Social media’s power has few boundaries. Other than being an excellent channel to grow brand awareness, increase follower counts and build communities, it’s also a tool for attracting new customers to your products page. Over the last few years, social networks like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and now TikTok have become increasingly important for winning customers.
But that doesn't mean social media is always used to its full capabilities when it comes to finding shoppers. Too often, marketers and sales teams don't realise the nuances involved with marketing through social media. The result is often a missed opportunity to maximise another platform as a place to increase revenue. With that in mind, we’ve put this guide together looking at how to identify potential mistakes when using social media as a customer-winning tool so you can use it to win new customers.
Mistake#1: Failing to understand social media
An increasing number of businesses understand the importance of social media in today’s landscape. At the same time, they don't always know how to use it to their advantage.
It goes without saying that all businesses – including online stores – should have a social media account. Yet, owning a profile alone won't be enough to increase your reach. Without knowledge of how social media works or at least hiring someone proficient in using social networks, you'll end up making easily avoidable mistakes.
Key mistakes include:
- Having an online presence that isn’t updated regularly and displays incorrect information on your profile
- Posting copy and paste messages to multiple social media accounts, which comes across as spam
- Making generic connection requests without exploring your brand personas
- Not liking or commenting on other posts that are relevant to your offering.
Succeeding at attracting shoppers with social media requires an understanding of how it works, why people use it and how it makes them feel. Before you start posting on social media, make sure you understand why you’re on there to begin with.
Mistake#2: Failing to implement a marketing strategy
Attracting leads through social media is like any other practice for trying to monetise your online store: it requires a plan of action to get the best results. You should put the same amount of energy into social media as you do other aspects of marketing.
Develop a strategy targeting key customers, one that champions the ethos of your brand and its culture. People want authenticity, which is why social media is the place to connect on a human level instead of going for the hard sell straight away.
The best brands innovate and come up with new ways to be relevant on social media, whether it's getting people involved with hashtags or live streaming for instant interactions (a product demo, perhaps?). They always find ways to interact by creating a watertight social media marketing strategy that has a definitive plan of action. . .
Mistake#3: Not tracking results
Social media is a data-led medium, with the best results coming from those who analyse performances. Modern tools make it easier than ever before to track results across each social network and then use them to refine strategies and grow your follower counts while enhancing the brand and hopefully increasing sales.
Having access to data also means you can halt campaigns that don't perform, and instead focus on the ones that gain traction. It's also worth remembering that success takes time, and data is the foundation for measuring that success.
It would be unrealistic to expect your first campaign to return excellent results. Social media data is a way for you to gain deeper insights into your audience and how they behave. Through a process of thorough testing, you will land on a formula that works and provides results.
Mistake#4: Focusing on too many social networks
One of the biggest mistakes brands in all industries make is signing up for several social media networks and expecting each one to provide results. Building a presence on social media and selling your product or service takes time, and each social network requires a different approach.
There are so many social platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Tiktok, Pinterest and YouTube. It’s impossible to be successful at all of them at once. Instead, review each platform and the audiences they attract. Then spend your energy building a following that enables you to entice shoppers on your chosen social network and eventually onto your website.
Even if you do decide to market across several social media platforms at once, you will still need to treat each one individually. Don’t copy and paste one message across three platforms as it will give the impression that you’re not committed to creating a unique brand experience for your followers.
Mistake#5: Failing to engage
Everything on social media is geared toward engagement. That's why you should put content at the front and centre of all your output efforts. Too many companies go on social media and hope to generate leads but don't want to engage with their audiences.
Selling to your community might be the primary goal, but engaging with thought-provoking content helps increase sales in the long run. Be an industry leader, and share blog posts on topics of interest for your audiences like the latest trends in your industry. Create social media polls that ask questions about what followers want. And respond when people leave comments on your pages.
Nearly seven out of 10 people are active on social media, which is why you need to be responsive in your efforts. By engaging and interacting with social media communities, the chances of converting them into customers increases exponentially.
Making the most of social media
Social media is for socialising. If you use it to inform and engage with your audience while showing that their opinion matters, the end result will be more shoppers clicking through to your product pages. And, most importantly, you can build on a smart strategy that helps increase revenue and makes your online store relevant on social media.