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At the start of 2021, there were 4.2 billion active users on social media – that’s more than half of the entire population of the world! And with that many potential customers just a few clicks away, it’s no wonder every brand, business and organisation now has a social media presence. But these days, simply existing in the digiverse isn’t enough to attract the attention of your audience – you need to be actively sharing content, engaging in conversations and showing off your brand’s personality. 

All that said, whether you’re a complete novice or a seasoned pro, using social media for effective marketing can be daunting! With your posts immediately available for the world to see, the fear of slipping up can really get the better of you. In reality, the likelihood of getting cancelled is pretty slim, but there are still some mistakes to avoid if you want your social media marketing to be a success – and here are our top three…

#1 Your social media marketing strategy is non-existent 

As Benjamin Franklin once said: “By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.” And though Franklin’s quote came a good couple of centuries before the first social media platform was launched, his words still ring true when it comes to social media marketing. A solid plan not only encourages you to define your goals, audience and budget, but also ensures you know the varieties of content you’ll be posting, when and on which channels too.

With a plan of action to work from, you can be super organised, downloading or creating the assets you’ll be sharing – whether they’re videos, images or something else – and get them uploaded to your content library. With everything ready to go, you can operate efficiently, creating and scheduling posts ahead of time to ensure your content calendar is full and you’re posting consistently. After all, consistency is key when it comes to getting the engagement you need, especially if you want the algorithms to work in your favour!

#2 You fail to engage with your audience

Picture this – you have a solid social media strategy to follow, you’ve got some killer content scheduled and today’s post has just gone live. So, what do you do now? Kick back, relax and wait for the likes to roll in? Clock off for the day and head out to enjoy the sun? Get stuck in an afternoon of back-to-back meetings? Hopefully you answered no to all of those, because in reality, that’s the time where you really need to be present, prepared and ready to respond.

Engaging with your online community isn’t seen as stand out customer service anymore, it’s just expected. In fact, 83% of people around the world expect a response from an organisation on social media within 24 hours – let’s face it, no one likes to be ghosted! But that doesn’t mean you have to be glued to your screen, waiting for someone to engage. The right social media management tool will offer you the option to set up some clever automation, so messages are ‘pushed’ to the right person at the right time – simple!

#3 You don’t let your brand personality shine 

With most markets now dominated by big, household names or saturated with a number of brands doing a variation of the same thing, it can feel almost impossible to stand out from the crowd. But those organisations who are truly making their mark are those who let their brand personality shine through – both on and offline. Authenticity is not only appreciated, but actively sought out by customers as it allows them to identify, engage with and buy from businesses that align with their personal values.

Connecting with customers on a more ‘human’ level can be as simple as responding to their comments in your brand tone of voice – and a bit of humour or a witty remark won’t go amiss. You can even use social listening streams to identify conversations around particular keywords or phrases that you want to be a part of, to be sure you don’t miss an opportunity to show off what your brand is really like. If you’re able to take it a step further, resharing content generated by users is a great way to show you’re interested in them, in turn building positive brand associations and encouraging long-term loyalty. But showing off your personality doesn’t have to end there – whether you show your support for causes that are close to the heart of your organisation, jump on trends related to your industry or simply share funny reaction gifs, there are endless ways to build meaningful relationships with your audience.

Now, we’re not saying these are the only mistakes to avoid, but if you’re like us and you like simplicity, these are the three rules we would recommend you start off with! We’d love to hear your mistakes to avoid and the lessons you’ve learned on your social marketing journey, so why not share yours with us on social and tag @HelloOrlo!

The Orlo team are all here to support you, with great tips, tricks and updates. Orlonians are a bunch of genuine people who work hard every day to support our customers in delivering the best possible customer experience through digital channels.