Common social marketing missteps many retailers make

Running a successful marketing campaign historically involves time-honored strategies, such as cold-calling, running newspaper advertisements and hosting networking events. In today’s technology-driven business culture, the rules of the game have changed. Companies, retailers and financial institutions are now including more social media services in their marketing campaigns as a way to reach a broader demographic of consumers and lower their costs.

The power to connect with millions of consumers through social media websites, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, gives companies more control over their information and how they want to frame their marketing campaigns. However, this power can also open the doorway to common mistakes that can hinder, rather than enhance, a company’s message. A recent Forbes article highlighted to the most frequent mistakes companies make in their social marketing campaigns, the first of which is treating social media like a one-way street.

The entire point of social media is to engage with potential and current customers. Through these mediums, companies can gain feedback about their products and services, announce new products, campaigns and events, respond to customer inquiries and gauge consumer sentiment. Companies that avoid the opportunity to speak with their consumers and invite them to participate in the company’s growth run the risk of alienating their most loyal customers and potential shoppers.

Another common mistake companies make is introducing their presence on social media and then being inconsistent about growing an audience. Some institutions may get dismayed if they have a limited number of Facebook “likes” or only a handful of Twitter followers. Building up a large audience does not happen overnight and businesses that neglect their social media pages will eventually turn more individuals away. Instead, businesses should focus on building up their pages, asking customers to check out their Facebook pages and even offering incentives to consumers who agree to write reviews, take surveys or post messages about their experiences with a company.

Lastly, businesses should make sure they know their audience before launching a social marketing campaign. Most organizations conduct market research and analyze the demographics they are targeting to design a more effective campaign. The same rules should be followed when launching a social marketing campaign in order to appeal to the right groups and avoid wasting time and energy trying to connect with the wrong individuals.

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