Whether you’re a large business owner or a small local business owner, you are probably thinking about jumping on the social media bandwagon if you haven’t already. It makes sense. That’s where everyone is these days!
If you quickly search “social media marketing” online, you’ll find tons of tips and advice on how to successfully market yourself on social media. However, if you’re just starting out with social media marketing, there are common mistakes you should be aware of. You could be generating relevant and interesting content, but you’re not seeing results. Why?
Maybe you’re making one of these 9 common social media mistakes:
- Not having a plan. At all.
Some businesses create a profile and curate and share content regularly. However, many businesses struggle to grasp the value of social media because they have no strategy or objectives. Randomness is your enemy. Your social media efforts should be consistent. Like all marketing efforts, social media needs a plan with obtainable and measurable goals. Otherwise, how do you know if it’s working or if you’re just wasting your time?
- Using too many social networks.
Don’t spread yourself too thin. Start with creating a profile on one or two networks that best fit your market. Try to build your following and digital presence on those networks before you commit to too many. You want to make sure you are using social media effectively.
- Failing to use hashtags or using irrelevant hashtags.
If you read my post about hashtags, you know that they are essential to engagement and being part of a larger discussion on social networks. Of course, you want to integrate hashtags when you can. However, only use one or two hashtags per post and make sure they are relevant to your content and message. This way, you will reach people who are interested in what you have to say.
I can’t stress this enough. Although social media is a marketing tool, its purpose is very different from other marketing method. Social media can be a tool for customer service, PR, humanizing your brand and getting one-on-one with your customers and potential leads. I’ve mentioned the 80/20 rule before, but if you missed that blog post, it states that 80% of your content should be entertaining, educational and informational and 20% of your content should be self-promotion.
- Not using visuals.
Don’t be a one-trick pony. That being said, visuals are a major part of social media marketing. If you’re only using text and links, it’s hard to grab the attention of your target audience. Include graphics, infographics, video and photos to draw people in and increase engagement.
- Ignoring comments, mentions, and reviews.
Don’t neglect the “social” aspect of social media. That is the whole purpose of social media. Right? You want to have a conversation with your followers. Try to start a conversation with engaging content and questions or engage yourself in conversation by responding to comments and mentions. You can even simply thank people for following you. Most importantly, don’t ignore the negative feedback. Like I said before, social media is a great tool for customer service. If a customer is unhappy and posts about you or on your page, you need to respectfully address the situation ASAP!
- Sharing too much.
Don’t be annoying. Even if people Like your page on Facebook, they can easily hide all of your notifications and posts if you start to annoy them. On other social networks like Instagram and Twitter, it’s as easy as clicking the unlike button! Focus on quality before quantity. Yes, you want to be consistent and visible, but make sure it’s content that people actually want to see. I suggest trying to post 3-4 times a week starting out. Eventually, try to post once a day.
- Aiming in the dark.
Is your target audience too broad? Do you even have a target audience? On all social networks you can select your audience and customize the demographics. I strongly suggest doing this before sending out content and/or paying for an ad. You want to reach a lot of people, but if they aren’t qualified leads you are wasting your time and money.
- Not measuring results and expecting results too fast.
First of all, social media is a slow and steady race. You have to figure out what works and what doesn’t. That takes time and trial and error. I agree that it’s frustrating to measure your results after a month and see not much in return. That just means you need to mix things up a bit and try something new. I usually measure social media analytics once a month. How many new followers did we get? What was our reach? How much engagement are my posts receiving? Answer questions that are related to your objectives in your social media strategy.