Is your business ready to tackle social marketing? Here are three of the common pitfalls you will encounter on your way to social media success.
Limited Human Resources
Given the scope of social marketing as a business process, any small to mid-sized business (SMB) will be met with difficulty when attempting to establish its own marketing campaigns through social channels. This is one of the first pitfalls of social marketing: the lack of human resources.
Aside from people who know how to handle the technology required in social media advertising and consumer engagement (such as social customer relationship management software), a business will also need to focus on crafting quality and engaging social content. This entails skills in copywriting and content strategy and development – it also would be better if the people tasked with this endeavour also have good working knowledge of marketing and branding. People who handle consumer interaction, which includes listening and directly engaging with them through social media, will also be needed.
Where Should You Implement Your Social Marketing Campaigns?
A cost-effective solution to the challenge of limited human resources is choosing only a few social outlets for an advertising campaign, instead of spreading the workforce thin over all the popular social networking sites. Now, where should you implement a social marketing campaign?
The obvious answer is you should go where your consumers already are. This entails market and consumer behaviour research, plus a little target marketing. You know your business and the general demographic of consumers it markets to. Now consider:
- Active users spend an average of 8 hours on Facebook – spending all that time in various games, apps, and other time sinks.
- Active Pinterest users spend an average 100 minutes browsing Boards, and users are generally young adult to middle aged women browsing consumer goods regarding health and lifestyle.
- Active Google+ users spend just 3.3 minutes interacting with Google+ content. However, the heaviest engagement comes from its predominantly male population of users, who are technologically-savvy and share content about science, technology, and the web.
Where does your business fit in? Can you better leverage the use of apps and games in Facebook? The highly visual boards of Pinterest, perhaps? Or is your target demographic more technologically inclined?
Leveraging Specific Social Networking Facets
After choosing which social network your business can make the most out of, it is then time to strategize and plan your consumer-level marketing. Each social network has specific features and these features in turn can be used in different ways to interact with your consumers. Take our three examples above:
Facebook’s Fan pages are definitely worth a try – they reach three levels of consumers: you fans, their friends, and everyone else who can access their Timeline or whose News Feed their activity reflects in.
Pinterest’s Boards present the possibility of free display advertising – just add a dollar sign into the description and Pinterest will automatically add a “For Sale” tag to the display image. This advantage is perfect for goods or services that leverage highly visual ads.
Google+ offers Circles and Hangouts as ideal ways to market – Circles segregates consumers while Hangouts is a better, more social approach to webinars.
Again, depending on your goods and services, your approach to these features of social marketing will vary. Indeed, these very features would likewise be deciding factors in choosing which one to advertise on as a marketing platform.