4 Common Mistakes That Cripple Your Social Marketing Efforts - Social Media Explorer
4 Common Mistakes That Cripple Your Social Marketing Efforts
4 Common Mistakes That Cripple Your Social Marketing Efforts

You’ve read the statistics. You’ve read personal case studies, and you’re very well aware that social media is effective and growing — rapidly. It just isn’t working for you. Perhaps all these people who are claiming results are working in a vacuum?

While there are several factors that go into having and maintaining a successful social marketing system, some unwitting, seemingly-simple mistakes can cause you a lot of trouble. If you’re making the following mistakes, they could very well cripple your social marketing efforts:

1. Only Having a Social Media Strategy:

No amount of marketing will fix a broken system. Even if you commit all your marketing budget into social media, not having a strategy to capitalize on the resulting attention will be a mistake.

For example, if your conversion funnel is weak, having a rock-solid social media marketing strategy won’t fix things. If your products and customer support is bad, the increased social attention from your social media marketing efforts could actually backfire and damage your business instead of grow it. In light of this, it is important to realize that social media doesn’t work in isolation — when other parts of your business are not well-optimized, you can come up with the wrong impression that social media doesn’t work.

2. Not Repurposing and Reusing Your Content:

Small businesses are especially susceptible to this mistake, and big businesses are not immune.

Most businesses have a problem of originality: they want to create original content all the time, so they hire lots of different people to create lots of different types of content in different formats. This is a mistake that can seriously cripple your social marketing efforts.

No matter the nature and size of your business, repurposing your content will significantly save costs in creating original content, ensure pieces of content you distribute across different social channels are relevant and related (keying into the “familiarity principle” to boost your conversions as a result) and save time in production and distribution of content.

Try to leverage a single piece of content and turn it into multiple forms of content; for example, you can make a presentation, an infographic, a video, Tweets and Facebook statuses out of a single blog post — there’s an overabundance of web design tools to use for this. Not only does this allow you to increasingly spread your reach across channels and mediums, but it will also give you the best bang for your buck.

3. Sharing Your Content Just Once:

Sometimes, you don’t want to appear overly-promotional so you decide not to “overshare” your content on social media. As a result, you only share it once. This is a mistake, however, for two key reasons:

The average reach on most popular social media sites is less than 1 percent. That means less than one percent of your followers will see each and every update you post.

Research has established a significant boost in content reach and engagement by sharing the same content multiple times. This was established most recently by a BuzzSumo study that analyzed over 100 million pieces of content. The study found that constantly resharing your content can boost engagement by up to 686 percent.

When you consider the above facts, it becomes quickly clear how ineffective it can be to share your content once and leave it at that. Constantly re-sharing your content gives it more life and exposes it to people who wouldn’t have otherwise seen it. You can be a bit innovative in the sharing; perhaps by sharing facts and highlights from the content, by creating and sharing graphics based on extracts from the article, or by tweaking the title of the article when you re-share.

4. Not Preparing Your Site for the Resulting Traffic:

When your goal is to boost sales, conversion or traffic through your social marketing efforts, the worst thing you can do is to not prepare your website for the resulting traffic. Many websites are ill-prepared for a social traffic spike: Tina Henson’s story quickly comes to mind. After making preparations for the holiday season, even hiring a PR firm to promote the launch of her website’s redesign, she eventually got a lot of press and website traffic. Unfortunately, she wasn’t prepared: 40 times the average visitors to her website came during this campaign, and she estimated that she lost at least half of these people due to an unprepared site.

In fact, many websites are ill-prepared to convert any form of traffic at all. Just take a look at what research says about website speed:

  • A three second delay in site load speed will result in 40 percent of users leaving
  • A one second delay in site load speed will result in a 7 percent loss in conversions

When you look at this fact, it becomes instantly clear that, even without your server crashing, having a slow website is a way to guarantee that your social marketing efforts waste. Take steps to prepare your site by getting a better host (I review several, including hosts like InMotion, on my site), get a clean website template, optimize your plugins and addons and only use images when necessary.

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About the Author

John Stevens
John Stevens is a founder, CEO and business consultant who helps startups develop a growth strategy. He regularly contributes to publications such as AdWeek, Entrepreneur and About.com. You can follow him on Twitter.

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