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Selling Your Stuff: Do It Right

8 marketing mistakes NOT to make when promoting your services on social media.




KNOWING WHAT TO DO and what not to do when it comes to social media can be tricky. Even with the best of intentions, learning from the experts and following all the latest tips on how to make your social media feeds explode, it’s easy to get things confused. It pays to look at your social media strategy and see where, despite your best efforts, you might be going off track. Here are some common issues and some easy ways to improve if your current efforts are missing the mark.


The Same Old Graphics

Gone Off Track: The quality of a photo will impact your success on any platform. Some are more photo-oriented than others, but the photo always matters. If you’re using the same graphic for every post, your graphics are blurry or out of focus, or they’re just plain boring, most of your target audience might just scroll on by.

Correcting Course: First, and simplest, use different photos. And experiment with different ways to showcase your work or products in those photos. Stage products with themed props. Solicit customers to share photos of your work in the wild. Make your photos visually interesting, something that will stop potential customers in their tracks and be curious about what you have to offer.


The Same Old Posts

Gone Off Track: Writing a good post can be difficult. There’s a lot of noise in social media land and it’s tempting to stick with a post that’s been successful in the past. Or you might simply choose to pound a sales message into the ground in the hopes that repetition will make it sell.

Correcting Course: While some social media platforms are more weighted toward photos than others, words matter on any platform. Whether you’re choosing hashtags, or writing a post to go with a graphic, your words can connect with your audience and make them react in a certain way. Before you write a post, know what action you want to inspire, and understand what basic message you want posts on your feeds to convey. A little thought before you write a post will pay off in the long run.



You’re Not Ready for Your Close Up

Gone Off Track: Video is big on most platforms these days, and vital on some. Many platforms are now weighting posts with video more heavily, so they show more often in feeds. Despite this fact, many people still avoid video. The complaint is either that it takes to long to make or edit a good video, or that they’re not comfortable on camera and so would prefer to avoid doing video at all.

Correcting Course: You can take a decent enough video with your phone, and purchasing a camera that works well enough for streaming isn’t that expensive these days. Most short videos don’t require as much editing as you might expect, so that probably won’t take as much time as anticipated. If you’re camera shy, keep in mind that you don’t have to be the subject of your video. You can record your machines running or show the steps of creating a product. Ask customers to record video testimonials. There are plenty of ways to showcase a business on video that don’t involve anyone being on camera or much in the way of editing.


My Market is Everyone

Gone Off Track: No company, not even the biggest companies in the world, markets to everyone. Take, for instance, Campbell’s Soup. The company has a ton of different soup brands and each appeal to a different target market and is presented to that market in a different way. If you haven’t narrowed your approach, you’re most likely sending out generic messages designed to appeal to everyone, which probably aren’t appealing to everyone.

Correcting Course: Take a look at what you sell and figure out, specifically, to whom that product would appeal. Do you want to specialize in a particular market, like fitness, rock bands, or cute items for kids? Once you’ve narrowed down your market segments, spend some time working out what would appeal to each segment. This may require staging pictures differently or writing different copy depending on the market segment you’re targeting, but the effort will be worth it.



Now We See You, Now We Don’t

Gone Off Track: A lot of companies, especially when they’re first starting out on social media, expect instant results when they set up a profile. That’s particularly true if they’ve read or listened to some of the “experts” who tout a particular social media platform as the silver bullet of marketing. These profiles get a couple weeks, maybe a month at the most to generate sales, and if they don’t, the company has moved on to the next social media option or simply gotten bored and left their profile to languish in silence. Their profiles never have time to build an audience and gain traction.

Correcting Course: Building an audience on any social media platform takes dedicated time and work. It takes creating connections, consistent posting, and spending enough time on a platform to learn what works and what doesn’t. Results from social media are almost never going to be instant. In fact, it usually takes between three and six months before a profile starts generating results. Patience is the name of the game. Be patient, be consistent, and be interesting, and you’ll be able to build a following that benefits your business.


Sell, Sell Sell
= Bye, Bye, Bye

Gone Off Track: Some companies use their profiles only to sell their products or services. There’s no effort to make connections, no effort to focus on anything except getting the money. Basically, it’s the equivalent of grabbing a bullhorn and shouting to everyone in earshot that they need to buy your products. It’s also a method of selling that is generally a turnoff for target customers. No one wants to be treated like their only value is their net worth.

Correcting Course: Yes, most businesses that have profiles on social media are looking to make money, that’s no secret. The secret is in how you do it. Don’t focus on generating sales. Focus on making connections, getting to know your customers, and allowing them to know, and trust, you. Keep in mind there are ways to convey sales messages that aren’t blatant, and that your profiles should be more about creating a well-rounded conception of your business and less about grasping for dollars.



Data? We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Data

Gone Off Track: Stats and numbers are boring to a lot of people. Some businesses neglect to have a business profile, which means they don’t have access to the information that a business profile would provide. Other businesses have the proper profile, but never look at their stats and analytics. They don’t know what times their audience is most likely to respond to a post. They don’t have a clue what types of posts get the most response. It’s basically, set it and forget it.

Correcting Course: Analytics are made available for a reason, and they can tell you a lot about how your audience behaves and what type of posts work best. Block off at least an hour every week and do a deep dive into your analytics. Try different types of posts and see which ones get the largest response. Make sure that all profiles for your company are business profiles, should that option be available. You want all the data you can get, and you want to pay attention to that data. Learning from what it tells you can help you create successful profiles.


Everything, Everywhere, All at Once

Gone Off Track: You’re the company that has a profile on every social media site possible. You don’t want to miss out on anything, so you’re juggling multiple profiles and probably not doing any of them justice. You also have no idea which profiles your customers use, so it’s entirely possible your target market isn’t getting the message you’re sending.

Correcting Course: First things first, find out what social media platforms your customers use most. Then set up profiles on those platforms. Focus on those profiles. The urge to be everywhere is understandable, but it only ends up in a complicated social media strategy and profiles that need attention.

Successful social media marketing doesn’t need to be a big challenge in your marketing repertoire. Use these guidelines on how to correct things you might be doing wrong and watch your followers and fans skyrockets.



Let’s Talk About It

Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Screen Printing Industry

LET’S TALK About It: Part 3 discusses how four screen printers have employed people with disabilities, why you should consider doing the same, the resources that are available, and more. Watch the live webinar, held August 16, moderated by Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief, Screen Printing magazine, with panelists Ali Banholzer, Amber Massey, Ryan Moor, and Jed Seifert. The multi-part series is hosted exclusively by ROQ.US and U.N.I.T.E Together. Let’s Talk About It: Part 1 focused on Black, female screen printers and can be watched here; Part 2 focused on the LGBTQ+ community and can be watched here.

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