useful if the audience is predominantly American and consists of more women than men. Google+ is a good platform to enhance your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and participate in Google communities of like-minded people. The important message here is that it doesn’t make sense to be on top of all the Social media marketing platforms; it is important to prioritize the important ones and concentrate more on those.
6. Not hiring talented professionals in social media marketing
The social media marketing platform is an emerging platform with a lot of opportunities and benefits. But to benefit from it, there has to be a proper understanding of the functioning of algorithms in social media just as it works in search engines. Having laymen or existing employees with no awareness about Social media marketing platforms could only result in less than optimum results compared to the time and money spent on it.
It makes business sense to have Social media marketing experts either on a consultancy basis or part-time or full-time basis, depending on the budget and scope of deployment of platforms for business promotion. Social media marketing experts ensure that selecting content, tags, images, and videos and sharing or liking is most appropriate and done with the objective of boosting business. Moreover, care should be taken not to overreact to a particular issue, use satire inappropriately, and load content that turns out to be spam.
There should be a proper assessment of the target audience- for example, if it is predominantly youth, some quirkiness can be put into overall messaging. At the same time, it should be avoided if the audience is mixed or in the middle to older age groups. If it is a B2B business, the postings should reflect a professional tone, not casual. Such finer nuances can, of course, be learned by the content team, but with a bit of professional help from Social media marketing experts, the task would be much simpler.
Some companies have the habit of hashtagging all trending topics on FaceBook or other platforms, with the resulting content not relevant to the business or interests of its audience that will get published every now and then. Just as in search engine optimization, if too much importance is given to keywords without looking at the context and quality of content.
Hashtagging trending topics should be done only if it is very relevant to the industry.
7. Talking only about business
Agreed that Social media marketing platform for business is meant to promote business, but if the content is only about the company’s products, services, events within the company, logos, objectives, or important personalities in the company, readers or consumers could go elsewhere for interesting content.
For example, if it is a nutritional product or health products company, the content could also be related to new research findings or a new health hazard, healthy living habits, and so on, which engages the consumer or reader on a sustained basis. This also conveys that the company‘s intention is not merely to sell or market its products but to share useful information with its target audience. A business can improve its image among the public by posting socially, and environmentally relevant messages to the public. It can also be about national integration, religious tolerance, and festivities.
This has been a guide to the Social media marketing platform. Here we have discussed a complete heads-up on seven sins committed by those using the Social media marketing platform to boost business. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –
- Successful Entrepreneur
- Social Media Channels
- Marketing Techniques Social Media
- Sentiment Analysis Social Media