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Why Many Social Media ‘Best Practices’ are Misleading & What You Should Do Instead

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Another day I was watching Shark tank when I trembled at answer given by a contestant related to their main channel of sales. He stated that around 65% of their sales are coming from online and remaining is coming from small local businesses, which makes sense, furthermore he said the company is also killing it on the social media. “We have 17,000 followers on twitter and 20,000 Facebook page like and 25,000 on Instagram”.

That answer was a magnificent example of what not to apply on while doing marketing on social media. You might be able to have 200,000 page likes but when your average post engagement looks like this:-

You then have lost it already.

Many of the businesses think that getting enormous number of followers is the name of the main game however unfortunately it’s not since social media marketing is getting more sales than just the getting followers. So the assurance and quality of your fans matter a lot than the quantity. In this blog we will take a closer look to some of the tactics to see what works and what does not.

Misleading Tip #1: Be operative on all platforms.

In this section I would like to mention a couple of mistakes which most of the businesses make, as a marketer you might think to post on:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Snapchat

You do it since everyone asks you should be doing and others think the more platforms you are active on the better your chances are to be noticed. Well this can be a case up to a certain point when you use only social media as your marketing platform then you can use this strategy but what happens when you run out of platforms? It’s a wise question to be thought.

A better way can is to start understanding that there is no such thing as an underlying the social media strategy which can work on every platform. Every social network has mingle of demographics which can astonishing influence the whole culture as various cities dispersed all around the nation , in many states each with its own rules and vibe related to what is tolerable or not. For instance just take a glimpse at the difference the most contemporary demographic between Instagram and Facebook as provided byPew Research Centre.

Since Facebook is the most famous with 71% of adult internet users being present comparatively even increased of people between18-64, Instagram does not. If you compare the Facebook’s data with Instagram’s, Instagram has only 26% of the population of adult users and it clearly bends towards the younger adults, it shows most of the users are not bothered if their parents will see their posts and therefore it impacts or changes the whole culture of the platform. Understanding the different demographics (distribution, races, gender, races, income, age etc.) on each platform and analyzing it by investing more time into it is important, in addition to the “local language” that works on each platform.

For instance you have a brand new wine just landed and you would like to advertise it on various social accounts. On Facebook the page might would lookalike this:-

However on Instagram It would look like this:-

And of Pinterest:

I showed these examples just to show that the elements are similar as it’s a bottle of wine which you want people to buy. It’s just the way you communicate that differs on every platform.

For instance Pinterest is all about providing more information about background through Info graphic style of graphics on the contrary Instagram is about transmitting the message in more art and craft type pictures while Facebook is more about engaging to an average audience. To understand what is the appropriate platform is given, who are their bases everything is by making the platform look in a particular way and allowing only certain type of content (pictures, GIF, video etc.) and providing the filters and tools, you are most likely to be guaranteed the kind of content which will show on the website and the kind of audience this will attract to. Even if you are totally a master of all different styles of platforms still you can never truly rely on your award and stop learning.

Facebook was actually started out as a way to be connected with your on-campus college friends and it grown to over 1.6 billion users who use is every month. Currently people who associated with Facebook as college freshmen are in their early thirties and on top of it people who are 30-49 years old are the second largest group using the platform. As I specified earlier that it’s not about the age, but elements of the network which have gained the attention of demographic. Not too long ago, the pictures which got shared on Facebook over-indexed by a wide margin however today the live videos, the features which were introduced less than a year ago. Facebook has a very good understanding about its user base and their needs as it wants more brands to get engaged with the product.

As per the growth which Facebook has already been achieved it shows how serious Facebook is about the future of the live video as well as the other elements of the Facebook. They are even paying to media companies to provide the unique quality content just for their platform.

Customizing the content for each and every platform is definitely a lot more work than simply arranging the same kind of content for every platform. Even if you are really well with your resources still there is no surety that the people who reach you through the social media are the correct target segment for your brand.

To encounter this problem, you have to answer this question:

Who are your customers:-

The prime reason for having an existence on social media platform is to engage with your ongoing customers and win new ones. The aim is to stay within your target market’s outermost vision at all times- on the platforms they use- to inspire them to buy from you and keep buying!

Thus social media marketing is all about reaching out to your target segmentation and winning their trust, so it does not matter which social media platform you use to showcase your product, it only does when your market does.

Misleading Tip#2 Post at least Three times a day

When and where to post that’s the next relevant question, which talks about the timings and frequency of your posts, you might be thinking that there must be a sweet spot where in I can maximize the chances to get more exposure, right?

So I would show you the data from illustrious organizations like HubSpot, Buffer out there that exhibits that “Organizations with more Facebook followers tend to get synergy with each other’s posts. Pages with over 10,000 followers were the only ones for whom posting more often increased the number of clicks per post, or you think you should post on Pinterest five times a day to get greatest engagement.

We are not pointing out that Buffer and Hub Spot’s data are untrue. This data is based on their research and they were accurate for them. Now the question is- how identical your audience is to the once mentioned in the study? As there is no policy to know what the audience looked like in the original study, it’s unimaginable to tell if the similar strategies will work for you as well.

Posting at 10 am on Mondays when your main audience is the business people who are aged of 45+, it might be one of the best calculated consultations you have ever got. Likewise, it can be worst if you decide to go after college freshman.

In short nobody can advise you to what is frequency and correct time for your audience, however there are a couple of tools which can give you understanding when your target audience is online. For twitter, tools like Tweriod and Followerwonk work great.

You can make changes by going through a couple of steps like: – Go to insights, then under the “Posts” tab you have “When your fans are online”. Let me explain this through an example:-

These particular tools as well as other similar tools are the great ways to get an overall sense of what times and days are the best on average.

Calculate on the volume of your target audience, it’s always profitable to dig a little deeper and examine with the postings outside those “best times” with content that are directed at different divisions of your audience. For instance:- A piece of early birds was posted at 6 PM can have a tiny impact however on the other hand the same content posted at 6 AM can have a real huge impact.

When the actual time will arrive to post, there are other tools like Sprout Social, Hub Spot, Buffer, Hootsuite and various small players in the market like: Social pilot and KUKU for your social media management. All these tools have capabilities to test posts at different times of the day and analyzing results.

As a marketer select the one which works the best for you as per your business’ requirements and start measuring now.

Misleading Tip# 3: Social Ads are the best!

Advertisements on Facebook are a tremendous way to get more visibility and customers, as compare to other forms of advertising; this channel is comparatively cheap as well do the correct work for you.

I would like to share a success story with you,

Savoie’s Sausage and Food Products launched as a small grocery store in Opelousas, La., where, 60 years ago, Eula Savoie started preparing and selling sausage and other pork products. Today, the company is one of the leading producers of Cajun food products in the U.S. and is still located in the same grocery store where it started.

The strategy Savoie’s implemented

Savoie’s wanted to target men and women between the ages of 25-64 who were living in Louisiana. Normally, he would have avoided using such as wide age range when creating Facebook ads for other small businesses, but people in Louisiana love to cook, so he wanted to capture users who were more than likely to cook for themselves or others.

He also targeted users who had an affinity for Cajun and Creole cuisine or culture, which included interests in Cajun and Zydeco music, grilling and cooking, and food items such as gumbo, red beans and rice, barbeque, and étouffée (a spicy Cajun stew). Other categories unique to Louisiana, such as Acadiana and Cajun French, were also included.

This strategy resulted in identifying a clearly-defined audience that provided an estimated daily reach of 850-2,200 people.

The Ads

Most of the Facebook users were already loyal to the brand (Savoie’s) but might not have known the company had an attractive Facebook page. Those advertisements need to feature its logo prominently and its products, along with photos of appealing-looking food, whenever possible. It was also compelling to comprise the phrase “authentic Cajun” in all ads, since Savoie’s Foods was certified and 100 percent authentic Cajun product.

His team and he advertised three of the brand’s most famous products — rice, smoked sausage, roux and dressing mix.

The Refinement

They audited the ads all the time for three-month run. It was apparentlyinitial in the campaign that the ad displaying Savoie’s smoked sausage would perform head and shoulders above the rest, so they allocated additional funds to ensure that more people saw it.

We also noticed that users were not attracted to the ad featuring the roux product, so they discarded it. That approved even more of the budget to go toward ads featuring the rice and dressing mix sausage. At that point of timeeverytiny editing of the ads was required.

The Results

All the advertisements actually excelled all the expectations, Here are the results. The ads hit approximately 92,000 Facebook users and earned more than 11,000 clicks on top of it drove over 10,600 new followers to the page at a mediocre cost of 11 cents per like.

Being a part of the accomplished campaign, it had to do the brand perception of Savoie’s Foods. Concentrated on targeting audience who demonstrated specific attention to Cajun food and culture also backed to ensure that, they would draw the greatest results at the lowest possible price.

The Present

They continued to run “Like” ads, to raise the number of followers. Recently, they supplemented “Click to Website” ads with the motive of boosting sales from the online store of the company.

The Facebook page of Savoie, run by an in-house manager of social media, now has an immense group of brand campaigners that are strongly engaged with its posts.

The Recommendations:-

As a marketer I would say Facebook ads can be astrong tool for any small-scale business holder or merchant, especially when followed by a bright strategy.

To sum up, here are a few outcomes from the case study:

  • Apparently decide your goals before deciding on your strategy. Your campaign won’t be able to see the successes experienced by Savoie, if you are not 100 percent sure of what you’re trying to achieve.
  • Always construct a strategy document that summarizes your goals and describe your target audience
  • Certainly be particular in your targeting, without narrowing your market, don’t just cast a wide net and hope for the best.
  • Clarify your ads while the campaign is running. Otherwise, you will lose money on an unsympathetic and non-committed audience.
  • Never hesitate to go back to the drawing board if the ads aren’t running appropriately

The above success story teaches us how to use social media wisely. The only issue is that most of the companies are not using these platforms to their full possibility.

Ad Espresso analyzed over 37,000 Facebook ads and established the fact that, among other things, many organizations are individually using one ad, not an ad set. A singular ad

This, I find difficult to understand. If you have access to all this data regarding your customers from past investments, the why not use it to spot audience like them to get more customers? It seems that you have a crystal ball that shows you precisely which ads will get the most of the followers.

If you have the capacities to handle several types of the same ad (text, videos, images) to the same segment takes the guesswork out and leaves you with highly customized tools to find out exactly what works and what doesn’t on any given segment.

Also, never forget about the timing of your ads. For instance, as you must have data on when your followers are online, so while trying to obtain more customers like them you already have its safe to consider that they’ll be online commonly around the same times.

Another essential aspect is to track down, ads on social media come with primary tracking but you really need to figure out what’s happening with the audience that click through on your ads and use UTM codes. They are those little snippets of text added to the end of your URL to help you track the achievement of your content on the web.

The Ad Espresso study from above found that the organizations that are fortunate with Facebook ads, they are running 100s of separate ads at the same time to enhance their opportunities of achievement, Going from 1 to 100 ads all at once might be too much. But is it possible for you to manage 10? I think you could.

Changing Face of Social Media

Till the time social ads are rage (for a good reason, they absolutely work), they are not the most effective way to get people to buy from you anymore.
As good as social ads are, you’re still depending on a potential customer checking your ad, clicking on it, and then a new window pops up and now they have to navigate around your web site, find relevant products, add them to cart and finally check out.
All of these additional steps create irritation and current opportunities for would-be customers to get lost on your site, or certainly drop interest during the time it takes to checkout.

An alternative solution is to complete the purchasing experience on the social platform, instead of leaving, to go to another website. In commerce lingo, this is known as “native commerce” and it’s rapidly developing the way business is executed on social channel. Dramatically it’s turning social into a direct sales channel.

Let’s say I’m on Pinterest and looking at dining tables, this method is as simple as clicking the “Buy It” button. A checkout window pops up on the same tab. Next, I will input my info (most of the time it’s pre-filled already) and bam! I’m done.

There’s no requirement to browse around on your site, add things to a shopping cart, log in to an account, etc. Customers can finish their buying experience right inside the social platform itself – unify the whole experience.

Social “Buy” buttons are currently available for Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest(and are available for every Shopify Plus customer). Additionally, Instagram has implemented ads with a “SHOP NOW” button.

As for the effectiveness of native buying, brands that are already using it (like MVMT Watches) are noticing similar conversion rates to mobile. And as more and more people get familiar with this new conversion rates and sales channel are expected to rise dramatically.

Misleading Tip# 4. Just Promote your Business.

It’s similar to spamming your audience. That’s true you are most likely doing marketing on social media to essentially necessarily to boost your business, however no one expects you to enjoy your self-aggrandizement. It gives people impression like you are just another clammy salesman. People always prefer to feel like they can build a legitimate relationship with you. They required trusting you and needing to see the value which you are providing.

Marketing on Social media is strangely different than other marketing enterprise. While promoting your content always should focus on providing a resource as an authority in industry. Your social media strategy should have a main aim of producing information which is high quality, as well as which can establish you as a trustworthy authority in your industry.

Thus, using your own social media channel to promote others in industries applauses your industry, Build a strong partnership and relationship with the people who can, in turn, promote you on their social media channels.

Misleading Tip#5, you are allowed to lie in Marketing

Never give such impression to your audience what you are not. Sometimes marketing on social media feels much like a high school contest which has got popular, however being a businessman it’s essential not to give the wrong impression to your audience. Always keep your content and strategy consistent as per your brand integrity.

Since the process of constructing the followers can increase the communication with your target audience and in the end grow sales might seem a little slow however if you manage consistency, you will finally gain the benefits of your strong social media marketing.

Misleading Tip# 6; Re-posting content is bad

Do you always prefer to tweet your content just once – and then nevermore? Well it’s quite a bad practice since only a chunk of your followers might would have seen this when you posted it and moreover there is nothing wrong to repeat the content on tweet but make sure you share a large variety of content which you can and should even post at a different times of the day.

For Facebook we can say it’s quite different since their audience would get to know that you are re-posting the post which you have already posted, however you can still do it, And your audience will love it – because most of them will either not remember that you already posted it, or they might would have not even seen it the first time.

Misleading Tip# 7;you should not talk about your business

Many marketers are frightened to talk about themselves or their businesses on social media. They are anxious to be overly promotional. But there is an enormous difference between promoting and sharing a story. And while you should not be too advertising there is nothing wrong to talk about yourself or your business. In fact, sharing your own story is one of the most vital parts of your marketing!

Misleading Tip# 8;posting great content is enough to gather an audience (fast)

We can call it one of the primary myths that are killing opportunities for many bloggers and young businesses. The harsh reality is: if nobody knows you exist, your content will not spread – no matter how fabulous it is

Even great keyword research will not do the trick in most of the cases. There is already huge amount of content floating around and there is (almost) no niche where there isn’t already a ton of content floating around.
So just don’t sit back and wait for a miracle – take your success into your own hands and start distributing your content!

Misleading Tip# 9; Rules are set in stone

If you found a set of rules that you think make sense and now you proceed with them, but sadly, you cannot see any achievement? Switch your strategy. In online marketing, guidelines are not permanent. Networks and the things constantly change, so if something was the best system and worked for someone yesterday, it can totally be different today – or not work for your niche.

So, watch your numbers, test everything and question – and create your own best methods.

Misleading Tip# 10; as a business, you can’t show personality (or humor)

Many first-time marketers on social media try to be absolutely serious – but truth is that, usually most effective strategies and social media campaigns play with emotions. Staying too serious and concentrating only on the business generally fails to prompt the emotions which could turn visitors into fans or subscribers and subscribers into customers.

Do you know what motivates people share content? Have you ever wondered why some, articles, images, graphics or videos get so many shares, while others seem to never have a chance?

Most of the time the trigger is emotions, we all are aware from our private life how robust emotions can be. And this power can be used in social media marketing.

All of us like to be happy – aren’t we? Have you ever experiences that something you did for the very first time made you tremendously delighted. But when you tried to recreate the same feeling by recollecting your steps from the first experience, it simply did not work to the same level.

I definitely have. It can be normal things like the first time I did cooking was always the best. The second or third time will only be a boring practice.

As a marketer, you need to come up with new ideas to influence happiness for your audience all the time. The emotions amusement, laughter and joy can all be added up. You must have clicked a lot of times on cute cat content, this is the emotion that a lot of „viral content “in social media plays around with. Do you realize now, why all that cat content on Facebook gets so many likes and shares?

1. Fear

While happiness is on the positive side of the rainbow, fear is on the other. Fear is another really dominante motion ;it can direct people to incredible achievement. It will even give you courage where you did not expect any and can definitely affect an action.

2. Anger

Honestly speaking, I try to avoid anger to be a trigger to what I share, post or comment on social media, since it can usually lead to a lot of confusion, discussion, more anger and hurt – and most of the time to nothing productive. But it makes sure to be the one emotion that usually makes my fingers itch to blast away.

But sometimes it even inspires an article in reply to something I read and heard considered totally wrong.

We have all seen anger as a robust emotional trigger in the past months with terror all around the world, elections in the US and the diverse reactions to it. These kinds of posts on Facebook that motivates a ton of anger often get a ton of comments, shares and likes or dislikes. And that capability is used by a lot of people to manipulate the audience.

3. Sadness

While many marketers become hesitant from using sadness in their marketing strategy, it still can be a very dominant emotion, when you see the charity organizations using videos of children hungry and pitiful dogs playing in the dirt or videos of environmental problems.

I am damn sure we all have seen some of the videos or images and thought and we all start thinking ohhh… where can I do some charity to help these poor people.“ That is called playing with our emotions.

4. Curiosity or Anticipation

I am quite sure you have been a victim of one of these click enticing headlines „You would never be able to guess what happened after…“ We all would have. They play these tricks to trigger our curiosity. We see some teaser text and the headline, that leave us with a feeling „What the hell?“ and that makes us at least click to satisfy our eagerness.

There are entire businesses established on this emotional trigger. All the clicks bait platforms like Unworthy, BuzzFeed play around with our interests.

5. Surprise

Surprise is one of the emotions that work really strong in a headline. Usually a headline claims that which we do not expect, and then again curiosity kicks in and makes us click. Surprise works perfect to catch attention „Wait? What? “

Final Words on Emotions in Online Marketing

While the emotions might sound logical and straight forward since the way they trigger consumer behavior, it is not as easy as you might think to use them in marketing.

Basically Emotions strongly based on background, age and interests. So to be able to play the emotions of your target market you have to understand thoroughly how your target group ticks. Just think about your parents, will they react to the same triggers that you do? Honestly, mine won’t – or rather the other way around: What may parents find amazing, interesting, and surprising might just inspire a yawn from me, just because my interests and background and are entirely different.

On the other hand emotional behavior usually cannot be defined by looking at just the demographics parameter. It might be simple that you are writing attract a group of people who responds to your own special sense of humor.

To figure out what type of content effects the right emotions with your audience, you need to listen attentively and evaluate their reaction to everything you do. What headlines get a numerous shares, what gets clicks? What sort of content gets remarks? And what can you do to influence more opinions from your target audience?

So, why to wait, just do your homework and start measuring!

Misleading Tip# 11; you don’t need to verify anything seen on a social networking site before reporting elsewhere.

Not every piece of information on social networking sites is created equivalent. The web’s democratic nature means a lot of inaccurate buzz, which makes the filtering role of news organizations more essential than ever. Some reporters are really eager to attack on anything they see online, but being a good door keeper who means attentively validating any data found on Facebook or Twitter.The ancient guidelines of double sourcing still apply.

Another factor is capturing the correct authorization, if using material from people’s pages where they have a reasonable expectation of privacy should really be conscious about that since sometimes with heavy deadline pressure and a aspiration to get as much information as achievable, it’s attractive to snatch details from someone’s Facebook page and throw them on the web but this is hazardous because sometimes people misguide or lie. You need to be sure that you’re looking at the page for the person you’re writing about, and there’s also a restriction to be accurate with the information being plucked. Usually public figures are fair game, but editors need to be extra cautious with minors who might not understand that adult reporters will prowl their pages.

Final Thoughts

Social media marketing is a territory that can be tremendously favorable to stay in contact with, contain and achieve new followers is the biggest achievement any business can have. It’s a field that’s constantly changing, what worked in past are not assured to work today as platforms emerges and new ones appear.

Social media is not just a channel for marketing anymore.

As numerous platforms come out with native purchasing experiences, it’s certainly emerging into a direct channel for sales, since the ones that get on the train early will receive the huge profits.

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