Social media can be a tricky beast to tame, and it’s one that some small businesses are afraid of. So, if you’ve been brave and made the social media plunge — you’re already a step ahead of the competition.
However, there are many easy social media mistakes to make – and these oversights can do some serious damage to your reputation and brand.
The seven social mistakes below are incredibly common, but luckily — very easy to fix. Take a look below to see why you might be doing social wrong, and what you can do to fix it.
Mistake #1: Your social media strategy
The strength of your strategy can determine whether or not you’ll be a success on social media. If you don’t have one and just post at whim, then you could end up confusing your audience and appearing to be unreliable.
If you post personal opinions and aspects of your life you may not look professional enough for people to do business with.
And if you don’t have great content, you won’t see any return on investment (ROI) and your social accounts could flop.
Do your research before you do anything else.
Decide which platforms you’ll use when you’re going to post, what you’ll post and who you’re targeting. Think about the resources you have available – will you do it, or is there someone on your team better suited?
You should also include the metrics and KPIs you plan on measuring. Look at your content too: plan topics that appeal to your audience and help you become a figure of authority.
Check out this post on 6 crucial steps behind an effective digital marketing campaign for tips on planning your social strategy and campaign.
Mistake #2: Your engagement
Acting in an impersonal way towards your followers – or even worse, ignoring them – is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
Regardless of the size of your business, you can’t ignore comments and interactions from your audience. It’s incredibly disrespectful and people will form negative opinions about your brand. That’s not all. Both Instagram and Facebook use an engagement algorithm to decide what content features in users timelines, and comments are an important part of the decision process.
Your customer service team wouldn’t ignore a face-to-face visitor or a phone call – so you shouldn’t ignore your notifications on social media either.
Treat your audience with empathy, tolerance, and kindness – regardless of what’s being said.
Answer every single comment within a respectable time frame (always on the same day, and preferably within the hour), and don’t ignore the negative messages. Your replies will say a lot about your brand: people you answer will be pleased that you’ve helped them, while other followers will see you care about your customers.
The more you engage with your customers, the more likely they are to turn into brand ambassadors and help market your products or services. Treat your social media accounts like another customer service channel, and you’ll be fine.
Mistake #3: Your investment
If you’re new to social media, you might not want to invest in paid social advertising, especially if you don’t know what the ROI is like.
But if you don’t dedicate some funds to social media ads, you may miss out on opportunities that organic reach can’t easily unlock. Paid ads are a cost-effective way to reach a wider audience of new potential consumers, and can also allow you to successfully target a specific demographic.
Putting some money in early on will help boost awareness of your brand or give you a chance to show the world that you’re turning a jaded pre-existing business around.
Look through your strategy and decide where investments could be made. If you want to build up a good email database, then you should look at investing in a good email marketing platform. These can help you to manage campaigns easily: you can bulk-send automated emails as well as personalize with templates, and analyze your stats.
If you want to reach new audiences on social media, using paid ads will help you out.
Plus, if you’re struggling with running it yourself – whether it’s a lack of time or simply not enjoying it – think about hiring a social media manager to run your accounts for you.
Mistake #4: Your consistency
Social media success is a long game. If you give up after a few months because your followers aren’t growing or your engagement isn’t great, then you need to rethink your strategy.
Likewise, inconsistent posting won’t do you any good either.
Create a social media schedule or editorial calendar and be strict with yourself.
It can be frustrating to post content and get no replies or responses, but it’s all part of your journey. You just need to plug away and slowly you’ll see your community grow.
There are plenty of management tools like Buffer around to help you with your posting schedule: you can create all your posts at once and let the tool distribute them.
Mistake #5: Your content
If you’re posting the same article over and over, or all your content talks about the same topic, then you might find yourself talking to an empty room.
People go on social media for entertainment as well as education, and the most popular brands on social media are the ones who get the combination right.
Don’t just post about work and your business. Include more light-hearted posts like pictures and photos; something about your day, a funny story or an inspiring article.
Some of the best posts tend to be these lighter ones – people love discovering who’s ‘behind’ the brand. They want to know your story, and social is the perfect place to share it.
Mistake #6: Your testing
Simply posting away on social media won’t do much for you in the long run. It’s not enough to put your content up and define success by how many likes you get.
Forgetting to test and measure your social media marketing can result in losing engagement, and even followers.
Use the information that social media platforms give you: you’ll see how many people see it and how many interact with it.
Compare all your posts and see which do best, then use this information to shape your strategy and posting schedule. If one particular type of asset – like a video or picture – does well, then you know it’s best to produce more content like that.
Mistake #7: Your tone
Being overly promotional is a very quick way to lose interest and followers. People don’t want to be bombarded with marketing messages every time they log onto their social accounts.
You might be really proud of your product and think that social is the perfect place to sell it, but don’t push it onto your followers at every opportunity.
This ratio should ensure your audience is happy and engaged, and you can still drive traffic to your business and website.
When it goes well, social media is an incredible tool. You can build a community of people who love your brand and your products or services. You can interact with customers all over the world. And you can even come up with new ideas.
What did you think of our tips? Are you guilty of any of these social media mistakes? Let us know in the comments below.