Social Media Mistakes You Might Be Making

You know your business needs social media (at least we hope you do!) ... but did you know that doing it right is just as important as doing it at all? It's tempting to add scheduling tweets to your busy admin's already hefty list of tasks, or to stay up late after client meetings doing it yourself. If you're willing to put in the work, that's fine, but just make sure you're not making these common social media mistakes:

No Strategy

Even though it might seem like the best path to take is to just dive right in, it's honestly better to take a step back and plan your route carefully. For example: even though Instagram Stories are gaining traction and getting buzz, it doesn't necessarily mean they're right for you and your audience. Or, people might tell you not to waste time with Twitter, but we've seen B2B clients have massive success with it for trade shows. Developing an effective strategy takes time and lots of research... and there's no one size fits all social media strategy for business. Make sure to align your business goals with your bandwidth, budget, and interests before taking the plunge.

Starting with a basic content calendar, like this one from Hubspot, can help you plan out realistic expectations and allot the proper or amount of time and resources for your strategy. You might start putting together content and realize that you really do need third-party help -- and that's okay. We can help with that.

Megaphone Syndrome

Social media is often an afterthought for businesses. After they've drawn up plans for a massive sale or a new product offering, they think that posting about it on social will bring people to them in droves, and then they can neglect their platforms again until it's time for a new sale or promotion... but that couldn't be more wrong.

Social media is all about building relationships and bringing value to your audience. The number one question that we always ask ourselves is, "What are we teaching someone?" If we can't think of an answer, we go back and rephrase our content. Simply spewing out promotions doesn't help people (unless the deal is reeeeally good.) Make sure that you're posting helpful articles and engaging with your audience as much as possible. Reply to their questions, ask them for feedback, and retweet their content, too. That way, you're setting the blocks in place to build a great two-way relationship, the kind of relationship that social media was designed for.

Focusing on Vanity Metrics

Few great marketers care about the size of their audience. While a million Facebook fans might look good on paper, the truth is someone could have just as much success with 1,000 fans if they're doing it right. Same goes for 'likes' on status updates. There's one major metric that we tell our clients to look at: clicks. Much of the rest is all just for show. At the end of the day, the goal of social is to get people over to your website where they'll take an action (sign up for a newsletter, purchase a product, book a consultation, etc.) 'Likes' won't pay your bills.

Customer service matters, too. If you're using your platforms for this purpose and less for sales, take a look at your response time and the sentiment of your responses. If you're taking customer replies from angry to happy, you're doing it right. And that's something to be proud of.

Inconsistency

Posting 'once in a while' is fine for your friends-only profiles, but if you're using social for business, that just won't cut it. If you can't commit to posting at least a few times a week, then you can't really commit to social media at all... yet.

Implementing the use of a social media tool (like Buffer) or hiring a social media manager can help. Developing a schedule that your page followers can count on is so important: they'll start to look forward to your posts and be able to know when to come back, plus it really helps with those good old social media algorithms. 

Noise and Clutter

This brings it all back to the first point: strategy is everything. Posting about your dog one day and your sale on beauty products the next doesn't always make sense. Adhere to a guideline for the type of content that you'll post and stick to it. Maybe cute dog photos are a part of your strategy, but you and your consultant or team should discuss how to work that in and set the expectation for your followers before going wild with random, cluttered posts.

Another thing to think about is imagery. Working on consistently branded images can help pull your pages together, giving them a polished look and feel. Clip art and cheesy stock photos has no place in our business' social plan, and we don't recommend them for you either.

Feeling overwhelmed? Don't be - we can help.
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Latasha James