Concept - cubes of internet icons as game. Set of dices with logos from most popular social media networks, including Facebook, Google, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and many more

Social media should no longer be regarded as a choice for your business—it’s a must. Smart Insights provided a detailed survey in which it suggested that social media marketing is growing at a fast pace and could be the number one channel to promote business and communicate with the targeted audience.

Although social media has been a buzzword for quite some time now, there are a number of businesses that have no idea how to leverage the potential of social media correctly. In this post, I am going to discuss some common mistakes that businesses in the retail sector make, and how they can improve to build relationships with their audience and get the most out of social media.

They regard social media as a sales channel

fbook adOne of the biggest and most common mistakes I see retail businesses make is using social media as a sales channel. No matter what platform or social media website they are using, they tend to focus on marketing themselves, their products or their special offers instead of engaging with their audience.

Many retail Twitter accounts tweet regularly, but they only seem to promote a product or pricing. I’m not saying that social media was never a direct sales channel, but it’s evolving, and you should evolve with it.

Not considering balance as part of the equation

Balance is important; if you lose balance, you will find yourself spending time on things that might not have a valuable outcome, and you’ll be inefficient. In social media, things are no different! Regardless of the platform you use, you have to keep the balance between types of posts in order to get the most out of your social media campaign. Feel free to promote your special offers and brand promotions, but find the right balance.

Another common mistake I see is not taking advantage of hashtags, especially on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. According to a study by hubspot:

chart

A tweet with a hashtag usually has more reach than a tweet without a hashtag. This makes perfect sense, because hashtags give you a broader audience. The balance issue comes back into play here too. Check out the tweet below; the hashtags are way over the top.

insta

Use hashtags where necessary, but limit it to a sensible number. Retail brands that use hashtags in a limited number usually end up having healthy conversations with their audience.twitter conversations

One idea that also seems to work well is to use a generic niche hashtag alongside a branded hashtag like #google or #hubspot. This way, it can help with building some brand recognition over time.

Deleting or editing your comments or campaigns

I don’t think this problem is widespread, but I do see some brands deleting and editing posts. One of the worst things you can do is to edit or delete posts and comments that you have shared with your audience.fbook editing

Deleting or editing your posts and comments and assuming that no one will notice it is a quick fire way of ruining your reputation as a business.

Instead of editing posts, you should be transparent. Transparency builds trust. If you are getting too many negative comments, then you need to find the root of the problem instead of cutting the issue off at the branch.

Taking the ‘ME’ approach

The keywords that work with social media are “US,” “WE” and “OUR,” but unfortunately I have seen many businesses going with an approach that contains the words like “ME,” “I” or “Mine,” and the problem starts from here.

Remember social media is about communication and discussion about the brand with the community and the audience who also can be your potential customers. If you are going to act bossy and try to dictate things to your audience, time will come when they will leave you and go somewhere else, to a company that listens to them, and instead of issuing orders, prefer discussing things with them.

facebook query

If I were managing this page, answering this would be my first priority, because here you will not only lose a customer, but you will lose your reputation as well. If you ask me personally, I love Moss Bros because they are communicating very well with the audience, keeping the WE approach in mind.

moss bros

Obviously there are many more potential mistakes I could talk about, but these are the few common ones that I see most brands doing.

Quick Tip: Remember, social media is important, and you have to deal with it! The idea is to understand your target audience and engage them with the brand in such a way that they are part of your team.

Moosa HemaniInbound Marketing Governor at setalks.com