Shane Barker

5 Pitfalls of Social Media Campaigns and How to Avoid Them

Social media certainly is a powerful tool — and one that you need to learn how to harness to get results in today’s business world. Before you jump in and start a new social media campaign, what are some of the words of wisdom you should know? I’m going to review 5 of the pitfalls of social media campaigns and more importantly, how you can avoid them.

Pitfall #1: Impatience

Many entrepreneurs and business owners make the mistake of being impatient when it comes to social media campaign management and results.  Just because you haven’t seen your strategy starting to work at the level you’d like after one week, one month, or even several months, don’t throw all your hard work out the door.  Doing things the right way takes time.  Engaging with customers is more of an art than a science.  Make tweaks to your social media strategy rather than sweeping changes, and give those changes time to see results.

So much of good social media management is just knowing where the boundaries are.  Social media itself can’t solve all your marketing problems.

Pitfall #2: Not Knowing Your Customers

Whether you are pounding the pavement and talking directly to customers or engaging on social media, not knowing your customers is a huge pitfall.  If you’re not targeting the right demographic with the right type of social media, you’re losing out on potential customers ad connections.  Your customer base will probably change over time, so you’ll also need to keep in tune with the pulse and adapt your social media strategy as needed.  One good way to achieve this is to survey your customers at regular intervals, and after major purchases or transactions are complete.

Pitfall #3: Overspending

Many factors can lead to overspending on a social media campaign.  The factors above like impatience and not knowing your customers certainly contribute.  So can hiring a consultant that designs a complex campaign.  You may be able to afford the initial rollout, but do an analysis of whether you can afford the ongoing O & M.

Pitfall #4 Trying to Avoid Negative Press

Social media campaigns actually work best when you address unsatifisfied customers head on.  Let them give feedback on Facebook and Twitter for all to see.  Don’t be afraid to admit a mistake or rechart your course midway because of feedback.  Negative press is free to get, so if you use it as a tool to drive your social media campaign in a positive direction, you’re really leveraging the power.  The key is responding honestly, saying you’re sorry, making corrections.  Show you are human on social media and you’ll get all the positive press you deserve.

Pitfall #5 Replacing all Marketing with Social Media

Social media marketing can’t replace everything you started doing when you first marketed your business.  If you were getting results from mailers before, don’t stop using them altogether because now you have a Facebook Page, but consider reducing their frequency and measure what happens.  Social media is also great for lead generation, but for many of them, you’ll need to use other methods to convert them to paying customers.

So whether you’re looking to start a new social media campaign or invigorate an existing one, take these pitfalls to heart.  Have some patience with your social media campaign, know your customers, don’t overspend, embrace negative feedback and don’t abandon all your other marketing strategies.  Best of luck to you and your business endeavors.

What do you think is the biggest pitfall of social media marketing?