Social media is constantly evolving, so the life expectancy of any given social marketing strategy can be perilously short. Unfortunately, some tactics don’t seem to die when they should - instead, they stumble along like some sort of marketing zombie, totally unaware that they should be laying in a grave for good.
And these zombie tactics can become a significant problem. First off, they waste time and resources - no matter how simple or cost-effective the strategy, it still requires some effort to keep it rolling, effort that could be transferred over to something effective.
Second, you’re getting inaccurate information back about your products and customers. Dead tactics that don’t have much of an effect on your market are going to skew your perception of how your brand could be doing, and that could drive you to make changes to your approach which are both unnecessary and harmful.
Finally, appearances count. If your tactics are dry and dusty, your brand is also going to seem outdated. That’s not what you want when you’re trying to attract interest, particularly from Millennial and Gen Z markets.
In this vein, here's we'll look at three commonly used social media marketing tactics that need to be retired for good. Get these processes out of your digital marketing system to help improve your results and ROI.
1. Gaining a Mass Following by Following the Masses
This used to be a popular way to gain followers quickly - in order to get more people to follow you, you would first follow them. A fair percentage of people would follow you back, and over time you could build a big audience, helping to improve the look of your social presence and - theoretically - build an engaged audience.
But there are big problems with this tactic. First, these days, consumers are increasingly savvy, and selective about who they follow. Using this tactic could see you tagged as a fake account, which will hurt your reputation and social value. You'll also end up with a feed that’s full of irrelevant posts which can hinder your productivity.
To top it off, it'll likely make figuring out which contacts you really want to nurture difficult. You won’t be able to find the good connections amid all the extraneous ones.
Yes, other methods of attracting followers - like posting great content which eventually brings the most interested consumers to your door - are slower, but they're the healthiest ways to grow your numbers, and will sustain your brand well into the future.
2. Using Automated Messages That are Automatically Impersonal
Increasingly, consumers are putting increased value on personal contact and attachment when it comes to deciding where they want to spend their money. And nobody feels personally attached to a bot.
Automated messages were once all the rage in social marketing. Someone would hit “follow” on a brand’s social page and their inbox would receive a near-instant automated message to acknowledge them and invite them to look around or make a purchase. Today, those generic messages are a big turn-off. Consumers at the other end of such messages often feel like they’re nothing more than a prospect to the brand.
If you want a consumer’s business, you need to wait a little, until the relationship you’ve fostered with that consumer has started to warm, before you send any sort of message that might be seen as promotional.
And even then, you need to tailor it to a consumer’s previous interactions with your brand. 79% of consumers won’t look at a promotion otherwise.
3. Stuffing and Fluffing Posts with Backlinks and Hashtags
Nobody looks for advertisements to read, at least not on purpose. You should already realize that you need to produce social content that's informative, entertaining, and thought-provoking - whether you do it all at once or by turns.
Unfortunately, too many brands still think that the best way to get the most out of a post is to stuff it full of backlinks to their products or services, or they fill up a post with hashtags using every conceivable variation of the relevant topics in the hope of attracting more attention.
Both practices will make a post less attractive to view, and seem more like an ad. These days, you have to sell your brand by selling your authority - not your products or services. Offer people a genuine value in exchange for their attention and they’ll eventually find their way to your door without a lot of pushing.
There’s no social media necromancy that will bring these dusty old corpses back to life, so wrap them up and give them a decent burial. And keep in mind here that these tactics aren’t merely ineffective, they’re actually harmful to your brand.
However, don’t stop being vigilant in case new zombies arrive - because they eventually will. Any comprehensive social media strategy should involve a regular “health check.” That’s the only way to determine if a given tactic is still producing the results you need in order to make it worthwhile.
You also need to strive to constantly explore new social media strategies if you want your process to properly evolve.