When being in business, mistakes will happen. When using social media to help market your business, there is a huge opportunity for mistakes to happen. Knowing how to avoid them is key.
The world of social media marketing is gigantic. With numerous platforms to choose from, conflicting advice and strategies floating around, it’s not surprising to see so many businesses floundering about not sure if they are doing their marketing right. That’s where the mistakes happen. Off-brand messages getting posted. Too many, or too few, posts getting published. No analytics being tracked.
If you see yourself there, or if you are trying to avoid being there, help is here. Here are 8 common social media marketing mistakes I see businesses making, and some suggestions to help:
Doing More Than You Should
Often when a business decides to use social media, they think they need to do every.single.platform. If a marketing professional tells you that – fire them. You need to find where your audience is and focus on that. If that turns out to be Facebook and Instagram, then focus on those two platforms only. If it’s just Instagram, do only that. There is no need spending time on a social media platform that you have no audience on.
According to the latest data from Pew Research Center in November 2016, here is the demographic breakdown of the major social media platforms:
Not Tracking Your Results
If you are not looking at your analytics on a regular basis, you’ll have no way of knowing if you social media efforts are working. Every platform, save Snapchat, has their own analytics component. Most social media management programs have them as well. To know if you are being effective with your social media marketing, you need to be consistently measuring your social media marketing efforts – weekly, monthly, however frequently you deem necessary.
If you are unsure what key metrics to look for, Sprout Social has a fantastic guide here.
Not having a plan, or posting consistently, is a mistake. Posting too much will lead people to stop following you. Not posting enough will leave people out in the cold because they will not know what’s going on. So, how often should you post? That’s up for you to decide for your own business, however, here is my general recommendation:
- Facebook: 1-2 times/day
- Twitter: 5-6 times/day
- Pinterest: 5-6 pins/day
- Instagram: 1-3 times/day (depending on your business)
- LinkedIn Company Page: 3-5 times/week
- Snapchat: TBD based on your business type
Having the Wrong Message
Your social media posts should not be all broadcasts or worse yet, off-brand. People do not want to see sales pitch after sales pitch. Build a relationship with your fans. You want to use social media to educate your fans, yet build that relationship to establish trust. That last thing you want to do is to go off-brand to the point you leave them scratching their heads wondering if a 10 year-old is running your social media.
Even though you want to limit your sales-y pitch posts, you do not want to forget your calls to action. People need to be prompted to do something. The CTAs (call-to-actions) can be something as easy as asking fans to like, comment, retweet, or share. CTAs lead to more conversions, not to mention more awareness for your brand.
Your Followers are Fake
I’ve become more active on Instagram with my business account and one thing I’ve noticed is newer accounts with unusually high following totals. When I go and look at who is following them… it’s mostly spam accounts. Even a “competitor” of mine is doing this. First of all, this is a Terms of Service violation that runs you the risk of having your account deleted, and second of all, this is an ethically wrong business practice.
Not Staying Up with the Latest
Social media is ever-evolving. Platforms change. Rules change. You cannot rely on articles and advice from two years ago. What everyone was suggesting in 2015 honestly is not applicable in 2017. When you seek advice or look at articles on Google, make sure to check the date of the article or source.
To stay up with latest, subscribe to a few blogs. Here are a few recommendations:
Trying to Do it All Yourself
This is the biggest mistake business owners make. Social media for your business can take all of your time, if you do social media right. As a business owner, you can outsource this to a social media strategist, or have someone in-house handle your social media.
Mistakes will happen. We’ve made them before – no business is perfect. The key is to learn from them and grow.
What other mistakes do you see businesses make on social media? Did we leave anything out? If you have any suggestions you’d like to add, please share them below in the comments!Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community