Skip navigation

Business Tips

10 Marketing Campaign Killing Mistakes Small Businesses Should Avoid at All Costs

Marketing team meeting close up with laptop computers.

No small business should ignore the power of social media marketing. It’s relatively affordable and provides great return on investment. However, it’s also easy to mess up. One bad mistake, and the whole house of cards can come tumbling down. Here are ten of the deadliest mistakes you should avoid at all costs:

1) Not Engaging Followers

Your loyal followers are the most important part of the marketing initiative. They maximize the value of your campaign, providing the foundation of future growth through word-of-mouth and recruitment. These people function as social proof, showing other customers that your product is worth their time.

To ignore them is to hamstring your campaign’s potential. Reward engaged followers with shout-outs or other things, and they’ll remain steadfast and loyal. Ignore them, and they made move on to a business that values their participation.

2) Not Using Data

Marketing is fundamentally driven by data. It may revolve around sending messages and provoking a reaction from your small business’s target market, but knowing how to accomplish those tasks and more comes down to reading the data. It’s hard to craft or modify your campaign if you don’t know what works.

It doesn’t matter what platform you’re using – get as much data as possible. Most social media sites offer analytics tools to advertisers. Take advantage of that.

3) Attacking From Too Many Angles

Eventually, your small business and grow to have a presence on every platform worth your time. That, however, is in the future. When you’re small and have a limited budget, it’s best to focus on one or two platforms that promise the greatest returns. This is due to the sheer number of businesses engaging in their own campaigns. Spreading yourself thin simply will not do with that kind of competition.

4) Focusing on Text and Ignoring Video

Video content is naturally more difficult to make than a text article. There’s a lot more production involved, so it’s more expensive and time-consuming. Despite that expense, you cannot ignore video content. Video content is easier to consume, in that no real effort is required from the user, and it’s also often more engaging due to the visual aspect. This makes it an invaluable tool in your arsenal.

5) Using the Same Strategy Across Different Social Networks

The most successful social networks can be differentiated in how they connect people. Facebook takes the middle of the road approach by allowing a variety of methods by which someone can express a thought or share a post. Twitter, by nature, is more succinct due to its character limit. Instagram is more focused on quick consumption of visual content. To approach them all with the same strategy is to invite disaster. Learn the nuances of each one and craft a unique plan for each platform you plan on engaging.

6) Believing That Organic Growth is All You Need

Generating organic growth should be one of your overall goals, but it shouldn’t be at the heart of your growth strategy. It should be supplemented by a paid social media campaign. While nothing will replace a post going viral, consistency is key to making a campaign work. By engaging in a paid campaign, you virtually guarantee that your advertisements will reach the relevant people, which will, in turn, boost future organic growth.

7) Not Tapping Employees

Your social media campaign isn’t the sole purview of your marketing department. Your employees can also serve as brand ambassadors and social sellers if you train them to do so. It’s likely that the majority of your staff is already on social media, so take advantage of that and train them so they can connect with your target market using their accounts.

8) Imitating Other Brands

Studying the competition can be a real boon for your small business. Doing so allows you to learn from their strategies and will help you refine your own. However, that should be as far as that study goes. Imitating them will only cause your own campaign to fade into the background because you share a similar voice or worse, make you look like a cheap knock-off.

To stand out, you must find your company’s voice. This means defining your brand and figuring out your company’s unique approach to the market.

9) Failing to Understand the Target Audience

Nothing kills a campaign more definitely than a failure to understand the target market. Every decision your team makes is immediately invalidated because you’re working with inaccurate data. The most insidious part of this is that you may not realize how far from the mark you are until the first bits of data come in and it tells you that nothing is going right.

Keep this mistake from happening in the first place by creating a buyer persona. This persona represents your average buyer. It should reflect their habits, preferences, their buying power, and more. By referring to this persona, you can make sure that your approach remains on track as you develop the campaign.

10) Thinking That Everyone on the Team Understands Social Media

Social media is like a car. People know what it can do for them, but they don’t necessarily know how it works. Making this assumption when building your marketing team in-house can have terrible consequences for your small business. Don’t get just anyone to lead the charge. Find and hire a qualified social media manager.

Social media marketing should be approached with the same care and attention that you would give any other part of your small business. Stay goal oriented and focused, and it will give you the keys to the scaling kingdom. Disrespect it with poor planning and little thought, and it will punish you.