Social media presents a massive opportunity for brands to reach their target audiences and marketers have clearly taken notice. Facebook recently announced its Q2 results, coming in at $9.2 billion, which was above expectations, due to its expansion of mobile ads.

The opportunity to grow your brand and scale through social media exists, but more businesses fail, than succeed, when it comes to social media advertising and marketing. In an effort to help you run a more successful campaign, let’s review the five most common reasons brands fail when it comes to social media.

1. Being active on the wrong platforms

There are several platforms available, and many businesses spread themselves too thin, assuming they have to be active on all of them. You are much better off determining what social networks are going to be the most lucrative for you, and put all of your energy and focus into building up an engaged following and mastering the paid promotion options.

While a consulting or coaching business can find success on Facebook, Pinterest wouldn’t be worth exploring, because the platform and its audience it’s ideal. An e-commerce jewelry store, on the other hand, would want to take advantage of Pinterest. Figure out where the best opportunities are, commit to mastering the platforms and go all-in.

2. Offering a forgettable user experience

The entire goal of creating a loyal engaged following on social media and running ads, is to drive traffic to an offer outside of the social media network. Whether you are trying to send traffic to specific offers or your company’s homepage, you need to make sure you provide each visitor with a pleasant experience.

If they land on your website and can’t quickly find what they are looking for or your website doesn’t load fast enough, they are going to leave. They will also make a mental note of the poor experience and more than likely disconnect from your brand. Not only will you lose a social follower, but you will not get another chance to convert them into a customer. It’s a competitive world online — provide a pleasant user experience or the consumer will find another business that does.

3. Ignoring influencer marketing

One of the most effective strategies is also one that many brands are ignoring — influencer marketing. When you pair the correct product or service with a well-matched influencer, you can get your business in front of a highly targeted audience. It’s currently talked about as being one of the most effective methods of driving brand awareness, but it takes the correct campaign in order to see results.

“We use influencer marketing almost exclusively to promote our brand,” says Jonathan Long, founder of Sexy Smile Kit, a teeth whitening kit manufacturer. “The key is to ignore follower count, instead focusing on identifying influencers with highly engaged followers that have a very high probability of being interested in your offer.”

4. Not diving into the available data

There is so much data available to us at our fingertips, but most business owners are lazy when it comes to analyzing and adjusting according to it. Facebook Page Insights, Twitter Analytics, Instagram Insights and Pinterest Analytics are just some of the free options available. Regardless of what social media networks you are active on, there is a way to view and analyze user data.

It’s important that you carve out some time every week to go over this and adjust accordingly. This is the quickest way to learn what is working, and scale those efforts, as well as clip the underperforming strategies. Social media doesn’t have a set-it-and-forget-it option — you have to be constantly evolving and listening to your audience. Let them tell you what they like, and then give them more of it.

5. Misunderstanding your target audience’s social behavior

It’s important that you figure out how your target audience acts on the social media networks they are active on. For example, if you are targeting Millennials or Gen Z on Facebook, you would want to test video ads, as that demographic likes engaging with video content over any other format.

If you are targeting the 50+ age demographic, then a very short and sweet call-to-action to drive them to a very simply landing page is the way to go. Different groups of people behave entirely different on social media. Take the time to learn how your target audience behaves and create content with their behavior in mind.

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