There is no doubt that social media marketing has become one of the most important facets to every organization’s online marketing strategy. And of course, there are always challenges that come with it. It has been reported that some corporations have made upwards of $4 billion worth of social media mistakes over the course of a year. That can range from inaccurate posting which leads to lawsuits, to posting inappropriate or slanderous content. So, bearing in mind all the potential hazards, it’s crucial for marketers to understand how they can overcome these problems and make sure they are utilizing every aspect of social media effectively. Below are 6 common social media issues that marketers seem to run into.
- Too many employees managing accounts. Between the structure, management, and organization of a social media strategy, it can certainly be difficult to maintain a large online presence. Many associations will have multiple employees controlling their accounts, causing even more chaos. Not only will the style of each post be inconsistent, but it will cause confusion because too many people are involved. While it’s great to have help, having too much is also just as big of a problem.
- Keeping passwords in unsafe places. This is one of the most common mistakes that marketers have run into in recent years, on many channels (not just social media). Keeping passwords to all social media accounts in unlocked Excel sheets and other unsafe places will only attract hackers. In addition to keeping them in unsafe places, many associations stick to simple passwords that are common phrases, putting your organization at risk. It sounds like a simple task, but mixing up passwords can go a long way toward solidifying your social media and online marketing efforts.
- Too many accounts to manage. While it’s great to have a large existence on social media and be involved on each site, managing too many accounts can often become overwhelming. Some associations feel that each aspect of their organization NEEDS its own dedicated social strategy. However this is not always the case. It often leads to publishing content that is irrelevant, repetitive, or has no purpose (posting content JUST to post content). Organizations with too many accounts will often struggle with posting the right messaging to the right channels. Not only will this confuse their audience, but will damage their online credibility as well.
- Spending too much time on the small details. Yes, it’s important to pay attention to details when posting on social media sites, and yes, it’s just as important to spend time on strategizing. But many organizations will often spend more time worrying about what hashtag to use in each post rather then what their goals are for the year, and how they are going to approach each challenge on social media. The other key aspect to keep in mind is that social media is supposed to be fun! Keeping your messaging loose (while also in-line with your strategy) is a more effective way to engage your audience and start conversations than robotic posting with tons of hashtags.
- Incomplete and inconsistent reporting. Posting on social media has become one of the best ways to connect with your target audience, but it ultimately means nothing if you aren’t tracking and reporting results at consistent intervals. If there is no way to track exactly what’s been posted and its effectiveness, your existing social media efforts may be missing opportunities. By now, I’m sure everyone that knows me must know my famous quote: If you can’t measure it, don’t do it! This especially holds true for social media marketing.
- Inconsistency with reading and responding to comments. When potential members (or even just fans of your channel) are trying to connect with you, they often do so through “comments,” “replies,” or “direct messages.” And although it may not seem like it, an organization that does not reply to their audience’s messages is certainly not going to fair as well on social media than one that will engage in discussion. This is a very effective way to develop relationships with prospective members nowadays and convert inquiries to leads. Along these same lines, associations that do not take the time to evaluate all mentions, likes, replies, comments, and other discussion mediums are also setting themselves up to lose credibility. Spam is everywhere nowadays, and it’s crucial to filter out legitimate feedback from your audience so that your conversations are real and meaningful.
These social media issues are common among all associations, both small and large, and are easily fixable with a little time and tweaking of strategy. Combatting these problems will make it easier on your organization to start conversations online and engage your audience. After all, this is the goal of implementing a social media strategy in the first place. Are you a victim of any one of these issues? Not to worry…stay tuned for my follow up post to see how you can apply tactical solutions and get your social media back on target!