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4 Social-Media Mistakes Your Business Can’t Afford to Make

17 Oct

Social media marketing is something you need to be doing. It’s too effective when it comes to growing your business to ignore it. As more businesses make it a larger component of its marketing strategies, I see more mistakes being made.

Here are four mistakes you don’t want to make on social media.

1. You’re not interacting with followers.

Guess what the number one line of communication is for customer service? Social media.

The majority of consumers are constantly plugged into social media, which is the reason social media is a major customer support tool. I see a lot of businesses that understand this, but its social media feed is just a long list of support replies.

Since your followers are plugged in around the clock, use it as an opportunity to create raving fans of your business. Every business is going to have a different audience and target market, so you need to think of content that your followers would be likely to engage with.

For example, if your audience is millennials, memes might be a good play. Memes spark engagement, like comments and social shares, generating buzz about your business. Remember, your social media posts don’t have to be traditional advertisements to convert followers into customers.

2. You’re overly promotional.

Continuing where the previous point left off, don’t post ad after ad, and expect your followers to stick around.

An offer here and there is fine, but if your followers feel that all of your posts are glorified advertisements, they will find other accounts to follow and leave you behind. They don’t need you. You need them.

3. You don’t include calls-to-action (CTAs).

Collecting followers alone isn’t going to magically translate into increased sales and revenue. Every social media profile gives you a place to put your website link, yet so many businesses miss out on an opportunity to collect leads, or push traffic directly to an offer because it simply puts its website’s homepage URL in these sections.

Don’t do that. Instead, put a link to your newsletter offer, downloadable whitepaper or a direct-to-purchase offer. Most clicks originating from social media and hitting your homepage are wasted clicks. Nobody has time to try to find offers. Send them directly to your offers, and this will greatly increase your conversion rates.

You should also mix in some CTAs in your posts. CTAs don’t have to be promotional.

Let’s assume you created a very informative infographic for your blog and want to drive traffic to it. Most businesses would just post the URL on social media and hope people will check it out. By including a strong CTA, such as, “You have to check out this cool infographic we just did — especially point No. 3,” will drive significantly more traffic than just listing the post title and a link.

4. You spread yourself too thin.

You have to accept the fact that you more than likely can’t be active on all social media channels, unless you have a dedicated social media team or outsource your social media to a digital agency.

It will benefit you much more if you are great on three social media outlets, rather than mediocre on more. Pick the social networks that your business thrives on, and focus on making your impact even bigger.

With just a small handful of social networks to worry about, it makes answering messages and engaging with your followers much more manageable. The faster you can reply and the more you can engage, the stronger that connection will become. Social media is a great tool to build relationships that create life-long brand supporters.

Snapchat adopts Facebook-style ad targeting like email, mobile device matching

3 Oct

Snapchat is rolling out new ad targeting options that challenge its anti-creepy advertising stance and could be used to execute the type of retargeting that Snapchat really doesn’t like.

Snapchat is beginning to let brands aim their ads at the mobile app’s daily audience of 150 million, based on those people’s email addresses and the unique advertising identifiers attached to their phones, as well as to people who share characteristics with that defined audience. And more old-school advertisers will now be able to target ads based on content-based audience categories, like people who are into gaming, music, sports, beauty or technology.

The three new ad targeting options — Snap Audience Match, Lookalikes and Snapchat Lifestyle Categories — will be available for anywhere its vertical video Snap Ads can run, such as in between people’s Stories, within Live Stories or within Discover channels. But advertisers will not be able to use them to target their sponsored lens or sponsored geofilter campaigns. And while most brands should now be able to use the customer-matching and lookalike-targeting options, the ability to target audiences based on the categories of content they check out won’t be broadly available until later this fall.

If you’re someone who uses Snapchat but doesn’t want brands to be able to advertise to you based on your email address and the mobile advertising ID attached to your smartphone, you’re in a tough position. Snapchat plans to add a way for people to opt out of that type of targeting, but it’s unclear how soon that will be made available, while brands are already able to target their ads that way. Until then, the only ways to evade this level of targeting are either to constantly go into your phone’s settings menu to reset the advertising ID and change the email address tied to your Snapchat account or to stop using Snapchat until the opt-out is made available.

That Snapchat is adopting this more data-intensive ad targeting shouldn’t come as too much of a shock to people (at least not to those who caught Snapchat’s policy changes earlier this year). Sure, Snapchat has often implied that it thinks targeted ads are creepy ads. But that was before the money started rolling in. The more targeted an ad can be — especially if it can be targeted based on solid data like someone’s email address — the more money advertisers are willing to pay for that ad.

Snapchat would probably describe its ad-targeting options as not creepy because it’s not — or at least not right now — adopting the type of targeting that tracks what people do outside of Snapchat and targets them with ads on Snapchat based on that activity. But that doesn’t mean advertisers couldn’t execute that type of retargeting on Snapchat thanks to the new options.

For example, if someone visits a retailer’s site while logged in using the same email address that’s attached to their Snapchat account, that retailer could log what products that person checks out but doesn’t buy, add them to a list of other logged-in visitors who checked out those products, and then buy ads on Snapchat targeting those email addresses with ads that feature those products. It’s not an easy way to retarget people or one that has Snapchat directly facilitating the retargeting by putting a tag on advertisers’ sites to automatically track that behavior on their behalf. But it’s still retargeting, and it wasn’t possible on Snapchat before the new email-matching targeting option was introduced.

This isn’t Snapchat’s first foray into ad targeting. Brands have already been able to aim ads based on their desired audience’s age, gender, location, what mobile device or operating system they’re using, who their wireless carrier is and which Discover channel(s) or Live Story they’re checking out. But those were much more basic targeting options compared to what Snapchat’s rolling out now.

But Snapchat isn’t rolling out anything new to the industry. The company is following the ad-targeting playbook popularized by, if not written by, Facebook and already adopted by other major ad-supported digital platforms like Google, Twitter, Pinterest and LinkedIn. By now, this is what companies that have large numbers of authenticated users do in order to compete for brands’ ad budgets.

“In the early days of Internet advertising, marketers relied on things like targeting to help differentiate ad products that weren’t very engaging,” Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel said in a company video released in June 2015 that touted its vertical video ads to marketers.

With its innovative ad formats like vertical video ads and sponsored filters and lenses, Snapchat has differentiated itself. With its new targeting options, it’s simply following suit.