Don’t Make These Social Media Mistakes

Hey, we get it. Social media can be a huge time vampire. It’s one of the reasons why we offer strategic social media service to our clients, in fact – so that they don’t have to spend bandwidth trying to figure out social and manage it for themselves.

We also know that sometimes the analytics appear to suggest that social isn’t worth your time – especially in the case of Facebook, which offers perpetual frustration in the form of a stingy algorithm that’s purposely designed to limit the exposure of your content.

So your time is limited, your numbers are sluggish, and you’re not sure you’re ever going to get leads or customers from social media. When many brands get to this point in their thinking – especially B2B brands who may have always been suspicious about social media’s viability as a marketing tactic – they can very easily decide to abandon ship.

Here are 3 reasons why that way of thinking may be a mistake that can cost you some potential business:

Reason One: Analytics aren’t everything:

Yep, you heard us right. We’re unabashed data nerds at our agency, but even we recognize that analytics shouldn’t always have 100% influence over the decision to continue or abandon a marketing tactic. Here’s the main reason why: Analytics from social media can’t measure everything worth knowing. For example:

Customers weigh a lot of factors in deciding whether or not to do business with you. Frequently, one of these is the impression of your brand they derive from examining your digital marketing presence: your social media, your website, etc.

A potential customer who looks at your LinkedIn or Facebook profile for 10 minutes may not boost your numbers when you pull your analytics later that month, especially if that prospect didn’t click, like or comment. BUT- the fact that the prospect was favorably impressed with the content – that he or she gained confidence in your brand and was at least in part motivated to convert because of that content – is HUGE.

The bad news is that you may not ever know for sure that your digital content motivated the conversion, unless the customer self-reports that fact during the conversion process. The good news is that there are a few things you can do to gain more clarity:

One: Gather more data. Are you asking your customers what influenced their decision at the point of conversion? (Or at the point of non-conversion, for that matter?)

Two: Create better paths to conversion from your social media- in other words, make it easier to track or identify. Doing so can be tricky to pull off without making your content too sales-y, so this is where having an expert social media partner can really come in handy.

Three: Use your analytics to help you decide how to better manage social – not as an excuse to abandon social as a strategy altogether. If your numbers are low, you might take a look at competitors’ social media content and see if you can glean any best practices to borrow. Or, you might decide to post with less frequency, but with more thoughtful strategy. Your analytics might also tell you that it’s worth it to favor one platform over another for a few months, to see if you notice any better results when you do.

Reason Two: Just because your competitors are doing (or not doing) something doesn’t mean you should always follow their example.

As previously mentioned, it’s always a good idea to study the social behaviors of peers and competitors to see if they’ve got any good ideas worth stealing. Er, borrowing. BUT: Avoid the temptation to let their behavior be the final arbiter of your decision. For example:

A competitor who appears to be hyper-focused on generating social content may make you nervous. “Damn it, these people are posting 10 times a day on four platforms. I guess we better start doing that, too.” Maybe, or maybe not. You need to evaluate a number of factors, including your perceived and demonstrated ROI for social, the habits of your best customers vs. your competitors’ customers, and your bandwidth for managing or hiring social, before you make a final decision.

Similarly, competitors who aren’t using social at all may lead you to believe that it must not be worth it. But how do you know that they’re not being short-sighted? The fact that your B2B brand’s sales team is using LinkedIn and your competitors aren’t may mean that you’ve gained a competitive edge that the other guys will have to scramble later to catch up with.

Reason Three: Conversions can be complex.

We spend a lot of time helping our clients chase conversions, which means that we also spend a lot of time reminding them that conversions involve more than just the act of someone picking up a phone or hitting the checkout button. There are other marketing outcomes that need to be achieved in order to increase your chances of conversion – and according to a recent Adweek article, B2B social media efforts can play an important role when it comes to influencing some of them:

– Better brand exposure
– Increased website traffic
– Brand loyalty
– Better customer engagement
– Improved search engine rankings
– Reduced time and expense spent on marketing channels that are costlier than social media.

View the Adweek infographic, “The Potential of Social Media for B2B Marketers”.

Related Articles:
“13 Tactics That Help You Win Facebook”
“5 Tips for Mobile-Friendly Social Media”

We speak data- and content – and lots of social. Get in touch with our Austin advertising agency if you’d like to start a social conversation.