5 Social Media Mistakes Marketers Make That Boil Down to Audience
The best advertisements and marketing content in the world won’t do your business a bit of good if it isn’t seen by the right audience.
Marketers and advertisers spend a lot of time, money, and effort ensuring that the messages they deliver are well crafted. As Our Social Times reports, social media ad spending has nearly doubled worldwide over the past two years, rising from $16 billion in 2014 to $31 billion in 2016. Smart marketing professionals know how important it is for their intended target audience to receive their messages, and nowhere in digital marketing is this truer than in social media marketing.
Read on to discover 5 common social media mistakes made in relation to audience so your business can start avoiding them today.
1. Overlooking Other Platforms
In November, Hootsuite reported that 2.8 billion people worldwide were using social media by the end of 2016, an increase of 21% since 2015. These users represent every demographic and use a variety of social media platforms. So which platforms should your company use? Effective marketing considers the hard data that shows exactly which platforms your target audience prefers to use. That means you’ll need to evaluate which platforms work best for your demographic, and consider dropping any social media profiles that aren’t where your audience is.
Though there are scores of social networks out there, one social media platform dominates them all: Facebook. Facebook’s audience boasts more than 1.65 billion active users. But following Facebook in popularity are QQ, Qzone, Instagram, Twitter, Baidu Tieba, and Skype. Snapchat and LinkedIn didn’t even make the top 10. If you want your social media performance to increase, you need to think about which social media networks will serve your needs most.
2. Choosing the Wrong Platform
Once you know where the users are, you should then determine where your particular audience is hanging out. For that, you’ll need to conduct some market research. Market researchers can find out what social sites and apps your audience visits, as well as the types of devices they use. Social media use in the Asia-Pacific region grew by more than 50% in 2016 and now accounts for over 1.5 billion active monthly users. They prefer QQ, WeChat, and Qzone, and access these platforms via mobile devices. Europe, on the other hand, is a mature market with little growth, amounting to a 5% increase in social media use. This highlights how vital it is to understand the different social media trends in different parts of the world so that you don’t assume your message will just happen to reach everyone you’re after.
Even if your company has one or two full-time social media gurus on staff, they cannot keep up with every social media outlet across the globe, and nor should they. Your marketing department must choose the social media platforms that will yield the best ROI, which requires a knowledge of your audience demographics.
Certain platforms enjoy higher participation among certain demographics. Look at factors such as age, socioeconomic status, and job title, which will likely reveal varying trends in social use. For instance, if your target audience is mature, mid-career professionals, then Tumblr or Snapchat are probably not your best choice – even though they’re popular with your young, hip social media gurus. These platforms just won’t offer the market impact you seek.
3. Missing All the Action
Maybe you’ve got a better idea about other platforms in distant parts of the world you’d still like to reach. Perhaps you’ve worked out the preferred platforms of your audience demographic. It still might not mean you’re going to reach many potential clients. Why? Because it might not be one of the more active social media platforms.
Even if millions and millions of people use a certain social media platform, it doesn’t automatically make it the best venue for your marketing efforts. While Facebook may dominate social media engagement, you should consider the interaction rate on each platform. Research conducted by TrackMaven analyzed 51 million posts from 40,000 different companies across more than 130 industries. The result: Instagram dominates with the number of interactions per thousand followers. Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter lag far behind. It’s crucial to be involved in a vibrant community where users are interested in seeing and sharing your messages.
4. Failing to Listen to Your Audience
Even once a business has identified its target audience, its market research isn’t complete. At this point, marketers and market researchers need to delve more deeply into learning what members of that audience think.
One way to achieve this is to post content and monitor audience responses to each post. The post that generates the most buzz can then be exploited for the remainder of the campaign. But social listening is a tactic that can also be used before creating content, and doesn’t have to be limited to your own social media pages. For their Stay Smart marketing campaign, Holiday Inn Express monitored what social media users were saying across multiple platforms about their sleeping experiences while traveling. The insights into their own services and the services of their competitors ensured the creation of content that would really resonate with its target audience.
Another way to solicit feedback is through surveys. Whether you want to know what your audience thinks about a particular product idea, the quality of your customer service, or the effectiveness of your ads, you can give them the chance to tell you in a survey.
Your audience has all the answers to your questions about what they want if you’ll just take the time to listen.
5. Failing to Personalize Your Presence
Once your business has set up profiles in social media, these profiles must be maintained and kept current. That starts with taking the time to reply to posts. Abandoning an account may indicate that your company isn’t media-savvy or that it doesn’t care about its customers. And don’t be tempted to take the automation route. Successful accounts require a personal touch, which helps make your audience feel as though they are being addressed as individuals. An audience that doesn’t get the impression that they’re important will depart.
A personal touch doesn’t mean inundating your audience with a deluge of advertising either. “The more you can get your followers chiming in or clicking through – whether that’s with exclusive deals, helpful content, or genuine and thoughtful messaging – the better your chances of keeping them around,” reports Entrepreneur. It’s in this arena where content is king. ROI may be harder to determine, but the purpose of providing your audience with valuable tips, hacks, humor, or news related to the product, service, or industry is to build relationships. That way, when members of your audience look to purchase a product or service, they’ll think of you first.
Social Media for Marketers
These 5 common mistakes can be easily avoided by taking a good, hard look at consumer data and market research – and that’s where Luth Research can help. We measure consumer behavior across multiple platforms and devices to provide you with a full picture of your target audience.
Contact us today to boost your company’s online presence and social media campaigns.