In any kind of company, you will make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from them and not make them again. In an ideal situation, you wouldn’t make mistakes – you would have someone else make the mistakes for you so you could learn from them without making them yourselves.
Here are ten things we did that you should avoid. Some may seem simple – and they are, after the fact. While you’re hitting your head against the wall not understanding why social media isn’t working the way it’s supposed to, they seem like the most complicated and unknowable ideas there are. So here are 10 things to avoid – don’t worry, you’re bound to make new and interesting mistakes on your own:
- We forgot why people are on social media.
People don’t go on social media to have things sold to them – they go on social media to engage, be entertained or be educated. If you put out content that sells something, but doesn’t engage, entertain or educate (or all three) then you’re not going to get people’s attention.
- We focussed too much on the competition.
It’s important to look at what your competition is doing online to make sure that your business has a comparative advantage. Don’t get too focused on ‘beating’ the competition. By engaging them on their own terms, and trying to counter their unique selling points – you don’t really set your brand as having its own identity.
- We didn’t try new things.
It’s easy to think that you have a winning strategy and that things are working for you. That’s fine, until they aren’t working any more. Even if it’s a small scale test campaign to a limited section of the audience to see what works, it’s always important to have something waiting in the wings to use when previous plans start to get fatigued.
- We didn’t set a goal.
Obviously there is the goal of growing the business – but it’s easy to have a vague ‘grand goal’and forget about the specific goals you need to achieve to get there. The ‘grand goal’ needs to be split into smaller goals, and that specific goal needs to be defined, whether it’s sales or brand awareness.
- We didn’t have a clearly defined strategy.
Once you set a goal, you need to define a strategy that will take you there. If your goal is sales, then you can’t just put out an ad, hope for the best and expect great results. You need to find your audience, attract them, interest them, lead them into a decision and then push them to take action. Every piece of content must have a clear purpose to achieve the goal.
- We changed our strategy too quickly.
Once you have put a strategy in place, you need to have a certain amount of patience. You need to remember that a properly thought out sales funnel may take a little time to kick in, because you have to win your audience over before converting them. It’s easy to have a knee jerk reaction and scrap a campaign that hasn’t had the time it needs to mature.
- We took the data at face value.
If you have a sales funnel designed for conversions, and those conversions don’t come in as quickly as you like, then you may think that the whole thing needs to be scrapped. The important thing is to understand why it failed, so the mistakes aren’t repeated. It could be that a small change could make the funnel work, and successful parts could be reused later.
- We scaled our campaigns too quickly.
A campaign being successful very quickly can also be dangerous. When something works, it may be because it is tailored to a specific audience. If you grow a campaign too quickly, then it can be less relevant to a larger audience. That means a higher cost per person, and a lot more people that the content is going out to – which means a huge spike in costs.
- We put out too much content.
If you have a good campaign set up, you probably have retargeting which gives different messages to your audience based on how far they have gone through the sales process or by demographic split. They see content that is just for them. If you are bombarding your audience with obviously generic content, you can turn them off with ad fatigue.
- We didn’t put out enough content.
You don’t want to bombard your audience, but you don’t want to lose their attention – and there is an awful lot to distract people’s attention on social media. Instead, you need to look at your strategy, your data and how your audience responds so that you put out enough content to keep them interested, but not so much that you start to clog up their feed.
Zachary Jarvis is a Digital Marketer with one thing on his mind: Results.
Uninspired by the never ending talk of ‘vanity metrics’ in the world of digital marketing, Magnate was founded – the ‘Social-First’ marketing agency.
On the very rare occasion he isn’t watching Step Brothers in his spare time – you’ll find Zachary in the thick of social platforms, learning what makes us tick.
This is driven by a fascination (perhaps a slight obsession…) with market trends and consumer behaviours.