- You don’t have a clear strategy
I have met a lot of B2B marketers whose sole purpose of engaging in social media marketing is that everyone else seems to be doing it. They are, therefore, not doing it because it fits into their overall marketing strategy, but rather because they feel guilty about ignoring that particular marketing channel when their competitors seem to be utilizing it. It’s really all about keeping the lights on for them. Well, I’m going to tell you now, for free: don’t do this. This approach lacks any kind of strategy and optimizes for quantity, rather than quality. In the long run, that’s going to hurt you.
If all you’re posting for is so that your business can be seen to be active, then how will you know if it’s of any benefit to your business? When you have no strategy, you have no way of knowing if you’re meeting the goals of your company. You’ll be caught in a confusing cycle where you don’t really know why social media is important for your business, and so you can never reap its rewards.
If you want social media to benefit your business in a meaningful, and measurable way, then you need to have a clear strategy for doing things.
- Start by outlining clearly the goals that you have for your business
- Once you know what your goals are, figure out what the best route toward achieving them is
- Now that you have a clear road map, come up with key performance indicators and other metrics you can use to track the progress you’re making toward your goals
- Think hard about how those goals fit in with the bigger picture of your business’s objectives
- Think about the kinds of tools and other resources you might need in order to achieve those goals and track your progress
If you don’t have a strategy, everything you do, on or off social media, is going to be utterly meaningless. You will lose your competitive edge and you will lose out to more savvy marketers.
- Being inconsistent
While it is true that just about everyone you know is on social media, that piece of information is a double-edged sword that can be considered both a good thing and a bad thing. When you’re considering your posting schedule, remember to keep it consistent. If you do not maintain consistency, you will quickly find yourself being outsmarted by more aggressive marketers. Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not advising you to go out there and post once per hour. In the long run, posting too much can actually hurt you and your business as your posts will begin to feel like spam.
However, even as you set your frequency of posting, remember that the most important thing is to remain consistent. You want to reach your audience at the optimal time and utilize its full potential without overdoing it. Allot time to your posts and post regularly; I daresay post religiously. Whenever you’re not posting, try to allocate time to cultivating prospects.
- Not being authentic
Social channels are powerful marketing tools for a lot of reasons. One of the greatest of those reasons is that they give brands and customers a way to forge unique connections. That power brings a lot of responsibility for it. If you’re going to form strong connections with your audience, then you should be ready to offer the truth, transparency, and authenticity. Customers will expect this by default from the brands that they engage with and care about. The modern social media climate is plagued by phenomena such as privacy concerns and fake news, making it very easy for customers to get spooked by brands that they consider even a little inauthentic and opaque.
If your customers don’t find you to be transparent or authentic, they are likely to take their business to competitors who they consider to be more so. True, it does feel like social media has a lot of demands to make of B2B marketers. Fortunately, however, it also gives numerous ways to meet those demands. If you really want to stand out to your customers, just be open with them. You will be surprised at how much positive feedback you get.
According to Sprout Social’s Social Media & the Evolution of Transparency, 86% of customers who perceive a brand to lack transparency will take their business to someone else. 81% of respondents on their survey believe that businesses are responsible for transparency on social media.
- Not dividing your audiences
This is a common mistake that I see a lot of B2B marketers make. They target the same audiences on each social channel, posting the same kind of messaging and content. The fact of the matter is that no two channels are the same. Each has its own unique demographics but, more importantly, its own algorithms and unspoken rules.
For example, 53% of teens prefer to be told about new products on Instagram, according to Spread fast. Fortune 500 CEOs prefer LinkedIn over other social networks, while YouTube reaches more people in the 18-49 age bracket than cable network in the United States.
As you can see, age alone is a very important factor in the variation on social networks. You’re more likely to reach more millennial’s on Instagram and Facebook than any other social network. There are also many other factors that play a part, such as the kind of media you are using to spread your message and so on. It is important to study the different demographics of every social network and craft a message that caters specifically to them.
- You have no idea how to measure ROI
This is admittedly something quite difficult for many B2B brands to do, including experts. Brands will usually track sales directly on social media, even though very few marketers can adequately quantify their revenue from social networks.
It’s not that you won’t get any sales from social media; it’s that social media is such an important aspect of many touchpoints for the customers during their journey, making it directly and indirectly responsible for a sale in lots of different ways. It’s like a smartphone in e-commerce. We all know everyone uses it when they’re shopping, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll make their purchase with it.
If you want to improve your ROI from social media, understand, first of all, that it is complex, especially in how it impacts a customer’s journey. It will never be so black and white, and understanding that is the first step in the right direction.
- Not investing enough effort or time
Social media isn’t the kind of thing you can just flip a switch on and expect to work. You’re basically building relationships from scratch. That is something that requires you to invest a lot of time and effort. It could be days, or months, or even years.
That shouldn’t leave you discouraged, though. It should only encourage you to set realistic goals and have realistic expectations. Don’t expect your posts to go ‘viral’ too quickly. It all takes time. As long as your metrics are positive, you’re on the right track.
- You’re not growing
Most social media fails to boil down to brands not evolving their strategies as time goes by. Social media will not wait for you. It changes very quickly and the way people use it changes too. If your tactics don’t align with these changes, you will fail.
To solve this, make sure you’re always up to date on the best practices and latest trends. It may be hard work, especially with everything else you’re doing, but it’s absolutely necessary and will pay massive dividends later down the road.
Are you ready to take advantage of all the power social media puts at your fingertips? Don’t hesitate. As long as you avoid these 7 main mistakes, you should be poised to reap rewards from your social media B2B marketing strategy.
Isabell Gaylord is an essay writer at Dissertation Today and a content writer. She enjoys writing blog posts about business and marketing and loves to help businesses gain an edge over their competitors.