Do you actually have a social media marketing strategy or are you just going with the flow and hoping something comes from your vague efforts? Are you making the same social media marketing mistakes that many companies make? Here are 12 social media mistakes you may be making and how to avoid them.
So many businesses start their social media marketing efforts with no plan. They have no plan for the journey or how they will get their audience from point A to B. Namely, from followers to paying customers. It’s a bit like setting off on a long car journey with no map or a sat nav and not even knowing which way is north. Getting to the end of your road and not even knowing if you need to turn right or left. To make your social media efforts count you need some sort of plan, even if it’s a vague strategy that you’ll post each day.
Likewise many businesses are very inconsistent with their social media postings. If you want your following and your reach to grow then you need to remain as consistent as possible. Stick to your video and blog posting schedule. Your audience will get to trust you more when they know to expect great content from you.
Not Understanding Each Platform
Each social media platform is very different. So even though you may post essentially the same content to each platform, they all have their own posting styles, images sizes, character counts. They also all operate very differently. Twitter is fast and the shelf life of a tweet is just minutes. If you want to be seen then you need to be active. Facebook is great for targeting your exact ideal customer. Instagram is all about the pretty not the wordy. Pinterest is a search engine with eye-catching images. And YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world.
Learn the differences between them and how to format your content for each.
Content For Contents Sake
Don’t just post for the sake of posting. Every piece of content you put out must have a purpose to it and be of some benefit to your audience.
Following Irrelevant Trends
There’s always a passing bandwagon for a social media expert to jump on. But before you go ‘all in’ and start jumping on those bandwagons, firstly make sure it’s going in your direction but also make sure that it’s relevant to your business and your audience.
A few years ago when live streaming became a thing, there was a whole bunch of ‘experts’ that would have you believe that your business would die if you weren’t live streaming your every move. Guess what? Nobody’s business died because they didn’t live stream but the careers of a few so-called experts did when they failed to understand that this trend wasn’t for every business or every audience.
Please stop linking your Facebook to your Twitter. Your Twitter to your Facebook. Your Instagram to your Twitter and Facebook. It’s just lazy, it shows you aren’t putting any thought into the format of your content, and your audience doesn’t like it. Post the content so that it can be viewed on the platform you’ve posted it to. Don’t take me on a magical mystery ride just to view an Instagram of your lunch.
Too Much Automation
Automation is great and a huge time saver when it comes to scheduling out content to post. The problems with automation occur when you don’t post anything organically and everything is automated. We all need to use automation to a certain extent but mix it up with some natural, on the fly posts, relevant in the moment tweets and using things like Insta Stories when you’re on the go.
Not Understanding #Hashtags
Hashtags on Twitter are great for joining in the conversation. Like when you tweet along with Bake Off (#GBBO) or First Dates (#FirstDates). My own Twitter feed is full of them, But using irrelevant hashtags just to get traffic from irrelevant sources won’t do you any favours. You also don’t need to use hashtags on Facebook, they really are pointless but on Instagram, you probably need to use loads. Make sure you know how hashtags work on each platform and don’t use things like #yacht on a post on Facebook advertising an apartment for sale. Totally pointless and just makes you look like you don’t know what you’re on about. Hashtags on Facebook are about as much use as a chocolate teapot.
Unless you create a hashtag that’s going to be widely used, then using pointless hashtags that only you find relevant on any posts are going to be of no use at all. Why? Because nobody else will be searching for those terms. And unless you’re creating viral content then your newly constructed hashtag made of words that make no sense to anyone, won’t catch on. Don’t make yourself or your business look amateur. There’s always someone like me watching that spots these schoolboy errors.
Doing As The Guru Says Not As The Guru Does
There are so many social media experts these days but many of them really don’t know what they are talking about. If you want to know who’s information to listen to then check out if they are taking their own advice. A lot of the fake gurus are just copying other people’s strategies and dressing it up as their own. They’ve never had a paying client in their lives and they certainly don’t practise what they preach.
Not Being Authentic
The great thing about social media is that your audience can get to know you like you then trust you before they decide to buy from you. If you are copying someone else in your posts or reading from a script in video or just making it up as you go along, then you won’t come across as authentic. Just be yourself and stay true to your own voice. The audience aren’t fools. They will spot a fraud a mile off.
Thinking It’s All About Numbers
Whilst it’s important to be growing your audience, it doesn’t matter if you only have 20 followers but they all buy from you. Having 20,000 followers that never buy from you is a problem. Stay on top of your numbers and know what’s going on, but understand it’s not all about the number of likes you get.
Not Being Social
To create engagement, which is what you want from your social media marketing efforts, you have to actually engage. This means not automating all your social media content and never checking your mentions. Take the time to personally (not a bot) reply to anyone that responds to any of your tweets. Thank people on Instagram when they say it’s a great post (even if they are a bot) and get conversations going on Facebook. Say thank you when people share or retweet your content. This will get more difficult to keep up with as your audience grows, but stay with it for as long as you can.
I can’t believe that we are still having this conversation about buying likes and followers. This practice has been going on for years and I still see it every day. Instagram seems to be the worst offender for it at the moment. Until it gets cleaned up this will continue so please don’t encourage anyone that is doing this. They are bringing every other content creator down. I’ve written about this before in Faking It Won’t Lead To Making It. Take a read. I also showed how you can spot the fakes in Why Are You Faking Your Online Presence.