The rules of social media marketing can seem like they’re changing at an alarming pace, leaving those who can’t keep up feeling out of date and out of touch. Learning to adapt to changing social media movements and marketing trends is essential if you want to prevent your brand from being perceived as an industry dinosaur. One of the best ways to modernize your brand’s digital presence is to stop participating in dated social media trends.
Here are 6 outdated social media marketing tactics to say goodbye to, once and for all:
1. Sending Automated Responses
Sometimes the easiest solution is the best solution, but that’s not quite the case with automated direct messages on Twitter (or any social media site, for that matter). While it may seem like sending a quick message is a thoughtful way to reach out to new followers or fans, the act appears disingenuous when it becomes obvious that you’ve simply fired off an automated response.
If you’re choosing to message new followers, type out something short yet personal. However, if you’d rather rely on an automated, uninspired blanket message, you’re better off not sending anything at all; instead, dedicate time to engaging with fans through alternative methods.
2. Blindly Abusing Hashtags
The popularity of hashtags on social media extends an excellent invitation to brands to really get creative and invent some catchy hashtags of their own. The only issue is that too many brands have been guilty, at one point or another, of blatant hashtag abuse. If your social media updates are bogged down with lengthy yet meaningless, incomprehensible, or irrelevant hashtags, your fans will either be confused or annoyed — perhaps even to the point of unfollowing your account. Keep in mind though that completely ignoring hashtags isn't the answer either. Moderation is key here.
3. Skipping Out on Multimedia Content
It’s not difficult to incorporate images and even videos into your content marketing mix, which is why failure to do so is such a marketing faux pas. Whether consumers interpret it as a sign of laziness, ignorance, or lack of technical know-how, an absence of images from your social media marketing never looks good. You can create a dynamic digital presence by including a variety of images such as photos and infographics, in addition to relevant videos and links, to keep your audience interested.
Shamelessly asking for follows or likes may score you a few extra followers, but it certainly won’t make you any friends. On the other hand, coercing consumers into ‘liking’ your Facebook page in order to gain access to something, whether it’s a coupon or a Wi-Fi password, may seem like a really great idea — at first.
I’m sure brands that use this practice think they’re being pretty clever, scoring extra likes and fans quickly with little to no effort. The problem is that consumers don’t enjoy being taken advantage of, even on a small scale, so like-gating may actually damage customer loyalty while tarnishing your brand image. Also, if people are only liking your page to get instant access to something as opposed to liking it because they're real fans, you're likely to see engagement rates drop even as your fan count increases.
5. Overlooking Curated Content
In a culture where everything shiny and new is often misconstrued as better by default, some brands are still overlooking the value of curated content. Of course, it’s important to include your own original pieces of content, but it’s equally important to maintain an active online presence to boost visibility and engagement opportunities. This is where curated content comes into play as a necessary part of your social media marketing strategy: sharing updates and posts from a variety of sources and authors diversifies your content and serves to strengthen your social media presence.
6. Relying on QR Codes
Once upon a time, QR codes were a great idea. Any brand hoping to stimulate web traffic, promote an affiliate mobile app, or otherwise engage with fans sunk their teeth into the QR code fad. However, the continued use of QR codes can signal that you missed the memo about them being just that — a fad. Using QR codes can negatively impact your brand by suggesting that your company is not keeping up with the times, is unaware of current social trends, or is simply too lazy to find a new way to connect with consumers. If you’re still relying on QR codes to engage with users in the wild, why not consider dabbling in the exciting opportunities offered by augmented reality apps instead?
Abandoning the outdated marketing tactics listed above will not only help update your brand image, it will free up your time to pursue modern tactics and more worthwhile approaches to social media marketing.
What other social media marketing tactics should we say goodbye to?
About the Author
Emily is a freelance writer based in Toronto, Ontario who covers a range of topics from technology to travel. She holds a Bachelor in English Literature and Business from the University of Waterloo. No matter how many projects she is working on, Emily always finds time for baking, reading, and yoga.Follow on Twitter More Content by Emily Bauer