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Are you a good playmate? Playing by the rules of the digital playing field

by  David Dwyer on  28/02/2019    124 Reads

I want to share with you what I like about likes and shares.

In a virtual world we can all compete on the same digital playing field. By exploiting the web and the vast range of social media channels now at our disposal, any business can then look to level the playing field between itself and a larger competitor – even the global brand leader in your sector.

Social media marketing is convenient and cost-effective for even the smallest business. They say experience is the best teacher, but to succeed you must learn from mistakes others have made, so that you don’t repeat them.

So, save yourself some pain and avoid these 5 common mistakes…

Mistake # 1: You don’t have a plan

It might seem a good idea just to dive right in: your first few posts might be top notch and quickly attract likes, shares and followers, but if you don’t maintain that standard, and that pace, then you’ll quickly lose the early momentum.

Is this effective? No, of course not.

If you don’t maintain your energy and presence you’ll quickly end up with dissatisfied customers, because their questions went unanswered and their responses were overlooked.

The take away: Make a plan. Decide on your goals and how you’ll measure success – awareness building, sales secured, mailing list built. Knowing your goal, the next step is to identify the specific target audience, decide on your content tactics, set a timeline and track your performance.

With a social media marketing plan you’ll know the what, why, when and how of what you’re trying to achieve, and that is half the battle.

Mistake # 2: You don’t identify your target audience

Social media platforms are convenient: more and more of us are using one or more channels every day, from Instagram to Snapchat, from Facebook to Twitter. But you don’t want to speak to everyone, the ideal way to use social media is to target the people who are really interested in what you are doing or selling, regardless of where they are.

Take away 2: Don’t be mediocre on many, be fabulous on a few. Use your plan to target each post to a specific audience. The more specific you can be in framing who that is, the more the tools available with social media will help you achieve a real result. Answer who your audience is on each channel, and with each post, and you’ll identify dos and don’ts that will mean all of your posts reach the intended target audience.

Mistake # 3: You don’t deal with negative comments on social media

None of us can please all of the people all of the time. And because social media can be anonymous, many people use it to vent their frustrations, and that can include any sense of dissatisfaction towards your business, just have a look at this “Narcissism or Necessity – Social Proof” article for more info on how to handle this. If potential customers see these comments left unanswered, you’re only encouraging others to think there’s some element of truth in the complaint. That could be sufficient reason to prevent potential customers from placing an order, or to stop following your business online.

Take away 3: If your business receives a negative comment on social media don’t brush it off with a lame excuse, or completely ignore the issue. Acknowledge their frustration, apologise if there is good reason, but what most customers want is reassurance that their experience was a blip, that the next interaction with your business will be better. Always address the negative feedback quickly and use these negative comments as free feedback to improve your business.

Mistake # 4: Over promotion

You know the old saying that stage performers used to say? “Always leave them wanting more”. It’s good advice. If you over promote it’s hard to maintain the quality of your content, and even if that doesn’t affect for your team, your audience could start to under value what you are posting and pay less attention over time.

Tip 4: Nurture an authentic relationship with your customers; don’t bombard them with sales messages or bore them with irrelevant ‘noise’. Post content that aids their understanding of your service, or makes it easier for them to get more value from your product. This will encourage brand loyalty, which will also lead to freely offered commendations and recommendations – the gold dust of social media marketing. Don’t be in a rush, build your relationships carefully over time (remember the plan) and be generous in sharing relevant insights.

Mistake # 5: Fail to interact online

Most businesses will quickly develop a presence on many different social media platforms. But if your social media marketing team is small – perhaps it’s just you, and just one of your management tasks – then it can quickly become impossible to interact effectively on a single platform, let alone all of them. Never consider social media marketing as a one-way street – tip: that’s why it’s called ‘social’. This is about developing fans of your brand, people who care, and they will want to share with you, with each other and with their own networks.

Solution: Be prepared to socialise with your fans, spend time with them and chat, never ignore them. If a follower comments on your post or sends you a message, respond right away – even if it’s just an initial ‘thanks, let me get back to you’. If they’ve used your products and tagged you in their posts, like, share or comment back as well. You might not respond to a friend for a few days – and they’ll forgive you… but your customers aren’t necessarily as forgiving as your friends. You need to nurture them, make them feel special, valued and appreciated. There’s no better way to achieve that than through social media marketing – done well. That’s why I like likes and shares.

Continuous Professional Development, Customer Relationship Management, Digital Trends, Digital Trends 2019, Facebook, Facebook Management, Frequently Asked Question's, Social Media Management, Social Media Tools, Social Proof, Web Consultancy
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