Measuring the Wrong Metrics
A common mistake in social media marketing is to see the number of your fans/followers etc. as the ultimate decider of whether or not your social media efforts are successful. Whilst growing your social influence through increased fans is important, the reality is that what really matters is whether those fans are engaging with you and interacting with the content you post. The wise brands always look to monitor more qualitative metrics including comments, shares and quality customer service feedback.
Using Too Many Platforms
When many businesses start out there is always the temptation to get set up on every social media platform in the hopes that they can be seen by everyone, everywhere. Unfortunately in most cases this leads to brands being stretched too thin over several platforms and ultimately leaves them without the content, time and resources to keep their content valuable and interesting and keeping their fans engaged. It is much better to be on a few platforms and performing really well than to be everywhere inconsistently, so really research what platforms are best for you and your business.
Thinking It’s All About You
When you first posting it may be tempting to go with the direct sale approach posting information about how wonderful your business is and all of the things you sell or offer. This however is not a successful approach and in most cases will see you viewed as a spammer and will quickly lead to people losing interest or not even bother to connect with you at all. To avoid making this mistake you must strike a balance between subtle business posts and ones centred on customer engagement, with a very favourable emphasis on the latter.
Having No Clear Strategy or Goals
One of the first things you must always do is determine what you want each of your social media platforms to achieve for your business. Having clear objectives for your platforms help optimise their reach and impact, so it is vital that you establish a clear strategy and road map for your business that encompasses everything from an editorial calendar, to a process for customer complaints.
Deciding on what major content categories you want to include regularly also helps you to stay focused and maintains a clear direction for your posts to go in order to ensure your content is in line with your business goals and is targeting reader’s needs. Part of this process is also to determine how often you will post new content as having a clear schedule of when you will be posting is paramount in order to ensure it is in line with your wider social media strategy.
Not Committing to Social Media Long Term
Maintaining a successful online presence is a process involving a lot of effort, time and thought and as time progresses often gets neglected or becomes lower down in a business’s list of priorities, especially if an immediate return on your efforts is not seen. The key is to keep going and keep it one of your top priorities as there are so many benefits for your business in terms of building your online reputation, increasing credibility and helping generate business and drive sales.
It is common to see businesses that use automation, whether it’s just an automatic thank you for following message or fully automated content posts, in my opinion it should not be happening. Social media to me reflects real human interaction and conversation and a tailored personal message should always take precedence over a time-saving method of ‘robotic’ automation. It is important to note however that when I suggest not using automation, it doesn’t mean you that you shouldn’t schedule your posts as scheduling is different than automation as it means you are in control of your posts as opposed to automation where the app is in control. To avoid making this mistake always tailor your messages and posts as people like to feel they are interacting with a human and not another generic automated ‘robot.’
Not Engaging With Fans
The use of social media is essentially an ongoing and open conversation, and whilst that can open you up to criticism and negativity publicly, it also provides an invaluable opportunity to connect with your customers. You will get a lot more out of using social media if you enable and encourage your customers to respond to what you write. You also need to remember the conversation is two-way and the key is to make the person connecting with you feel their input is important, so respond to the comments readers leave and you are likely to develop a community around your page that can help turn your customers into fans who will promote your products and services and provide you with quality feedback.
Not Posting Consistently
It is common to see business profiles that are neglected and rarely updated. Posting often is vital in order to get the most out social media as a marketing tool, it is therefore vital that in the very beginning you figure out a comfortable writing routine that works with your editorial calendar, be it posting daily or several times a week, and stick to it in order to maintain consistency and maximise your impact.
Not Dealing With Negativity in a Positive Way
Rather than simply deleting any negative comments you receive, as even the most universally loved businesses receive negative comments, view them as an opportunity to win over a customer offering help, guidance or even acknowledging where something went wrong. Even if you don’t have the answer, simply saying “Hi ___ thanks for that comment/question. Let me find that out for you” is better than no response at all. By dealing with negativity in an open and authentic way you can help build rapport and trust with your customers
Not Proofreading your Content
This applies across all your platforms and any content you have elsewhere, always remember to check your copy for correct spellings, punctuation and grammar as your social media platforms are an extension of your corporate persona so simple errors could damage your authority, reputation and appeal.
It is common to see businesses that have certain brand colours/ elements that are not being consistently applied across all aspects of their social presence. It is vital that you do not make this same mistake. Consistency should always be applied to the creative aspects of your profile, that is the overall presentation including the colour scheme and typography. By setting consistent guidelines over the presentation and integration of your branding into your platforms it ensures that all these factors support and are in line with your overall branding and help reinforce your message across all social media platforms.
Writing Posts With no Point
Unless the aim of your page is to be akin to a personal journal, your content should not be simply an update of what you are thinking or doing now with no real substance or value in what you are writing. If you are not providing valuable and engaging information, you will lose your audience quickly. To avoid to making this mistake every post should have a clearly defined topic as well as delivering something valuable to the reader, whether that be entertainment or information.
No Diversity Among Post Types
When businesses struggle to generate fresh and interesting ideas this often leads posts to sound generic and similar. When this is teamed with another common mistake in not including media content such as relevant videos and pictures, posts can look uninviting and will not capture a reader’s attention. To avoid making this mistake make sure to post insightful and valuable content that your readers will want to read and looks visually appealing also.
Publishing Without Promoting
Your page/ blog etc. could be full of ground breaking ideas and brilliantly valuable information but that is no good if no one can find or see it. Once you have published your post, remember to promote it across all your platforms and that includes tweeting it, Blogging it, putting it on Facebook, emailing it to someone you know would find it useful and putting it into your e-newsletter etc.
Have you thought of any more common mistakes businesses should stop making? I would love to hear them…