It was a decade and a half back when social media platforms emerged and were used for personal communication purposes only. Then, businesses started creating their presence on social media to market their products in a faster and better way. Within a time span of 5 years, social media evolved into a matured and valuable marketing platform. With a constant change in the technologies used over the internet, it would be a mistake to say that the tactics used five years ago would still be beneficial for the marketers. Looking at the drastic changes in the technology each day, it would be wiser for marketers to stay updated with the latest trends and revise their social media marketing strategies not on monthly but on daily basis. Thus we’ve brought you some social media marketing tactics that are already considered outdated and should be discarded as soon as possible by the marketers.
1. Follow for More Followers
This was an absurd approach, to begin with, but today it is simply harmful. Back in the day when businesses started realizing the full potential of social media, there was a practice of follow for follow. Basically, I follow you then you follow me back.
There was a time when this worked and people did actually follow back. Now, many followers are simply not interested and do not follow. Plus, your page or account has a chance of seeming fake by following so many people randomly.
There is one key aspect of this tactic that is detrimental for marketing purposes. Instagram has now hit 1 billion monthly active users. This mix contains all kinds of consumers. If you go about following people randomly, you will build a mix of an audience that is perhaps not interested in your product.
You will end up with a feed that is irrelevant to your business. This hampers your brand’s learning about new trends. Networking will be a nightmare as you would not even know which social media influencers are relevant to your product or service.
2. Offering Discounts To Increase Social Media Engagement
This is still a surefire way in many social media marketers’ books that offering discounts through social media is the best way to increase exposure and engagement. This worked out great for many businesses as consumers tend to visit brand pages on social media to get discounts and coupons. However, there are some serious problems with this approach that will have a negative impact in the long run.
Offering coupons or discounts all the time creates expectations in the mind of the consumers. This, obviously, is bad for business as you can only offer discounts when it works for you not because the consumers want it.
Another problem that arises when you offer a lot of coupons on social media is that people start waiting. For instance, you released a new product. I will not buy that product immediately and wait instead for a discount as I have always gotten discounts. You will not be able to sell unless you give out an introductory discount. This creates a spiral that ends up costing you more and reducing your revenue.
An alternate approach to bringing in more followers and increasing engagements is using influencers. Many businesses are doing it and seeing great success because the audience is relevant, mature, and does not have expectations for discounts. In fact, a study has found that influencer post generates more engagement. Also, you can offer discounts and coupons only during peak seasons so that it is beneficial for you and your consumers are also happy.
3. Automated Messages
This was a cool trend a while back that when someone liked a page or followed an account, an automated message would be sent to their inbox welcoming them or offering something. Now, these generic automated messages are rather ineffective or may even turn away a potential customer.
Customers today value personal contact. If a person directly speaks to them it gives the message that the business takes care of its customers. Having personalized marketing, catering to the specific needs of the customer creates a unique customer experience and starts a relation. Julian Hillebrand, a blockchain and IoT blogger, explains it better, “Personalized marketing and advertising is not about sales. It’s about building a relationship with the customer.”
4. Content Overload
Marketers managing social media pages for multiple brands live under the impression that constantly posting content keeps engagement active. That heavily depends on the kind and quality of content. Just sharing or retweeting irrelevant posts only drives the audience away from the page. They may even get annoyed and eventually unfollow the page. This is borderline spamming so to speak.
Content is king, there is no denying that. However, the content has to be of value for your followers. Also, the frequency of posting depends on the number of followers you have. According to a study conducted by Hubspot, pages with small following saw 50% less engagement or clicks by posting twice every day.
There is no rule of thumb or magic number here. You have to figure out yourself what frequency works best for you by looking at the data. However, content overload never works out right. The type of content is also important. Videos, in particular, have more engagement. There were over 4.4 Million videos uploaded on Facebook in just February 2016that generated over 199 billion views.
5. Hashtag Stuffing
Social media gave birth to hashtags which is cool and genius at the same time. However, hashtags have to be used smartly, especially if you are a business posting on social media. Many businesses use dozens of hashtags in one post, many of which do not even make sense. They do so in hopes of attracting more followers.
You can get authentic followers only through relevant hashtags. Use the hashtags that are popular in your community of followers. Also, carefully study which ones get clicked more than use those in your posts. Hashtags are still pretty useful for reaching out to new users, especially on Twitter and Instagram.
The bottom line is that you need to stay at the top of the game and follow the current trends of digital marketing campaigns on social media. Trends come and go pretty fast. Make sure to be relevant and personal when communicating with your followers. Using old techniques will be in vain for getting new followers and may also result in losing existing ones.
79% of American internet users are on Facebook. I believe that shows how big this market is. If you play your cards right and devise a strong social media strategy, you will definitely see your marketing work. Also, keep a close eye on your competition to see what new marketing tactics are up to their sleeve.