5 ways brands are failing with their social media strategy

In terms of both paid and organic marketing strategies, social media offers a powerful and cost-effective way for brands to build and reach communities, drive engagement, and establish positive brand reputation – yet so many brands fail to gain traction on their social channels.

Below, we explore five mistakes businesses make when it comes to their approach to social media, and how these blunders could be holding you back.

Ignoring short-form video

Whether it’s Instagram Reels, TikTok or YouTube Shorts, we’ve seen short-form video dominate the social media landscape over the last couple of years. For brands, they represent a powerful way to grab the attention of your audience, get them to engage with your content, and provide a nice boost to your SEO with video content being favoured by search engines.

The nature of short-form video doesn’t only make it fast and inexpensive to create this type of content, its bite-sized format also makes it highly shareable amongst your audience, generating organic reach and increased brand awareness.

Failing to embrace AI

In the last couple of years, the growing popularity and application of AI and automation tools has touched nearly every industry, and social media marketing is no exception. AI tools have the power to provide more data-driven recommendations, better targeted advertising and even assist with social media content and imagery creation and editing.

While this certainly doesn’t mean relying solely on AI to generate content for your channels, it does mean considering where and how AI tools can help you optimise your social media strategy, streamline activities and establish your own policies about how you can harness this technology. It goes without saying that sometimes, a nuanced, human touch is necessary, but with marketing budgets increasingly stretched, AI can be both a cost and time saving assistant if applied carefully.

No channel diversification

If your customers can’t reach you on the social media channels they prefer, you’re losing out on potential engagement and conversions. Brands need to meet audiences where they already are, and that means maintaining a strong presence across multiple social media platforms.

Aside from increasing your presence and reach, relying too heavily on just one or two channels can leave you vulnerable to changes on the platform that effect paid advertising, engagement or visibility. Diversification is the key, allowing you to quickly respond to shifting social media trends while building a strong presence across multiple channels.

Bland and inconsistent content

You’ve probably heard the phrase “content is king”, and while this is certainly true in marketing, that doesn’t mean you should be churning out vast quantities of uninteresting content in an effort to stay relevant.

Content that you post to your social media channels, whether blog posts, videos or infographics, needs to engage your specific audience. In recent years, Google has placed increased emphasis on “people-first” content – that is, content designed to be relevant, helpful and engaging to actual people – not just algorithms.

Taking the time to do your audience research and share truly interesting and relevant content ensures your audience doesn’t start to lose interest in your brand, and ultimately, unfollow you.

Lack of a proper plan

While social media is constantly shifting and changing, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get clear on your objectives, and how they feed more widely into your whole marketing strategy.

This might be something as simple as accumulating a certain number of followers on your core channels within a period of time or increasing the average engagement rates on your posts. Whatever your particular aims are, it’s important to really define them and what success looks like, as this will inform your entire approach to your social media channels.

Without a plan in place, it’s difficult to know if something is working or not. A plan allows you to define and measure your goals, and if necessary, take a different approach.

Final thoughts

Social media moves quickly, and while this doesn’t mean you need to hop on to every trend that comes along, it does mean keeping up with how the medium is changing and forming your own best practices around these changes.

Your social media strategy should be working for you and your wider marketing goals, and understanding some of the most common mistakes gives you a head start in avoiding them, and building a strong presence on your social channels.