Using your social media channels strategically will often result in massive benefits for your business. Your social media presence can effectively present your core values and objectives to “your people” and build lasting connections online. In this article, we look at some all too common social media mistakes you’ll want to stop doing if you want to succeed online.
Your social media posts should not be boring, repetitive, or overly promotional; people will simply unfollow your brand and continue scrolling. You must listen, ask questions, and share equally. We have come up with the top six mistakes you should stop doing now and show you how to correct them.
1: You’re not a robot
Human connection is what sets social media apart from other forms of marketing. Automated, scripted responses are not what loyal followers expect. Your fans took the time to find you, be honest with your replies, if you make a connection, you’ll likely have a customer for life. Never copy/paste a response, try to convey your personality and that of your business. Engage individually with your audience, and adjust to the expectation of the social media network you’re on.
Establish some brand guidelines, decide if you want to be formal or humorous. These guidelines will help avoid you appearing too robotic and are an excellent reference for everyone posting on social media, especially when well established and thought out. They help define your business’ tone and personality.
2: Acknowledge errors
There’s nothing worse than trying to protect a brand or the rationale behind something shared incorrectly. If you find yourself in this situation, remember to allow people to get whatever they want off their chest, do not cut them off or delete their posts. Be transparent – honesty is always the best policy. If you are going to respond, own up to your mistake and apologise with sincerity.
3: Remember to listen
When it comes to social media, many businesses regularly share content, asking for likes, but forget to make themselves available when someone tries to start a conversation.
Use your analytics to understand your audience better, what they care about and make an effort to interact with them.
Share relevant content and like what your community is sharing. This type of listening is a good for your brand, and likely to elevate your standing in the community. A great tool and one we use personally at AA Marketing is Hootsuite; it places all discussions, posts, etc. in one easy to use dashboard.
4: Lose the ego
The most common of all mistakes is when people and businesses seek to turn the conversation back to themselves. Too much self or brand-promotion is disengaging, bad practice and offers zero incentive for others to listen to you.
Try to ask questions, participate in comments, share industry trends, give useful tips and insider info, better still engage with your follower’s posts.
Broadly speaking, you want to try to distribute your content in three equal parts:
- Direct sales: Your posts should promote your business and seek to convert readers into customers and generate profit.
- Interesting: Share stories or news from your industry and similar companies.
- Informative: Post content that builds your brand and exchange information, your objectives and growth intentions. No direct call-to-actions or direct selling.
Once you lose the trust your community had for you and your brand, they will unfollow, block and even report you. Here’s a handful of actions you should avoid like the plague:
- Serial posting (posting too often)
- Posting the same content again and again
- Click-baiting (misleading headlines that don’t deliver the goods)
- Overusing or misusing hashtags
- Using wrong groups to promote products and services
- Promote products and services in comments threads
- Creating fake product reviews
- Using a fake account
An excellent way to avoid any of the above, especially over posting to your page, is to create a structure for your posts in a content calendar. A content calendar will help you plan posts ahead-of-time, avoiding serial-posting altogether.
Overuse and misuse of hashtag may seem absurd, but for example, if you use a popular but sensitive hashtag to promote yourself, you’ll soon be knee deep in a PR nightmare. Research hashtags, know exactly why they work before using them.
6: Don’t be boring
Try not only to promote your brand, look for sales, or overly advertise services and products. Overwhelming your feed with sales links, saying buy this, buy that, will not work, you need to offer your community something in return by mixing it up with content they will find interesting and useful.
The best way to interact with your community is to encourage them to be involved in the content creation. Can you entice your audience to take photos of themselves using your products? We call this user-generated content, and it is fantastic for getting your business’ goods and services noticed. Plus it’s free, and your fans are marketing your products or services for you, it doesn’t get better than that.
If you don’t suffer from any of the above shortcomings, we salute you. Maybe you know someone who does, share this so they can read it. Or maybe you would like some help with your social media, we offer marketing services to suit any budget. Use the contact form to message us and we’ll get right back to you.