Do you remember what life was like before social media? Neither do we.
Since social media came along, the way businesses find new clients has changed.
Most businesses are no longer questioning whether or not they should play in that market. They are now looking for ways to stand out in this incredibly noisy environment. It’s easy to create posts, but many businesses are left scratching their head about how they can use these efforts to actually get leads or create any kind of profit.
As social media marketing experts, our entire day is spent planning and executing strategies to drive leads and profit. For those outside this industry, the topic can feel overwhelming because there seems to be so much to do. I wish I could boil down success into easy steps, but alas, there is no "easy pill" or quick steps to take for social media marketing excellence.
It is a tough road that requires patience for experimentation and analysis. But, we offer here common mistakes we see most often and a few quick tips you can use to quickly and drastically improve your online marketing efforts.
Behold, 4 common mistakes businesses are making on social media:
MISTAKE 1. Not using a call to action.
If you want the business, at some point you'll have to ask for the business. We see a lot of successful posts on social media that don't include any kind of call to action. A lot of time is spent creating a post that gets a lot of likes and a lot of comments. That time will be worth it if there is a clear next action for consumer when they realize they are interested in doing businesses with the company.
We hear that many shy away from a call to action because they don't want to sound too "sales-y" or pushy. It's important to know you can write a call to action that is not pushy and doesn't break rapport with your potential new client.Instead of BUY NOW consider RESERVE ONE FOR ME.
It's also important to know you can write a call to action that is not directly connected to someone getting their wallet out. A call to action can also simply lead to the next step in doing business with you. It could be downloading the latest catalog, clicking through to the next video or subscribing to a free offer, or simply sharing the post you made in order to expand your reach.
MISTAKE 2. Not having a lead magnet.
A lead magnet is a go-to piece of helpful information you have created with your ideal customer in mind. It is something so attractive that your prospect willingly gives up personal information (like their email contact info) in order to obtain this irresistible offer. First, you have to have the actual content which takes the form of a download. Some options include:
- mini book
- white paper
- case study
- sample chapters of larger download
- industry report
- style guide
Here are some crazy ideas for free, just to illustrate our point:
Women's Boutique - create a seasonal one sheeter with what colors and trends are in for the season. Highlight a bag, an outfit and a must-have list of outfit pieces that entice the customer to return to your shop to purchase.
Copier Company - create a "look book" of funny things people have tried to "copy" and call it WHAT NOT TO COPY. Obviously, you can end it with some quick tips for improved quality on your copier, but why be boring?
Financial Planner or Insurance Agent - create a quick checklist that people can give to others in their family. You can call it a LOVE LETTER and explain that it is intended to print out and give to those you love. It is a handy checklist of life things we need to get done, but don't have handy checklist for. Obviously, it can include things that promote the company, such as "buy life insurance" or "write a will" or "create a family trust", but it should also include non-related but totally helpful things like:
- talk with the kids about a fire escape route and meeting up place
- check batteries in all smoke detectors
- buy a fire extinguisher for the kitchen.
We've created a lot of fun lead magnets over the years. Publishing valuable and fun content is a great way to get interested people engaged in the buying process.
MISTAKE 3. Not having a landing page process
If you're going to spend the amazing amount of time it takes to create a lead magnet and promote it through your social media, you are going to need landing page process. This is the transition ground, where a customer has moved to your site by following your engaging social media post. It needs to be direct and tell them exactly what magical gem awaits them.
Here are the ingredients:
- a short synopsis of the lead magnet highlighting the most beneficial content
- a cover image- a short form for the customer to fill out
- social sharing button
You need to place your lead magnet treasure behind a landing page process so that it is available AFTER the customer provides their lead generating information.
MISTAKE 4: Lack of Specific Goals
We’re big proponents of S.M.A.R.T. Goals here. Goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound are best if you are looking for real results. One of the most common mistakes businesses make on social media is employing a method of “throwing spaghetti at the wall to see if it sticks.” Don’t do this. Social marketing is a constant process of testing, measuring and adapting. Starting with a goal like, “We need to boost engagement,” might sound decent, but it defies most of the principles of S.M.A.R.T. goals. Social platforms and content management systems have analytic information built in, so measurement is the easiest part - but only if your goals are specific enough to measure!
Avoiding these four mistakes is a great start to overcoming social marketing obstacles. Little Bird’s Business Accelerator is a proprietary 12-week program designed to lay a solid foundation for your marketing efforts. Social media, blog training and campaign development are all covered in the course. Check it out!