No entrepreneur’s first social media branding campaign is perfect. Even the most experienced entrepreneurs and marketers occasionally miscalculate. Some set the wrong objectives or target the wrong platform. Others underestimate the importance of stating their social mission. As a result, their social media branding campaign falls apart until they have data to make more informed decisions.
So, what do you do if your social media campaign does not deliver the expected results? The first instinct may be to abandon your strategy and invest your time and resources in developing a new one.
Yet, most of the time, when the numbers demonstrate that your campaign isn’t performing as well as you hoped, there’s something you can do. Making clever strategic decisions can save the day and your social media branding efforts.
If you don’t want to abandon your social media branding strategy altogether, check out these ten common mistakes and ways to avoid them.
10 Common Mistakes to Avoid While Creating a Social Media Branding Strategy
#1. Failing to identify objectives
Many social media branding strategies are destined to fail because marketers decide to use social media to drive bottom-of-the-funnel metrics (like conversions, sales, downloads, etc.)
Social media content is perfect to attract prospective customers at the top of the sales funnel. In the meantime, more personalized content (like free trials, a beautiful logo, consultations, discounts, and special offers) is proven to be effective in targeting bottom-funnel leads.
Identifying and focusing on the right objectives is the first step towards recovering a poorly performing social media campaign. While it’s quite challenging to impact bottom-of-the-funnel metrics with your social media efforts alone, you can target the following top-of-the-funnel objectives and metrics.
- Developing brand awareness (monitor mentions, impressions, reach, and social sessions);
- Increasing your social community (monitor community performance, community progression, the share of community voices, and social visits);
- Increasing customer loyalty (monitor interaction performance, the evolution of the interactions, publication performance, and influencer population);
- Monitoring customer feedback (monitor messages, comments, and mentions).
#2. Targeting the wrong audience
Targeting a generic audience is the first instinct of many marketers and entrepreneurs. This approach is based on some logic (after all, you’ll be targeting a larger number of people). Yet, targeting smaller audiences with more relevant content proves to be more effective.
How do you know that you target the wrong audience?
Your messaging and content seem to be in place. However, your engagement numbers are dropping? The problem may be rooted in targeting the wrong audience. The best solution is reevaluating your strategy, identifying the right audience, and retargeting.
To make smart social media branding decisions, you must understand the needs and expectations of your target audience. Also, you should be able to correctly identify and address the audience's pain points and knowledge gaps.
#3. Not A/B testing content
Conducting A/B testing is another way to save your social media branding strategy. By understanding which types of content work best with your audience, you can adjust your branding strategy to deliver more user-oriented and personalized experiences.
A/B testing (a.k.a. split testing) refers to the research method that allows you to test different content pieces to identify which content resonates better with your audience.
How to A/B test on social media?
First, you need to divide your audience into two random groups of people and show different pieces of content to each group. The content you share can be completely different (a video piece vs. an image) or have slight differences (title, fonts, or wording).
Then, you compare the responses of each group. This will help you identify content pieces that are more effective based on previously defined metrics and objectives.
If you want to get unbiased and accurate results, you cannot test multiple variations at a time. This means that you cannot test different titles or visuals altogether. If you want to test multiple elements, you’ll need to run multiple A/B tests.
#4. Focusing on the wrong platform
Focusing on the wrong platform is another social media blunder that can ruin your social media branding strategy. This goes back to failing to understand the needs and expectations of your target audience.
To develop a well-performing branding strategy, you need to learn which social media platforms your target audience prefers and for which purposes.
The very same people can use different social media platforms for different purposes. Knowing the demographics of the biggest social media platforms will help you identify which platform is best suited for your audience.
- Facebook has over 6 billion monthly active users worldwide with the following distribution by age and gender.
- As of April 2020, 44% of Facebook users are female, and 56% are male.
- On average, users spend 58 minutes on Facebook daily.
- Instagram has over 850 million active users
- This chart represents the distribution of Instagram users by age.
- 4% of U.S. Instagram users are female, and 43.6% are male.
- On average, users spend 53 minutes on Instagram daily.
- Twitter has 330 million monthly active users.
- The following graph represents the distribution of Twitter users by age group.
- 39% of Twitter users worldwide are female, and 61% are male.
- On average, users spend 3 minutes on Twitter daily.
#5. Not utilizing influencers
Smart partnership with influencers can save any social media branding strategy that is bound to fail. A study conducted back in 2017 found that 94% of marketers cite influencer marketing as an effective social media strategy. This proves the point as many marketers found influencer marketing to be highly useful.
How to choose an influencer to partner with? Make sure that their audience and values align with your brand’s target audience and vision. Do your research and consider partnering with micro-influencers with a follower base between 10,000 and 100,000 followers. They prove to be more authentic and offer the best combination of engagement and broad reach.
#6. Failing to emphasize your brand’s social mission
Consumers, especially millennials, are increasingly expecting brands to engage in social issues and take action on forcing positive social impact. That’s why emphasizing your brand’s social mission and social responsibility is another way to save your social media branding efforts.
Ben & Jerry’s Instagram is a great example of how you can highlight your social mission on social media. The ice cream manufacturer does a great job addressing the following issues on social media: racial injustice, climate change, voting accessibility, and LGBTQ rights, and other social issues through their social media.