by Julia Ngapo
Social media can have great potential for your business; build brand awareness, grow your customer base and generally help you stand out amongst your competitors…that’s if it’s done properly. If you’ve found yourself thinking, “Social media doesn’t work for my business”, then I have to say, it’s probably down to your usage, rather than social media’s fault. Here are five of the most common social media mistakes to avoid.
1. Fail to Prepare, Prepare to Fail.
My Numero Uno in social media mistakes to avoid is lack of a plan. When we talk about a marketing plan or strategy, your immediate reaction may be to roll your eyes, listen politely but think that you don’t need one. It’s going to take hours of time and energy, right? No, it needn’t! Many of the best plans are written on just one sheet of paper. You need to have clear goals of what you want to achieve, how you will achieve these results, how you will measure them (otherwise how will you know when you’ve reached them?) a budget and what resources you intend to use.
If you have a plan, your social content will fall into place. You’ll know when you need to start a campaign to launch a new product or service, when to start promoting an event and have an idea of key awareness days that you can make use of. You’ll know which hashtags to use and the type of content you’re going to use; video, text, image reshares, retweets etc.
Without a plan, you’ll be posting content inconsistently and attracting followers on an irregular basis. That’s not strategic use and it’s a waste of time and effort. No. Just no.
2. Copy and Paste.
Please don’t post the same content to each of your profiles. This is a common social media mistake I see, even form so-called professionals. Take time to learn the differences between each platform. You’ll notice that each platform has its own etiquette, language and type of content. Although you can auto-share content between Facebook and Instagram, when I see a post on Facebook containing hashtags and obviously shared straight from Insta it really turns me off! My perception of that person posting is one of laziness.
3. Avoiding Negativity.
Negative feedback can be a positive in a funny sort of way. It gives you the opportunity to learn where your weaknesses lie from those actually using your products/services. It also gives you the opportunity to demonstrate to anyone reading a negative review or comment that you take customer opinion seriously and act on it. What then happens is nothing short of a miracle! When someone else reads the negative review and your stellar response, the focus becomes more about how you dealt with the issue than the issue itself.
4. Not Engaging.
It’s simply not enough to post and run! You need to be seen to be active on any platform, commenting and engaging with your audience. A great tip is to not only comment on someone else’s post and, in so doing, come into their line of consciousness, but comment on other’s comments, too. This gives you a second (or third) bite of that same cherry. People will read your comment and click your profile to find out more about you.
When someone comments on your post, thank them for their comment and, if you can, aim to create an “Engagement Loop”. This is where you respond to that comment with a question, meaning the person commenting will be compelled to answer and thereby increasing your engagement. And, what does increased engagement lead to? A larger potential audience, of course!
5. It’s Not All About You!
Have you ever engaged in conversation with someone who makes it all about them? You know the type; where every topic comes back to what they want, how they feel, what they think? It’s boring isn’t it? And it makes you feel invisible, right? You feel like they’re not at all interested in you, your views or your needs. Well, the same can be said of social media. If you’re talking about yourself 24/7 or permanently self-promoting, then don’t. Instead, focus on your target audience.
- What content would they be interested in?
- What subjects would resonate with them?
- What are their “Pain Points” – the things that keep them awake at night?
Once you have this information, you’ll be able to see what content outside of their work they’re interested in and create compelling copy designed to show them that you are the solution to those business issues.
Of course, this is only a snapshot of social media mistakes to avoid. Social media can be a minefield and it can seem that there are a million pitfalls. The key to social media success is to ensure you’re getting the basics right and that you have good foundations in place. By this, I mean your plan and your knowledge of your audience. From these most other areas covered will flow.
If you would like to cross at least some of these social media mistakes off your list to avoid, then why not download my Audience Persona Worksheet? This is an easy workbook that I have designed to help you identify and focus on who your ideal client is and how you can focus your content on attracting and retaining their interest. You can download your FREE copy here.