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Are You Overspending on Social Media?
Just to clarify one point right away, there’s technically no such problem as spending too much on social media marketing.Assuming everything you invest is put to strategic and valuable use, investing in social media could be highly beneficial.However, there’s definitely such a thing as investing too much capital in social media efforts that are bringing you little to nothing in return.
Which is exactly why not all social media marketing budgets deliver the same results – even if the initial limitations are more or less the same. Ten different companies may decide to invest £20,000 in social media marketing efforts for any given period, but chances are that all ten will deliver entirely different results.
Why is that? It is quite simple really – while some social media expenses are advisable and essential, others are far from that. This is why we have decided to dedicate two separate posts to some of the most common bad practices that can lead to unnecessary overspending.
So if any of these rings a bell with your business, you should probably take a step back and think about investing your money elsewhere:
1. Buying fake social media followers
Firstly, the fact that social media is basically a popularity contest inevitably lead most to focus on nothing but numbers. A large proportion of businesses are under the impression that the secret to social media success lies in the numbers – how big their audience is, how many “likes” they have earned and so on. In reality however, quantity is as usual nothing without quality. This is precisely why it could be dangerous to buy fake social media followers. Along with bringing little to no value to your business, purchased flowers will give the wrong impression to your target audience and could also land you in hot water with the social media platform itself.
2. Hiring sub-standard social media companies
When two rival social media agencies are offering the same package but for two very different prices, it is usually for a good reason. This is not to suggest overspending is unavoidable in order to obtain quality social media marketing services. Nevertheless, when you come across a company practically offering their services for nothing and guaranteeing “immediate results”, you would be better off taking your business elsewhere.
3. Investing without setting goals
In order to create some headway with your social media marketing, you will need to first have a determined set of targets and goals. If you don’t, you’re basically grasping for the proverbial straws in the dark. Social media platforms could be used for a wide variety of purposes – expanding your audience, increasing sales, building a brand and so on. However, to achieve any of these, you will first need to figure out what precisely it is you want to target. If you don’t, you would be essentially wasting your investment on a social media campaign that will see you going around in circles.
4. Unpopular competitions and contests
Competitions in general could be a great way of promoting your company and generating quality engagement. After all, few people could resist the prospect of taking something home completely free of charge. At the same time however, competitions and contests could prove costly if you get less than what you initially invest. Try to be frugal, realistic and strategic when it comes to your social media competitions and contests.
5. Hiring in-house staff members
Given that it is not as if your own in-house employees would happily handle your social media accounts for free, you will still be paying for the needed manpower. In this case, would it not make more sense to spend the same budget on the kinds of qualified and experienced professionals who get the job done better, quicker and even maybe for a lower price? Paying for the social media services of inexperienced or under-qualified social media staff is not advisable.
6. Paying for ratings and reviews
While it might be a strategy that is followed by companies all over the world, there should be no reason to pay for ratings and reviews. The reason is that given the nature of the social media platforms, you could simply ask your customers, followers and fans to provide you with their own feedback. And if it is the case that your ratings leave a lot to be desired, you will need to focus on improving on whatever it is you do, before spending money any further on social media marketing.
7. Paying for ads that have poor performance
There is nothing to gain by investing good money in social media ads that perform simply poorly. The problem is that many businesses basically throw together an ad campaign presuming that they simply cannot fail to deliver a good ROI. Without careful planning, extensive analysis and optimisation and expert execution, an investment in social media ads could end up being wasted money.
8. Not incorporating wider SEO
Your social media campaign could be a hugely powerful tool for giving a boost to your overall SEO profile. Rather than just seeing your social media campaign as a separate entity, you need to be incorporating in into your wider marketing and SEO efforts. If you don’t, you’re throwing money down the drain.
9. Not Focusing on the right platforms
When it comes to selecting social media platforms, there are only two crucial things to keep in mind. One being that you don’t really have to use all social media platforms in the world, and the other being that some platforms will inevitably suit your audience, your business and your goals better than others. While Facebook and Twitter will usually be the first options to spring to mind, some companies get far better value for money from their investments in LinkedIn or Instagram.
10. Duplicating content and automating updates
Lastly, while it is true to say that automating updates and duplicating content could technically save time and money, the potential for damage to your professional image and to your profiles can be enormous. Every second and penny you invest in these kinds of marketing efforts represents time and money that are purely wasted, and which could have been used to engage with your audience. You will simply be interpreted as disingenuous and lazy – a heavy price to pay.