Six Surefire Ways to Fail at Social Media

Social media is attractive to modern marketers – to say the least. Compared to sending monthly emails (the traditional outreach  method dominant in the pre-social media era), the concept of constantly and consistently reaching target audiences – in a less costly and time consuming manner, nonetheless – is reason enough for marketers to get excited about the army of social networks surging through the Internet landscape. After all, who doesn’t love a faster, cheaper, more effective way to get things done?

Attractiveness aside, it’s important for brands to get real about social media marketing. There are problems that require solutions and questions that need answers. Here are just a few:

  • Are we efficient and successful in building community or continuously struggling to attract and engage a strong, highly targeted following?
  • Are we reaching as many customers as we expect or coming up short on our annual social media marketing reports?
  • Is there a reason so few companies are reaping the rewards of their social media marketing endeavors?

The sad truth is that many companies are failing at social media. An even harsher reality is that those failing at social media don’t even know why they are failing. This article will teach you exactly how to fail at social media marketing. Think of it as everything not to do – in order to succeed.

1. Be more annoying than informative.

Social media marketing is everywhere. It’s on the side of our Facebook feed, sponsored in our Twitter feed and promoted in our Instagram feed. Before you post a single update, social media marketing is already annoying us at epic proportions. Adding to the annoyance factor is the easiest way to fail at social media.

There’s a fine line between being informative on social media – and being flat out annoying. Striking the balance between informative and annoying requires some market research – but we went ahead and collected the data for you. Here are the optimal posting frequencies per platform to engage without the rage.

  • Twitter: 14 times per day, from midnight to 10:00 p.m., keeps your audience informed and even tempered. Post no more than once per hour. On the weekend, drop down to seven posts per day, roughly every three hours.
  • Facebook: 2 times per day, seven days a week, 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., piques their interest without crossing the line.
  • LinkedIn: 1 time per day, 8:00 a.m., Monday through Friday. (You don’t work on the weekends, right? Neither do your followers).
  • Google+: 2 times per day, 9:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., no weekends.

2. Don’t be where your audience wants you to be.

Social media communities are diverse. Rarely will you find the same audience seeking the same company on the same platform. Selecting the best social network for your audience is critical – and a little market research goes a long way.

Start with the fact that 84 percent of consumers expect your brand to be on Facebook. Another 64 percent expect you to be on Twitter. It doesn’t take a marketing genius to figure out that Facebook and Twitter are the “must-have” platforms in your social media tool box.

As for the others – Google+, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube – consider your unique audience and their preferred method of social media engagement. Google+ is ideal for content sharing. Instagram is ideal for millennials aged 18-29.  Pinterest appeals most to both females and consumers in the high income bracket. YouTube, of course, appeals to the video focused consumer.

3. Don’t be active.

What good is a social media account if no one knows it exists? The best way to reach a growing audience: update regularly, post new content and interact with consumers. Being active on social media keeps your presence alive in the newsfeed. Otherwise, your social media account is simply a lonely island begging for discovery.

Consider also that consumers expect you to be active on three or four platforms. Stay within those limits, be active on just a few platforms, and use them well – rather than be active on all platforms with sub-par performance.

4. Don’t give your audience a reason to follow you.

Are you entertaining your social following? Answering their most pressing questions? Promoting exclusive content unlike anyone else? Social media is one of the greatest ways to make followers feel personally connected with the brand. Your job as a marketer is to give them a reason to connect. Consider what your audience wants and deliver it to them – no questions asked. Give them a reason to follow you.

5. Post the same content on all your accounts.

Sure, copy-and-paste is easy for the social media marketer – but for the follower, it’s both obvious and uneventful.  There’s nothing wrong with overlap – a lot of social media updates work well on multiple platforms – but try to focus certain types of content on specific social networks. Social media gold on Facebook might be received as bronze on Twitter – so organize your social media content with an appropriate platform in mind. As a rule of thumb, only your branding should remain the same across all your accounts.

6. Post more like a robot than a human being.

When it comes to social media content, there’s a fine line between being promotional and robotic. The more a brand pushes the promotional side, the less audiences will receive it as real, human and relatable. The easiest way to post like a human: have fun with social media! Interact with users. Tell them jokes. Spark interesting conversations. Remember, people love interaction and robots don’t know how to have fun. Adding the fun factor to social media keeps you human.

Linx is more…

Thank a marketing consultancy. More than “marketing advice” – Linx can test, pull back and adjust, perform risk/reward calculations and implement a plethora of our own market-driven business strategies. Contact us today to conquer the social media marketing landscape.