Social media marketing can be a double-edged sword. The right social media strategy can help your brand improve awareness, generate leads and increase sales. Or, it can make you pull your hair out.
And worse of all, you could end up with failed social media marketing campaigns.
Although social media has made it easier than ever to connect with people and grow your brand organically, marketing on social media is no longer as straightforward as it used to be.
From choosing which platform to focus on to figuring out the metrics to measure, analysis paralysis is a serious problem for social media marketers.
In this article, let’s look at the seven most common reasons for your failed social media campaign and why your social media marketing strategy is not working, along with tips to fix it.
#1. You don’t have a documented social media strategy
All too often, businesses end up joining social media platforms simply because they are popular. However, as per The Manifest’s survey, having a formal and documented social media campaign strategy is one of the top challenges faced by businesses.
Experienced marketers know the importance of writing down a plan, knowing your key performance indicators (KPIs) and goals before getting started. Because, how can you know if you are achieving anything positive? Or worse, social media strategy is failing?
The solution: Create a documented social media marketing strategy that makes sense for your business.
Start with finding out what you want out of your social media at large. The social media plan could include spending more dollars and cents on your existing social media presence or amplifying your reach with new followers.
Sample social media goals for 2021 and beyond
Some goals effective for businesses of all sizes and industries include:
Increasing brand awareness – Stay away from solely publishing promotional messages if you want to create authentic and lasting brand awareness.
Generating leads – Whether in-store or online (on social media), your followers are not going to purchase products from your brand by accident. Have you alerted your customers about new products or sale?
If you are looking for social media inspiration for your B2C business take a look at makeup brand Sephora’s Instagram account.
Growing your audience – To bring new followers into your fold, find ways to introduce your brand to people who haven’t heard of you before.
Discovering conversations around your industry and business is a great starting point to know the specific keywords, phrases or hashtags that help you reach your core audience faster. A social media listening tool
Your customers are your best cheerleaders. Why not ask questions to engage with them?
Increasing website traffic – The link between your social media strategy and your website traffic is a strong one – the more your followers engage with your social media content, the likelier they are to want to check out what your site offers, which means the higher your site traffic.
Promotional posts or social ads can generate leads or traffic to your website. WebAlive promotes their blogs related to online marketing on LinkedIn. Keep an eye on conversions and URL clicks to determine the ROI from social media.
#2. You are targeting the wrong audience or making assumptions
One of the most dangerous games a marketer should stay away from is making assumptions about the audience. This would lead to targeting the wrong audience.
The solution: Research your target audience.
The upside being, so much of what you need to know about your audience is already out there. These numbers would help you know which networks should be a part of your social media strategy and what types of content to produce.
The key takeaways include:
- The prime networks for ads are YouTube and Facebook, due to their sheer number of users.
- As the majority of Instagram’s users are millennials and Gen Z, bold and eye-popping content that oozes personality will gain attention.
- Women outnumber men on Pinterest which boasts the highest average order value for social shoppers.
- LinkedIn’s user-base is professionals, signalling the strength of in-depth industry-specific content which is more research-packed as compared to what you see on Facebook or Instagram.
This shows there is no one-size-fits-all social media platform.
Suppose your company sells trendy legging and joggers. The first step of your social media marketing strategy is to determine your buyer persona audience. To target their needs and interests accurately, you would place millennials as your target audience. This set of users wear stylish athletic apparel. Your messaging, content and social media post ideas would promote a style known as athleisure.
#3. You do not know what metrics to measure
No matter how meticulously you design your social media campaign, you won’t know how well it has done unless you continually measure your campaign metrics. Staying in touch with these metrics will help to identify and work on problem areas. Businesses should dig into data that directly aligns with their goals instead of focussing on vanity metrics.
The solution: Which social media metrics should marketers keep an eye on?
Reach – The reach of your post is defined as the number of unique users who saw your post. Is your content spread across social media? How far is it actually reaching the user’s feed? With the ever-changing organic algorithms, tracking reach is crucial to know the effectiveness of the social media strategy for businesses.
Clicks – This could be the number of clicks on your content (both paid and organic). Link clicks indicate how users move through your marketing funnel. Clicks per campaign help in understanding what drives people to buy from your brand.
Engagement – Engagement is calculated as: total number of social interactions/number of impressions. Engagement indicates who interacted with your posts and if it was a good ratio of the total reach. It shows the willingness of your audience to interact with your brand.
Organic and paid likes – For Facebook, organic engagement is harder to gain traction. That is the reason why brands turn to Facebook ads. On the flip side, earning organic likes on Instagram or Twitter is comparatively easier. Knowing these differences between different platforms helps in budgeting both the ad spend and the time you need to invest in diverse content formats.
Brand sentiment – How did users react to your content or brand? Did they find your latest campaign offensive? What type of sentiment are customers associating with your brand or campaign hashtag? Dig in to find out what people are talking about your brand.
An effective social media strategy is based on numbers. Those numbers should be put into a context relevant to your business goals.
The volume of social media users is continuously on the uptick, which means that your potential audience size is always growing. Measuring campaign metrics will help you figure out the best way to connect with that growing audience.
Continuously monitor your best performing content and fine-tune your social media strategy and campaign accordingly. There is no denying that social media is ever-evolving You can use these metrics to inform your next major strategy.
Visualize your priorities and metrics using a roadmap maker for stronger collaboration between the teams and stakeholders.
#4. Your campaigns are flopping
You may have the best copywriters and designers on your team, but unless the content they put out resonates with what your target audience wants, it won’t work.
A surprisingly high fraction of companies still take the ‘post and pray’ approach, where they upload content and hope to bring results. However, if your social media tools show near-zero social media engagement, it is time to think beyond just writing good copy.
The solution: Dig into what your competitors are doing.
Even before you start creating content, have an idea of what your competitors are up to on social media. A fairly simple way of gaining useful insights is by simply reviewing competitors’ social media presence.
Look at your competitor’s social channels . As a part of your promotion strategy, determine what is working for them. And what conclusions can you adapt to your own campaigns?
Here is an example of the same industry using different social media strategy templates. Although they take different approaches, their social media strategy is still successful.
Two brands, Casper and Purple have made the mattress space entertaining.
Casper posts light-hearted content with a sense of humour and personality that brims with comfort and cosiness. Their Instagram account does a great job of making the users feel that it is not a corporate account.
Purple, likewise is known for their memes and humour. However, that said, their Instagram handle also includes more traditional promotional posts and videos.
The takeaway here is that two competing brands can set themselves apart using creativity as an integral part of their social media strategy.
#5. Your content is stale
At this point, you would have a pretty good idea that your social media strategy is centered around content. When this content is stale, repetitive, and insincere, your audience will not engage at any stage of the customer journey. As per Octane’s curated post on ecommerce personalization, a lack of content relevance generates 83% lower response rates in a marketing campaign on social media.
The solution: Create and curate engaging content.
By now, you know what to publish based on your brand’s goal and identity. You also know the networks you should cover.
But then, what does engaging content look like? How do you create such content?
Create content themes – As per Visme, one-third of marketers struggle with creating compelling visuals and that too, creating it on a day-to-day basis is the toughest.
When you know the importance of visual content, one Instagram marketing tip you could explore is building content themes to make your job easier.
Numerous brands on Instagram add sectioning to their content. Given that it is primarily visual, it serves as the best channel for showing content themes. Wendy’s does a great job of keeping their Instagram feed consistent with bright colours. The creative layouts within the feed emphasize on the colour and the creativity elevates Wendy’s food as art.
A content theme makes it easier to create and implement a content calendar. You could also rotate between memes, product photos and user-generated content while sticking to a colour scheme.
If consistency is a problem, a social media management tool such as Bulky can organize your content library and schedule the posts in advance. As a part of your social media marketing strategy, ensure that you are creating innovative content.
UGC allows your followers to serve as brand ambassadors and acts as an incentive for customers to interact with your brand. From posting photos of customers using your products to including hashtags, encouraging user content boosts your engagement rate.
Further, don’t miss the opportunity of picking your followers’ brain. This could include posting a poll.
Outdoor retailer brand Moosejaw does a great job of sharing user-generated content on Instagram. They use UGC to announce contests and ask the participants to include a specific hashtag (#MJDogoftheMonth) in their photo entries.
Stories and time-sensitive content
Story content on Instagram and Facebook taps into your followers’ FOMO (fear of missing out). These stories are interactive and can’t-miss. As such content pop’s up in your follower’s feed, it can help your brand “skip the line” and stay afresh in your audience’s mind.
Stories are all the more valuable means to show behind-the-scene and making your social feed more personal. For example, these stories could cover an event an take them through a journey without having to leave the comfort of Instagram.
Videos as an integral part of your social media strategy
The surge of videos as the primary mode of content consumption isn’t stopping anytime soon. Long-form as well as short-form videos will continue to dominate all social media platforms.
Free online video editor Clipchamp allows you to create micro-commercial ads and long productions that rack up millions of views.
For inspiration, you could refer to McDonald’s Instagram handle. Many of their videos do not have voiceover or people. They use their food menu and packaging to tell the story in a simple yet effective way. This video shows that you can be creative even on a limited budget.
As a brand, don’t shy from using videos with the wealth of ideas, apps and creative options out there.
#6. You are not focusing on social customer care
No matter how busy you and your team might be, one of the most common mistakes your marketing campaign fails is that you fail to engage with the comments and questions your followers leave on your posts, sending out a massively negative signal.
If your customer does not get a response for days, they might feel frustrated and unheard and end up not buying from you or even speaking negatively about you on social media – which you certainly don’t want!
The solution: Responsive social media customer support.
Today, followers expect a brand to have dedicated social media customer support that responds quickly to purchase and usage queries and promptly addresses negative reviews. Don’t risk alienating a large fraction of your audience by failing to address social customer care.
Let’s take the example of Netflix. To say that they are great in marketing is an understatement. Needless to say, they are good at providing customer support on social media. As an entertainment brand, Netflix gives individual attention to customer interaction and customer care. Their social media team is known to offer quick responses with charisma, wit and humour.
Here’s an example of Netflix’s tone with a casual voice.
Remember, as a part of your social media strategy, train your support agents to deliver amazing customer support by listening and engaging with them.
#7. You are not waiting for the results
By now, you must have known that social media is a long-term strategy. You won’t get immediate results and missing your KPIs in the first 30 or 60 days doesn’t mean that it is not working for you.
Social media marketing pays off when you have a solid strategy, adequate budget, original content and a promotion plan.
The solution: Social media marketing is a marathon.
If you want to grow your brand and channels, engage with your audience, and don’t shy away from experimenting with your existing strategy, even if the social media marketing fails. The four main steps of the customer journey are reach, engagement, conversion, and nurturing, and social media helps at each step.
Now that you know the common social media mistakes and their fixes, let’s go over some social media tips to make the most of each platform.
Social media marketing strategy for Facebook
Use Facebook ads and promoted posts
Paid advertising is a reliable strategy for Facebook as its algorithm changes organic visibility on posts. Facebook’s ad platform has robust targeting capabilities to target audience based on their interests. Focussed messaging can target specific demographics, age and location to the kind of devices they use to see the add.
Facebook live video generates the highest reach among all other content types on Facebook. An average Facebook live session receives 10 times more comments than a regular video on the newsfeed. Use Facebook Live for product demos, tutorials or Q&A sessions. They serve the purpose of generating engagement and staying in front of people in the way they want to see.
Build a community/Facebook group
I’ll take the example of one of the most useful Facebook groups “SaaS Growth Hacks”, a community for people in the SaaS industry.
The group is an excellent platform for people to facilitate conversations and connect over shared interests. While the group is niche, it has 23,000 members, with moderators, SaaS veterans and enthusiasts. The key to building a successful Facebook community is to avoid being salesy. Alternately, you could offer exclusive discounts and promotions to the group members.
Social media marketing strategy for Twitter
Twitter is still the easiest way to engage with people in your industry, regardless of whether you follow them or not. You can join trending conversations and get your message in front of people who are not yet aware of your brand. Twitter allows you to establish yourself as a thought leader by contributing insights to topics people are already discussing.
The best part being, you don’t have to write long-form content. These tips could be a thread or even nuggets of wisdom.
It is crucial to join conversations important and relevant to your industry on Twitter. You could create branded hashtags and participate in trends that matter to your audience. A good strategy is to participate in discussions where you can add value instead of jumping in on every trending topic.
Experiment with Twitter advertising
As a part of your B2B social media marketing strategy, chances are, your audience is active on Twitter. Paid advertising could be an effective way to amplify your message in front of the right people. The three options to advertise your content include – Promoted Tweets, Promoted Accounts and Promoted Trends.
The primary reason why Twitter advertising is effective is that it is not disruptive and looks similar to the organic content when your audience scrolls down.
While running a paid social media campaign, integrate a marketing automation software to capture leads and send them engaging emails.
Social media marketing strategy for LinkedIn
Focus on video content
Capitalize on the fact that LinkedIn, like Facebook, is rewarding users who post videos directly to the platform. When you know that 85% of social media users play video without sound, ensure that your videos include descriptive images and captions. LinkedIn also has an inbuilt closed captioning feature.
Host content directly on the platform
Hosting and building your content on the platform implies that rather than posting links to YouTube videos, website or blog posts, host your content directly on LinkedIn.
It is observed that uploading a video file directly on LinkedIn has a much higher reach than posting a link of a video hosted on another platform. Alongside, LinkedIn prioritizes text content hosted directly on its site over content that links to another website.
For blog posts, you could post a small snippet of the article that links to the full version on your website.
As a business leader, your goal from LinkedIn is to generate sales. LinkedIn prospecting means sifting through a mountain of individuals to find prospects that are most likely to become paying customers.
LinkedIn prospecting has numerous benefits such as:
- Highly relevant and warm leads
- Higher reach as compared to cold emailing
- LinkedIn automation saves time as compared to manually writing outreach and follow-up messages
- Branding yourself as an industry thought leader
LinkedIn prospecting when done right becomes a goldmine of high-quality leads that can then be converted into users.
Social media marketing tips for Instagram
Prioritize Instagram stories
Posting stories on Instagram consistently is one way to make sure that your brand stays in front of your followers.
Leverage the feature of Instagram stories being chronological. This means, every time you post a story, your new story is visible to users at the top of their feed. With the declining reach of organic posts, you can use stories to bring to attention a new post on your profile. An Instagram story maker helps you create high-quality visuals in a hassle-free way.
If you have more than 10,000 followers, you would be able to include links in your stories. Use them to drive traffic to blog posts, product pages or any other page you want to share.
Instagram Reels is an informal short-form video format for brands, influencers and fans alike. Reels allows users to film or upload 3 to 15-second videos. They can be edited, sound-dubbed and add filters before sharing with the feed, Stories or Instagram Explore tab. With short-form vertical videos in rage, Instagram’s algorithm favours Reels over other content formats.
You could use them to repurpose existing videos, lean into memes or even to piggyback on trends.
Avoiding Failed Social Media Marketing Campaigns For Your Business
This guide will help you sort your brand’s social media strategy and ultimately avoid creating failed social media marketing campaigns.
Now is the perfect time to use these 7 reasons as a starting point and turn things around. It is a proven fact that social media marketing works.
A closer look at the existing strategy will give you a better understanding of what is or working and how to fix it.