THE 7 BIGGEST SOCIAL MEDIA MISTAKES BUSINESSES MAKE & HOW TO AVOID THEM

Ana Gotter

Ana Gotterwww.anagotter.com

 

Social media is a necessity for businesses of all sizes, but since it’s a relatively new necessity, a lot of businesses are unsure of exactly how to go about executing it. Add this to the fact that everyone has a Facebook and thinks they’re an automatic expert, and you’ve got a recipe for major disaster.

A lot of businesses make mistakes on social media, but here’s the good news: most businesses make the 7 same social media mistakes over and over and over. By steering clear of these 7, your profiles and campaigns will be in much better shape, and you’ll see the difference fast.

 

Acting Like It’s One Long Sales Pitch

Have you seen the businesses who use social media like a megaphone for their sales pitches? Every single post is about a product, aggressively trying to sell and linking to a sales page. Nothing will lose users faster.

Your social posts should be diverse and focused on engagement more than purely on sales.

 

Instead, go by the 80/20 rule: only 20% of your content should be focused on your sales. Instead, share other types of content, like user generated content, links to industry-relevant blog posts, and updates from other businesses in your local area. Show that you want to build and be part of a community—not the center of one.

 

Forgetting Videos & Images

We’ve become an increasingly visual society, and our social media reflects that. As a result, users are more drawn to videos and images. While regular, plain-text posts work well for users, they don’t work as great for Pages and businesses. Visual elements are a necessity.

 

 

Videos and images help your content stand out in feeds on all platforms, including Facebook and Twitter. And then you have the entirely image-centric platforms, like Snapchat, Pinterest, and Instagram. Regardless of platform, visuals increase engagement, clicks, and conversions, so if they’re not a central part of your marketing strategy, you’re missing out.

 

 

Treating All Platforms Like They’re the Same

This is a big one. A lot of businesses get into the habit of thinking “I need all the social media sites out there so I can reach everyone.” And then they get stumped trying to come up with content, so they just share the same thing to every platform.

This doesn’t work, and their engagement always suffers because of it. Each platform is unique, with its own weird quirks. You shouldn’t use hashtags on Facebook, for example, but on Pinterest they’re ok, and they’re essential on Instagram and Twitter. You can get away with longer videos on Facebook and YouTube, but not Twitter or Instagram.

You must know what works for each platform—look up best practices for each, and monitor your profiles’ analytics to see what works for your specific audience on each site.

 

Not Responding Quickly

Not responding is awful, and most businesses know this. What they don’t always realize is that it’s almost as important to respond quickly.

Think about this- we live in a world where same day delivery of any number of products is available, sometimes for free. Why wouldn’t this generation expect responses immediately?

Facebook will even let users know how quickly a business responds, and you want your public profile to show that you’re responsive and value customer input.

 

Make it a habit to check Facebook and Twitter—the two profiles people are most likely to DM you on—at least three times a day. This will help you deliver prompt replies, which are particularly important for urgent matters. The sooner, the better.

 

Hiring a 17-Year Old Intern for Social Media Management

Say it with me, folks: social media management is a profession. It is an actual skill that involves technical knowledge and strategy. There’s a reason that the Facebook Page of the pasta restaurant in the mall near my skyrocketed while the Greek restaurant’s Page flopped: one used strategy and consistency, and the other didn’t.

 

 

One thing I see constantly is small businesses recruiting a friend’s teenager or college-aged nephew as an intern. They’ll pay them $8.00 an hour, and expect quality work. These kids may have great knowledge of how to get plenty of likes on their personal page, but even if they think of themselves as an expert, if they can’t tell you how to run Facebook Ads or how to choose your profile’s CTA button to optimize for sales, they’re not the right fit.

Social media marketing involves knowledge of the platforms—yes. But it also requires a firm understanding of marketing strategy, business strategy, and sales optimization. Without that, it amounts to nothing, so if you hire someone, go for a consultant or an agency who can prove they know what they’re talking about.

 

Skipping Out on Research

Research is an essential part of any marketing campaign, and that includes your social media. This includes researching:

  • What types of content your audience likes seeing
  • The content that your competitors are posting, and how they’re getting engagement on social media
  • The potential hashtags that you want to use, especially your branded hashtag
  • Who your existing audience is on each platform, and how they’re different from other sites

Let’s take a look at hashtags, for example. You need to research hashtags extremely carefully, or you could end up attaching something controversial or inappropriate to your content. Entenmann’s did this once, picking a trending hashtag #notguilty and adding it to their tweet. Unfortunately, the #notguilty hashtag was referring to the Casey Anthony trial, and they got slammed for having bad taste.

 

 

That’s the last thing that you want to do. Search a hashtag first on both Instagram and Twitter before using it if you have any doubts (and maybe even if you don’t).

 

Not Using Advanced Analytics

Advanced analytics are a necessity if you want to kill it on social media (which all businesses should). Analytics tools like Metricool allow you to see the bigger picture; you can monitor trends overtime, and look for patterns of content that have high engagement.

 

Using tools that track multiple platforms instead of just one works to your benefit—it’s easier to evaluate your social performance overall when it’s all in one dashboard. This is as big-picture as it gets, and is essential for continual growth on every platform.

 

Final Thoughts

Social media mistakes are extremely common, and are made by everyone—including major corporations. By knowing the most common mistakes, however, you can keep an eye out and avoid them. Most of these mistakes happen out of habit, so by changing your habits to be increase content diversity and research, you’ll be off to a great start (and far ahead of most of your competition).

Metricool can help you avoid at least two of these social media mistakes, to start your free trial now!

 

 

 

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