Long gone are the days when marketing execs had to convince CEO’s to take their brands to social. It doesn’t matter if your business is in the B2B or B2C space, your customers are on social because everyone else is on social – now it’s just part of the business landscape.

You might think that most companies have a pretty solid understanding of how to be social. But unfortunately, you’d probably be wrong.

How to get the most out of your social media strategy

Try these top tips to help your business avoid the 5 most common mistakes companies are making on social media today.

  1. Don’t try to be everywhere

When it comes to social networking, there’s an abundance of networks in existence – Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, Snapchat… the list goes on – and companies so often mistake existence for value.

It’s important to consider your brand persona and establish a presence on the social networks that fit with that persona. But, more importantly, consider your audience and focus on building better relationships with your most powerful customers on the platforms they prefer to network on. It’s all about effective engagement. You might want to read more on being social on social media.

  1. Take a walk in your customer’s shoes

In addition to being a marketer, you’re also a consumer of brands, right? So why not utilize that understanding when interacting with ‘fans’ and ‘followers’? When interacting with your brand, your customers have one thing on their mind – “what’s in it for me” – keep this in mind and make your customers feel special and valued.

Before posting content, consider how you would respond to it if a brand you ‘liked’ or ‘followed’ on social had posted it. What are the possible reactions, associations or even misinterpretations? Review your content while wearing both your marketer hat and your customer hat. If in doubt as to its usefulness or suitability – don’t post it.

  1. Be social in nature, not just social online

Companies – particularly of the larger variety – are often missing opportunities to have customers do the sharing for them. For example, a local coffee shop might offer customers a free cup of coffee for checking in a number of times, or using a certain hashtag or posting a picture of their favourite order.

By utilising incentives, customers are encouraged to interact socially with your brand, while promoting good, personal experiences to their friends online.

  1. Think social, not advertising – the 80/20 rule

Have you ever been on Facebook and felt inundated with ads? You almost instinctively tune out. It’s a one-way street of messaging and you want to be encouraged to join the conversation, not run away from it.

The purpose of social media is to connect, engage and start a conversation with people who are your ‘fans’ and ‘followers’. However, it seems that many businesses still treat social media like one way advertising.

Cue the 80-20 rule. Consider talking about items not related to your brand – customer experiences, stories, news or local happenings – with your customers 80% of the time, and only focus on promoting your brand the other 20% of the time. Remember, it’s not about you; it’s about what’s in it for your customers.

  1. Acquisition > retentionaverage spend

According to a report by Syncapse, fans spend approximately $116 more per year than non-fans in their respective categories. Therefore, identifying who your customers are among fans and focusing on retention, rather than the acquisition of new customers is key. The better you can isolate your key customer segments, the more relevant your messages can be to drive loyalty and create offers to encourage even greater spending.

You could see much higher return in the time, effort and money you spend on social if you focus your attention to fostering existing customer relationships and loyalty.

Of course, if you could use help with your social media strategy, we’d love to chat. You can always give us a call on (02) 8012 8008 or drop us a note.

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