Not so long ago, the idea of selling on social media seemed to be only a fantasy. We used these platforms mainly to follow the profiles of our friends. Today, social media is the cornerstone of every well-planned corporate marketing strategy.
Unfortunately, even nowadays both SMEs and large corporations make many mistakes in their sales social media communication. So why are social media conversion rates so low despite impressive financial outlays? Let’s scrutinize the ten most frequent mistakes made by marketers and entrepreneurs who run corporate social media accounts.
Social selling – what is it?
As we’re about to discuss selling on social media, we need to start from the very basic term defining this phenomenon. Social selling means using social media platforms to establish contacts and create relationships with potential customers. The aim of these activities is to build business relations that lead to cooperation. Now, apart from providing a great spot for relaxation, social media platforms are also perfect for conducting business activities.
Research concerning social selling
According to internal research conducted by LinkedIn, people who employ social selling and sell through social media:
- had 45% more unique sales opportunities,
- were 51% closer to achieving their KPIs,
- sold 78% more than retailers avoiding social media.
Moreover, in one of the surveys, 70% of B2B sales specialists admitted that they use social media to acquire leads, and as many as 60% take advantage of platforms like LinkedIn to prepare before contacting the potential customer for the first time.
Interestingly, Information and Data – IDC indicated in its report that 75% of B2B decision-makers and 84% of senior managers take advantage of social media while making purchasing decisions.
Side effects of social selling
Social selling can have a positive impact on the SEO process of your company website. The more quality external links, the better your website position on Google.
Social selling vs. social selling marketing
Apart from social selling, it’s also necessary to mention social selling marketing as there’s a strong correlation between these two fields.
Social selling aims at building the relationship between the seller and the buyer, whereas social media marketing makes use of quality, effective content that provides potential customers with helpful information.
The objective of social selling marketing is to reach as many unique users who are at the appropriate level of the sales and content funnel as possible. This can be achieved with the use of advertisements published on official social media profiles of the brand or in Facebook or LinkedIn groups and company newsletters.
LinkedIn with its dedicated social selling tool – LinkedIn Sales Navigator is the most sales-friendly B2B social media platform. On the other hand, Instagram dominates B2C sales.
Do you really need social selling?
Yes, if you want to improve your brand recognition and visibility, attract new visitors to your website, support the SEO process, and eventually enhance your conversions and their quality. So what mistakes should you avoid to obtain the highest conversion rate?
10 most frequently encountered corporate social media mistakes
Each month of the 21st century equals 1.5 billion Facebook visitors, 400 million Twitter users, and 275 million active Instagrammers. There’s probably no one who doubts whether a company should be present on social media. Moreover, in some industries, it’s a real must-have. So what mistakes should you avoid?
1. The target group that isn’t defined precisely
Defining, knowing, and understanding your target group, as well as marketing personas, is the key to success and the starting point of any corporate social media activity. Unfortunately, the importance of this factor is still undermined by many entrepreneurs and marketing agencies. Start from asking yourself a few questions:
- Who is your target customer?
- Do you know who purchases your goods or services?
- Does the buyer make the decision while shopping?
- Who and what may influence this decision?
- Do your messages and the defined target group correspond to the objectives of the company?
While defining your target group try to check which social media platforms will be best for your business and industry. Apart from a positive impact on the SEO of your website, this choice will also affect your visibility and communication with potential customers. Therefore, when selecting corporate social media platforms, keep in mind your marketing personas and steps taken by your local and international market rivals. Analyze their target recipients and messages published on social media.
2. Inappropriate business and marketing objectives
Social media is supposed to complement your business strategy. Thus, marketing and business objectives should be closely interlinked. Although given memes can be very popular on your profile, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll support e-commerce sales.
You need to know your goals, elements that you want to focus on, and effects that will be potentially satisfying. Take advantage of the S.M.A.R.T. method. As far as social media is concerned, the objectives may be as follows:
- Business objective: to increase product/service sales by X% in the Y time period,
- Marketing objective, detailed and measurable, closely related to the business goal: to educate and inform readers of your blog about the product/service or to attract X Facebook followers in 1 month.
3. Inappropriate plan or strategy
One of the most common social media mistakes is action without a previously developed plan or strategy. Obviously, there are certain industries in which spontaneous entries and activities can bring satisfactory results (#real_time_marketing), however, in the vast majority of cases, it’s definitely better to thoroughly plan and conduct your business activities.
Defining your target group, adjusting communication to recipients or constant monitoring of effects are the basics of a well-thought-out, comprehensive strategy. Users will easily notice chaotic or inconsistent entries which will consequently have a negative impact on the overall perception of your social media activities.
4. No data analysis
Have you prepared a plan for your social media activities that correspond to your business objectives? Great! Now you can implement it and simultaneously observe and analyze the effects of your online activities. Optimize your actions and scrutinize the effectiveness of individual messages to see which content reaches your target audience. Lack of analysis means that you perform your actions in a haphazard way and that you waste your marketing budget. Take advantage of Internet monitoring tools like Sotrender and Brand24 to see who talks about your brand. Use Google Analytics to monitor website traffic and control the effects of Facebook and Instagram campaigns. The broader the perspective, the better.
5. Being active only on one social media platform
When thinking about the most appropriate social media platform to communicate with potential customers, it’s worth taking into consideration websites and places frequently visited by your target recipients. In many industries, limiting yourself to only one medium may be a very serious mistake. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok can really complement each other.
6. Fake followers or likes
Fake likes obtained in a dishonest way (or deliberately purchased by social media agencies to improve your reports) won’t increase user engagement level or sales. Fake accounts are usually run by bots or paid persons from Third World countries. Such actions can do more harm than good. Social media platforms use special tools that allow them to verify sudden increases in the number of followers and consequently, they may ban such profiles or decrease their reach. Moreover, real fans will also probably stop trusting companies acting this way which will lead to a decrease in brand recognition. We bet you’d rather avoid that, wouldn’t you?
7. Ill-suited content
Take advantage of user-generated content and engage your website visitors. If you aren’t sure what type of texts to publish, simply ask your recipients! Create a Google Forms survey and motivate the community to interact. Remember that users generally have limited time to scroll through the feed, therefore, in most cases too long and time-consuming posts are ignored. According to Facebook, you’ve only 3 seconds to catch the attention of your recipients. Communicate with the use of images, infographics, and concise pieces of information that discuss only the essentials. Essays on social media> are usually ignored, even if they carry valuable messages.
Every social media platform’s operation is based on a certain algorithm. It’s worth getting to know the technical aspects in order to be able to determine whether activities like publishing posts at 11 pm on Sunday are even reasonable. Try new solutions, analyze and observe reactions and statistics concerning your posts.
8. No interaction with followers
Start a discussion with your followers and be as helpful as possible when responding to their comments. Always reply to private messages and comments. Discussion on social media should resemble two-way communication, just like a regular conversation. People don’t want to follow profiles full of ads, instead, they engage and are active when profile owners show their real face and actively participate in the discussion.
9. It’s not only about sales
If posting product ads is your only activity on Facebook or LinkedIn, you should definitely change the strategy. In social selling, it’s extremely important to create natural and strong bonds with potential customers or clients. Become a part of entries written by all your employees or specialists. Devote time to recommend valuable sources and create substantive, quality content. Remember about properly designed CTA buttons that will improve your conversion rate.
10. The company website isn’t optimized or landing page isn’t suited to mobile devices
According to the latest report by WeAreSocial and HootSuite from January 2020, 70% of Internet users browse social media platforms on mobile devices. In order to meet the expectations of mobile users, remember to make sure that your content doesn’t contain too much text or microscopic elements that can be easily overlooked or need to be zoomed. In the long run, it can be frustrating and consequently may lead to a situation when recipients decide to ignore problematic parts of the website. If you redirect social media followers to your landing page to generate leads, ensure visible CTAs and responsive web design of your website.
Social selling can really bear fruit!
Personal branding, social selling, positioning yourself as an expert, being active in various groups, analyzing, monitoring, sharing knowledge and staying in touch with potential customers are indispensable parts of every marketing and sales process. Moreover, all these elements complement each other. A thoroughly planned and properly conducted social media campaign is a great medium for reaching and contacting new potential recipients of your products or services. This, in turn, may inspire sales.
Try to avoid the most common mistakes which will allow you to increase your revenues and business parameters on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, TikTok and many more!
As the takeaway from today’s entry, let’s focus on an inspiring quote by Seth Godin, a real marketing tycoon:
“Selling to people who actually want to hear from you is more effective than interrupting strangers who don’t.”