Social media
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4
 min read

When Social Media Works Against You

Social media marketing is an important, even critical aspect of a business marketing strategy, but if not implemented carefully, your social media strategy can actually work against you. Your initial reaction might be to brush off this warning, to say that it doesn’t work that way. Not only does it, but if you’re that dismissive… you might be a victim.

Social media marketing is an important, even critical aspect of a business marketing strategy, but if not implemented carefully, your social media strategy can actually work against you. Your initial reaction might be to brush off this warning, to say that it doesn’t work that way. Not only does it, but if you’re that dismissive… you might be a victim.

WHY DO WE MARKET?

Let’s remember the purpose of marketing efforts - to convey a message to a customer or prospective customer. That message could be about a sale or values the company holds. It might be funny or endearing, Maybe there’s some statistical data or a testimonial. No matter the format, the messaging, the medium, or the delivery, your marketing has a purpose.

Why, then, do so many marketing messages seem to ignore that core element? Because the individuals creating them are so wrapped up on what they like they forget to empathize with the target of the marketing piece. Whether you think of this through avatars or demographics, it really doesn’t matter. The key is you have to think about it.

Consider what happens when a poorly-targeted magazine ad goes out - you waste the money on the advertising, and possibly alienate the customer. Obviously, not good. But when you do the same thing with social media, it can be worse. Far worse.

Remember how most people use social media: no matter the platform, most of us are following hundreds or even thousands of other people. This has forced social media companies into the tricky business of crafting algorithms that help determine what and who you want to see when you log in. While there are certainly ways to override this, by creating your own lists or forcing the platform to show you only the most recent items, most people don’t do this.

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And, while we don’t know the ins and outs of these algorithms, we can make a safe assumption based on logic: the types of content and the sources that you engage with most are more likely to show up when they have new content. After all, just as a search engine is trying to show you what you want to see, so, too, do social media platforms.

Now, let’s go back to our example of the missed-mark ad. If it’s a social media post, and the prospect sees it but fails to engage, it’s now even harder to get them to see your next message. Ouch.

If you’re connecting dots, you might now realize why so many brands fall back on tried and true subject matter like animals, kids, and motivational quotes. Not only can these be effective at reaching your audience, but they can also be used to “prime the algorithm” so your customers and prospects are more likely to see your next post. If you’ve been posting the wrong sort of content for a while, digging out of this hole can take some time. But it is possible.

AVOIDING PROBLEMS

The easiest ways to avoid this problem, or to correct it, involves a few things

  1. Post different styles of content - text, photo, video. With and without links. Long, short, etc. Variety is key.
  2. Follow your data to see what is working and what isn’t. Just because a single post does well or doesn’t isn’t a sign you should exclusively post in that vein moving forward, but it can be a sign to reprioritize similar content.
  3. Think about who your post is intended to reach. Working backward from that knowledge will help you choose the day of the week, time, and all of the other aspects that go into a great post.
  4. Sometimes no post is better than a bad post.

These aren’t rules but merely guidelines. If social media has taught us one thing, it’s that the rules keep changing. Working in such a system can be frustrating but, when done well, the payoff is huge. An effective social media campaign can be incredibly effective, especially when it’s tied in with other marketing efforts, like the handwritten note cards we have here at IgnitePost.

ignitePOST Team
Verified writer
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