One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when using social media platforms is to get comfortable and continue doing what they’ve always done without evolving.
The way people use social media continues to evolve. Social media platforms understand this and keep changing with it. Every week new features come and go and what worked for your company in the past might not work anymore. It's vital to stay attuned with both the everchanging technical features and the evolving culture of social media.
As the year comes to a close, we take a look back at common social media marketing mistakes that are best left behind in 2018.
1) Not Having a Clear Strategy
Social media marketing is first and foremost, marketing — and it should be treated as such. No one would invest time and money in print or event marketing without a plan, so why should social media be any different?
It’s a common mistake to think that, because social media is momentary and rapidly consumed, there is no need to have a long-term plan or strategy. Without a plan, you will be wandering aimlessly from one platform to the next without seeing results.
You should at the very least have a weekly or monthly post target and a measurable goal, such as reaching a certain number of impressions or a minimum number of sales leads.
You might be interested in some of our previous articles that cover the points above in more detail:
2) Copying and Pasting Content Across Platforms
Every social media platform has a list of best and worst practices. From the length of posts to the size of images, and the use (or not) of hashtags.
Users of each platform know what to expect, and you should be able to meet those expectations if you want them to engage with your brand. When posting the same message over several platforms, tailoring the content for each is a must.
For a quick roundup of the key considerations for each social media platform, you might be interested in this article:
3) Hard Sales
Social media is all about being social and interacting. No one enjoys the feeling of being treated as just another possible sale.
It’s always better to share interesting content that will attract the attention of potential customers, rather than have a feed full of sales-related posts. You can share your own content or act as a curator and share high-quality content from respected third parties. Once followers recognise you as a leader in your field, the conversions will follow naturally.
In short: respect your followers, and they will respect you.
We’ve previously explored the need to build trust with your audience. Read more in this article:
4) Not Interacting
This goes back to the importance of creating natural interactions with your followers. Some people will ask questions — make sure you answer them correctly and without delay. Others will leave positive reviews and comments — thank them and maybe consider resharing their post. If you get a mention, do a follow-up and thank the account that linked back to you.
In some cases, you will receive negative feedback. Many ignore these comments, or even worse: they delete them. No one enjoys hearing bad things about their company, but it’s in these cases where your professionalism shows.
Make sure you acknowledge everyone who leaves a negative comment and offer them a solution if possible.
We discuss the importance of being honest and open, and offer strategies for you to implement in this article:
5) Not Having a Tone of Voice
Your social media presence is your brand’s voice on the internet. Your company has a personality. Don’t be afraid to show it on your social media accounts.
Some brands are better served by a corporate tone, while others prefer a casual friendly approach.
Choose the persona that best suits your company and your values. Make sure you showcase it when posting and interacting with followers. Usually, the tone of your posts will guide followers on the tone of their replies.
If you’re interested in learning more about creating a tone of voice for your business or brand, read our article below:
6) Being Everywhere
There are many social media platforms, with more continuing to break onto the scene. While it’s tempting to try to have a presence on all of them, it might not be the best idea.
Your potential followers and customers will probably gather across two or three platforms. Instead of spending manpower and time on channels that won’t bring results, focus on those where your target customers can be found.
You might be interested in reading our handy guide to choosing the right social media channels for your business:
7) Not Enough Variety
Are you always posting the same kind of content? If the answer is yes, you’re not making the most of your social media presence.
Different people prefer different kinds of posts: images, links, videos, short blogs, long-form articles. It’s important to tailor your message to the platform you’re using. Just remember to mix it up a bit.
Learn how to engage your followers by telling your brand’s story across social media with this article from our archive:
8) Buying Followers
It can be easy to get sucked into the numbers game that defines social media. However, it’s important to know that quantity is not always indicative of quality.
It’s best to have a smaller number of followers who are engaged and interested in what you share, than thousands of followers who ignore you.
Next time you come across someone selling followers, ignore them and focus on quality interactions with your real followers.
Learn about defining, building, and responding to your core audience. Read the post below:
9) Social Insensitivity
Smartphones and social media often combine to raise awareness of social issues that may go unreported in the mainstream media. People have become increasingly aware of social issues and are not afraid of exposing those who show insensitivity. Slip-ups and ambiguity can be the downfall of your brand.
Considering potential social issues surrounding race, age, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and ethnicity is more important than ever before. When in doubt, don’t post.
10) Grammar/Spelling Mistakes
We’re all busy and sometimes we type a ‘v’ when it should have been a ‘b’. Or maybe fall foul of you’re and your. In some cases, mistakes can completely change the meaning of what we write and our message gets lost in translation.
Simple spelling and grammar mistakes can make your company look unprofessional. While everyone will make mistakes when typing, it’s important to make sure posts go under the scrutiny of several pairs of eyes before seeing the light of day. Just a bit of quality assurance.
Join Us in 2019
Social media can be complicated to master. At Social INK we have a team of professionals who can help your brand stand out in the crowded social media marketplace and avoid mistakes. Reach out and find out how we can help you. We’ll deal with your social media and digital marketing, so you can focus on running your business.