It’s no surprise just how much social media has changed our lives in just a few years — from how we keep in touch with old friends and colleagues to how we get our news.
But for digital marketers, social continues to revolutionize the way we promote our products, interact with consumers and think about our ad campaigns.
Why? Because social media platforms are where consumers are spending their time. Also, social media platforms like Facebook (and its subsidiary Instagram) have grown increasingly sophisticated over the years, giving marketers advanced targeting capabilities, audience data and more.
For many sellers, social is on equal footing with any other marketing channel. According to Forrester, 92% of retailers are now investing time and resources in social media marketing.
Make no mistake: social media is no longer the channel you simply assign to an intern to promote your latest sale. Or, to put it another way: If you’re not investing significant time and resources on social media, your competitors will.
Here are five common mistakes to avoid if you want to take your social marketing to the next level.
Mistake #1: Launching on every social platform at once
You’re not a teenager. You can’t just drift your focus to every new platform coming out of Silicon Valley. Too many companies go “all in” with social media and end up with scattered, unfocused results.
In e-commerce, agility is admirable — if not essential. But so is measuring month-over-month and year-over-year data that you can use to gauge your marketing strategy and see what’s working.
If you take a “kitchen sink” approach to social media, or chase every shiny new channel that you hear millennials are using, you’re going to spread yourself — and your budget — way too thin.
Start by thinking about your goals for social media, picking the channels that make the most sense for your products and building a scalable roadmap to help you get there.
Mistake #2: Using the same messaging for everyone
Blasting out the same messaging to entire social landscape ignores the primary asset of these platforms: the ability to target to specific audiences. Also, paying the same cost across the board for every single click isn’t cost effective. Compare this practice to a billboard on the side of the highway. Sure, you’ll reach a big audience. But is it the most efficient way to go about promoting your products?
The trick is to tailor your message. Again, start with your goals:
- Identify the goal of your campaign
- Identify your audience
- Determine the appropriate message
- Measure for effectiveness
Let’s say you have two video ads and a specific promotion to launch. Rather than blast both videos to a wide audience, what if you used the first video to gauge your audience? Take the people who watched 75% of that first video — and are clearly interested in what you have to say — and only target those viewers with the second video. Then, take the audience that watched 75% of that second video and offer them a third ad — a specific offer or call to action.
By the time you’re getting clicks on that specific ad, they are high quality clicks of people who have watched your videos and are interested in learning more. They are prospects worth paying for.
Mistake #3: Failing to invest in creative and engaging content
Do you look at your social analytics and wonder why your content isn’t being shared? The problem is probably the most obvious one: it’s not engaging. Actually, it’s flat-out boring.
Making your social content relevant and engaging is becoming increasingly important as Facebook recently announced changes that are designed to reward those pieces of content that create “meaningful shared dialogue” amongst users.
The solution is different for each seller and each specific industry. Maybe it’s funny headlines? Or amazing photography? Or interesting video? But ask yourself: Would someone want to share this? Here are some considerations:
- Focus on storytelling
- Hook them early (the first three seconds are key in a video)
- Tell the story with and without sound
- Tailor your story to the audience you’re trying to reach
Mistake #4: Thinking only about desktop audiences in your advertising
Marketers are guilty of this in all forms of advertising these days, but it’s particularly fatal in social. The fact that 84% of Facebook’s revenue comes from mobile advertising — and that it now has over 1 billion users who are ONLY active on a mobile device — should give you a pretty good indicator of where the market is.
If you aren’t focusing on mobile in your advertising, you’re optimizing for an increasingly small audience.
Mistake #5: Measuring social media the same as other channels
Good advertising starts with an understanding of the intent of your audience. There’s a significant difference in the level of intent between, let’s say, a search engine and a social network.
A person might open a search engine specifically to search for a product and compare prices and features. Their intent is further down the buying funnel than someone scrolling their Facebook feed. The search engine ad might help convert in the short term, but it shouldn’t be measured with the same weight as a social ad. A social ad might build awareness at the top of the funnel and create conversions a few months down the road.
Ultimately, it again comes back to your goals. Mapping the goals of your campaign back to the stages of the marketing funnel is vital for strategic planning and analysis.
Are you struggling to maximize your return on ad spend (ROAS)? Need help with your Facebook Dynamic Ads, Amazon Sponsored Products, Google Shopping or paid search strategies? Let our digital marketing experts take a look at your advertising accounts and find new opportunities by requesting a complimentary advertising analysis.