A business that uses social media marketing without first deciding what they want to achieve, and the steps needed to get there, is wasting valuable time and money.
The two mistakes I see most frequently with social media marketing are:
1. Too often businesses don’t research their audiences properly
Contrary to common practice, social media, which is distribution, is not the first step to take when you decide to ramp up your online marketing. All too often the companies I advise, big and small, dabble first on social media, without properly researching their target audience.
Social media has the power to marry a business to its audience (for life!). Marriage is both precious and delicate. Therefore, be sure, at the research stage, to build buyer personas, so that you know exactly who you are trying to reach, and what kind of content will attract them, engage them and convert them.
The deeper the customer insights you gather, the better your social strategy will be. Developing deep customers insights and mapping content to customer buying stages (Awareness, Consideration and Decision) is a pet hobby of mine, and a skill that I like to emphasise and help people improve with bucket load of tools and techniques when I teach a Content Masterclass.
2. Marketers start with the platforms, not the business goals nor the plan
As I said previously, all too often, I see businesses jump on the platforms first, when in fact, effective channel strategy and distribution cascade from the customer insights you gather in the early stages of your content marketing planning.
The very first thing you need to clarify and document are your business goals and decide what marketing can do to help you achieve those goals. Once you’ve clarified your goals and decided how marketing is going to help you, can you select your best distribution channels for the job.
Overall, businesses that start with social media are putting the cart before the horse, and they will fail to attract, engage or convert on audience online. It’s like deciding to start a business before researching customers. It’s expensive, it’s risky and it’s stupid.
So get on your horse, be wise, and register for the next content marketing masterclass. We’ll show you how to build the cart!
For more actionable advice on planning social media and content marketing for better marketing results read this expert post on Smart Insights.
Author: Stephen Bateman