According to a good number of Social Media Marketing experts, the main reason why a strategy on these channels fails miserably is that entrepreneurs and companies are wrong in using platforms, because they do not understand the difference between marketing and advertising.
In reality, the poor results are attributable to the fact that, although the difference is obvious, less experienced marketers choose to ignore it and hope for the best, an attitude that certainly does not help in a competitive environment such as Social Media Marketing today.
In this article, we will analyze the most important and common errors committed when drafting a Social Media Strategy and we will try to better understand how to fix the flaws found.
Social Networks: the difference between marketing and advertising
Before delving into the importance of the distinction:
- advertising on social media is that process through which a company acquires or buys a space on a specific Social Network exclusively to show its products
- With marketing we mean the whole series of actions carried out by a company to promote the brand: generate content, create a community, engage users
For a company that wants to break through on Social Networks, it is essential to know this difference and keep it in mind in order to modulate one's own strategies. One of the most important reasons for which a campaign fails, is precisely the attitude with which entrepreneurs turn to these channels, using them as mere advertising spaces.
Every update on social networks becomes an opportunity to sell something, and users, in the long run, get bored and get to block all the contents of a particular company, overwhelmed by persistent sales pitches.
Before promoting a product or service, you need to earn the trust of your audience, leveraging all the marketing techniques made available by the platforms in recent years. In this way, users will have a positive brand idea.
Offering the public added value through social media is the right way to success. This can be done through informative and educational content, but also simply funny and carefree.
However, many find a drop in the performance of their campaigns even when there doesn't seem to be a real reason. In the next sections, we will see what could be the cause and how to get around the problems.
Social Network: because the sale doesn't work
We know how much it can be tempting to start promoting products and services right away once you have a good following on social media. Unfortunately, this approach is wrong across the board when it comes to Social Media.
The reason is very simple: the public of Social Networks surfs mainly to socialize and stay updated on activities of relatives and friends, as well as to relax and have fun with the latest memes.
An excessively aggressive sales strategy on an audience that - remember - is not visiting a shopping center, will lead to unfollows and negative comments, which for a company means the death of their online presence.
The so-called "hard-selling " strategy works primarily for brick-and-mortar stores. This is a simple mode. communication with the public based on a clear and concise message: buy or don't care. We often see it in traditional advertising.
The "soft-selling" is the exact opposite: it is a strategy aimed at building a bond with one's audience, in which the aim is to establish a relationship based on trust and user-company exchange.
The truth that hard-selling strategies, in a competitive market where there are infinite suppliers for each niche, gradually tend to become less and less effective. Nobody wants to find a myriad of flyers in the mailbox, and nobody wants to be in a sales pitch when they're chilling out on Facebook.
The biggest job difficulty - but rewarding and profitable - on Social Media is that of building a community of people interested in the niche of reference, providing added value through informative and educational content and not putting too much emphasis on easy selling.
Furthermore, aggressive strategies do not work on social media even due to the algorithm, which is designed to offer the user the user experience he desires, and therefore content to which he could be more interested.
A content favored by the algorithm is engaging for users. More comments, reactions, and likes receives a post, best performer at the level of coverage, because the algorithm will go to prefer it over a simple advertising post.
Publishing sales pitches is not only useless, but in some cases it becomes even deleterious.
Social Network: the strategy fails because it does not have a goal
Set aside the idea of being exploiting Social Networks in the wrong way, one of the reasons why the strategy fails, is that there is no a real vision of objectives to reach, as well as a purpose for each individual content.
Each post on a Social channel must be studied in detail and strategically published to get a specific reaction. Even if this reaction is only to make some users smile.
The solution is to outline three main objectives to be achieved through the strategy, analyzing the various social channels and determining what the brand needs. Once this is done, it is good to inquire about which contents to aim for to achieve the objectives, and work on them.
Social Network: the brand has no style
No, in this case we are not talking about adding a Louis Vuitton pattern to the logo. Many strategies fail because from the start it is not a tone that was established for the brand, and one homogeneous graphic and chromatic style to be used in all channels.
Developing a specific style is the best way to stand out from the competition, and also makes it much more easy the process needed to create the content. This is particularly important for the most important social networks.
Fixing this is not easy. The best way is that of relying on a graphic designer, who will select the right graphic style.
Social Network: knowing the typical customer
Knowing your audience is the key to developing a social strategy that not only engages users, but also helps them achieve their goals. Posting memes or cute puppies could attract followers and likes, but the audience involved could have nothing to do with it.
The goal is not the quantity is, but the quality of the public.
The research is the best way to delineate the typical customer or the so-called buyer persona. Engaging the public with questionnaires and surveys might be an idea, but it never hurts to analyze competitors and "borrow". some ideas.
This information will be essential to create perfect content for the target audience, and create really interesting added value for potential customers.
Social Networks: the public does not feel involved
Involving your community on social networks is essential for a return on investment and for significant growth. Posting content that attracts the public to comment, initiate discussions and leave comments on user is a must.
Interacting with the public is the best way to bring a corporate account in the eyes of the right audience and the right influencers. The process may take some time, but it is essential to organize.
A winning strategy could be to reserve a bit of time each week to respond to comments, questions and attend user confesations. A short search would speed up the process, identifying the social spaces that the public frequents the most.
Social Network: the strategy is not updated
Analytics are a powerful tool to understand what works and what doesn't, and where the gaps are in a social strategy. Thanks to the data contained in the analytical tools, it is possible to reshape the strategy according to the contents and techniques that work best.
Check the analytics regularly and make a note of what works and what does not work, the best way to keep the strategy always updated. If it doesn't work, it is time to move on.
The things to watch out for are the times when users hang out the most often on Social media and the moments in which they are more involved in the posts.
Social media is constantly evolving, and the points discussed above are nothing more than general guidelines to consider, although it is up to a good marketer to choose the best solutions according to your needs.