Everybody uses social media. Now I could list a few hard stats about growth or usage but the truth is, everyone knows about social media and everyone uses it. Social media has become a go to marketing platform for many business, but not all business are using it effectively.
To many, social media is very easy and straightforward - write a couple posts, upload a few pictures, maybe share a funny or exciting video. The truth is that this strategy absent approach to social media will either last about a month or consistently retain a small audience.
However, with adding a little strategy and critical thinking to the mix, that social media channel of yours will start to see healthy growth and develop a list of engage healthy followers. Here is a list of 11 common social media mistakes that businesses make.
Operating Without a Plan
Before you create a social media account, do some planning. Figure out a game plan for what you will post, how often, what your brand voice will be, and spend some time research what other businesses are doing on their social media accounts. A lot can be learned from a little research, but remember, you are unique and you need to project an authentic message to your audience.
Not Understanding Your Audience
While looking at similar social media accounts can be a great help, always remember to keep the company's personality in tact as well as the creative spin you will put on your social media channel(s).
Another hard truth that everyone starting out in social media will encounter, IT'S A SLOW PROCESS to gain a healthy and happy audience. It's okay to get a small handful or even 0 likes, comments, or shares to a post. In addition, it's also easy to buy followers online, but what is the value in bogus followers? You get no engagement and they definitely aren't going to enter into your sales funnel. Focus on a target audience. Listen to them, converse with them, be a part of the audience instead of trying to sell or promote your business. Take the time to connect with your audience and it will pay dividends down the line.
The most important thing is that you provide high-quality content so when a post does catch on, people will also see your other content and decide to become a follower. It'll then turn into a snowball effect on your social media channels.
The Shotgun Approach
Especially when starting to create your social media presence, keep it simple. Master one single social media channel and then decide later if you would like to expand to another social media platform realm. It's very easy to create several accounts at once, get overwhelmed and burnt out, then quit and throw in the towel. Develop a following, understand your audience and adjust your social media strategy to add accounts later - you'll be happy you did.
Posting The Same Content Everywhere
Each social media platform is a unique channel with its own standards of practice. Posting the same content across all channels demonstrates your lack of understanding and lack of effort across each channel. It really is an art form to master each platform's specific voice. Again, start slow and expand later.
Not Posting Your Own Content
While there is a lot of great information to be shared floating around out there, don't go crazy with sharing all of it. You can use and share content from others but focus on your content and what you know. One of the main reasons for creating a social media account is to display your business's personality and ingenuity so don't skimp on it.
Related: 11 Benefits of Content Marketing
Not Posting Consistently
I get it, life happens. You might be slammed at work with a busy personal life but it is very important to continue to supply content to your followers. A lack of consistency shows people that you aren't as committed to the company and your followers as you should be. When times get tough, share a few posts but be sure to follow up with some stellar content to keep that audience of yours happy.
One of the more difficult subjects with social media is to find a good balance between time put into social media and overall customer response from social media. Granted, it will be a slow process to gain traction and followers but at the same time, posting too often (especially low quality content) can deter potential fans to not give your page a follow or even a current fan to unfollow you. A good way to test this out is by either experimenting or asking your current audience. Don't be afraid to try something new or change up a process over time.
It is very easy to get into it with an unhappy or unruly customer/follower on social media. Before you click the send button, take a step back and go for a short walk to clear your head. One huge thing to realize is that you need to always keep it professional, mature, and handle an undesired circumstance with grace. This is your time to show your commitment you have to your customers. A good route is apologizing and direct them to a personal line of contact with the company to resolve any issue.
Too Much Selling
Successful brands use social media to "contribute to the conversation" instead to constantly trying to sell. Yes, it is good to include some posts to introduce your audience to your product, new features, or specials but this is not what people want to consistently see. Keep them coming back to your page for interesting content so when they want to buy, they buy from you. I would recommend posting product or sales related posts about once in every 6 to 7. Of course, this estimate is completely dependent on your audience. Utilize the 10-4-1 rule. For every 10 posts, 1 should be a sales post, 4 should be your own content, and the remaining 5 can be shared posts or entertaining content.
Using Too Many Hashtags
If you're into the hashtag game, 1) great work! 2) find a happy medium and don't overdo it. Hashtags are a great way to connect with people who are looking for specific posts or connecting with others accounts with similar interests. It can become a problem when you use too many hashtags. Your posts can appear congested and confusing. Stick to 3-5 hashtags you at the most.
Liking Your Own Posts
I certainly hope that you like the topics you are posting about! By liking your own post, there is a good chance to look a little narcissistic. Leave the likes and comments up to your followers instead.
While it may seem overwhelming, a successful social media presence is absolutely achievable to any business by planning, critical thinking, and strategic execution. By actively addressing these topics in the beginning, these 11 common mistakes businesses make on social media will be a thing of the past.
If you found this blog helpful, check out these other related topics:
- Social Media Marketing Tips From the Pros
- 5 Website Mistakes That Are Killing Your Brand
- User Generated Content: Tips To Achieve Transcendent Marketing