Skip to main content

These 3 practices are holding you back, don't waste your time on them! This post is going to explain to you exactly which social media marketing practices you need to put out to pasture, and what you should be doing instead to ensure your social media success!



Shotgun marketing - You think you'll look as cool as this guy, but you won't, and everyone will secretly make fun of you.

3. Shotgun Marketing: The practice of the lowest common denominator.

This is almost certainly the most common mistake that online marketers are making with their social media presence; they have no idea who they are marketing to, or what will appeal to that target audience.

So, instead of creating targeted content that will appeal to that audience, or figuring out who your target audience is, you instead opt for a "spray and pray" approach, where you just throw lots of stuff at the wall with no real strategy to find out what sticks.

This may work out okay in the beginning, and if you have some small inkling of what your target audience may be, it could even lead to the data you need to build your first persona and shift your focus to learning more about them. The problem is that this approach isn't scalable and it doesn't lead to results that can be replicated and built upon successfully over time. You'll luck out and get the occasional quick win, but you'll never build lasting success with this practice.

In the long run, you'll want to create a plan where you:

  • Figure out who your target audience is
  • Learn more about them and build a targeted persona that you can market to
  • Develop marketing materials that will appeal to your target audience's persona
  • Continue to tweak your targeted campaigns based on new data through targeted experiments

Not only do you now understand who you are marketing to, but you can send those individual sub-audiences very targeted messaging and images that will boost click-through and download/purchase rates! 3 well targeted ads to three different audiences will always outperform one scatter-shot ad to 3 different audiences!


Quit-Doing-Your-Ads-WrongArtist's rendering of a Facebook Ads intervention.

2. Promoted Posts: The practice of not understanding the Facebook Ads interface.

Promoted posts have their place, they're great for getting more engagement on your content, but chance are that when it's time to report to the CMO, they're more concerned with how much traffic you're driving to download/purchase products than how many comments and likes you're getting, as well they should be!

If the goal of your post is to drive traffic to a website or encourage a higher click-through rate, creating a new Facebook ad is much more effective than just promoting an existing post. With Facebook ads you can optimize for clicks on your link, installs of your app, and even track actual completed purchases with the help of a conversion pixel!

So, what should you be doing?

  • Only use promoted posts to encourage likes, shares, and comments on existing posts. If you have a huge budget and you want to earmark some of it for promoting engagement, that is a healthy thing to encourage in your community. Just don't have any illusions as to what your goal is when you're promoting a post. You're driving community-oriented goals, not business goals.
  • Make sure you're optimizing your ads for the goal you want to reach. Are you trying to track purchases? Make sure you setup a conversion pixel. Are you trying to promote your new app? Make sure you're using app install ads rather than website click ads.
  • As we've already discussed, make sure your ads are targeted properly so that they are effective and you're not wasting money!



Should have wished for a plan. Or more wishes.

1. Not Setting Cohesive Goals and Strategy: The practice of planning to fail.

The single biggest mistake that most brands, large and small, make is not setting up an over-arching social media marketing strategy and trackable goals to understand if they're executing their plan properly.

Why are you posting if there's no strategy behind your actions? Without a goal to strive for and a strategy to guide you, everything you do will be disjointed and self-contained, rather than contributing to your social media marketing success! Don't spend your days running in place, working ever harder to get nowhere!

Here's what you should be doing: 

  • Create a strategy that incorporates all of your social properties, so that rather than acting as independent platforms or just another hub to push out the same content, they are instead working together to achieve the same goals.
  • Your strategy should set high-level and low-level goals. A high level goal may be driving 2x the traffic in the next quarter or influencing X number of purchases by the end of the calendar year. Meanwhile, low-level goals are tactical, such as posting once per day, responding to customer issues within 24 hours, or consistently increasing click-throughs on your background ad campaigns by X% each month.
  • Once you have goals and a strategy that will guide you to meeting them, you need to figure out which metrics align with those goals and track them on a weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual basis. The frequent weekly and monthly tracking will help you quickly incorporate new information to improve your tactics, while the quarterly and annual reporting will help you easily see improvements (or areas for improvement) over time!

Strike these lame practices from your social media marketing repertoire today, and replace them with our steps for social media marketing success! 

Post by Zachary Chastain
September 29, 2014