Social media has become a powerful marketing tool for any business, as well as an effective way to gain customers, become more visible in your industry and nurture relationships. But the benefits you may gain by using social media can also backfire on you aren’t using your platforms correctly. Social media plays a big part in today’s marketing, so if you’re going to do it, you should do it well.
Translation – don’t blow it!
Hey, we all make mistakes, even us brilliant social media manager types 😉 There are things that could be done better, as well. But some social media mistakes are worse than others, and we are here to point them out in a handy list and remind you how to avoid them.
Here are our social media tips of what to do (and what to avoid) to ensure you aren’t annoying the rest of us 🙂
Links Are Good. Links With No Images/Description? Bad
Linking relevant and interesting content is a great way to market, but if you don’t include anything with the link, you will fall flat. Since visual content is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content, it’s worth spending some time adding images to accompany your links. You also should include some of your own content, to show how it ties into your brand or marketing strategy, or, whatever! Express an opinion on why you liked this article/infographic and why it’s worth your follower’s time. If you seem interested or excited about the link, you will get your followers interested as well. get excited about, or find useful, yourself.
Sorry, But You’re Boring
Nobody wants to read your social media pages and feel, well, bored. If you post or act monotonous, you will lose followers. A little personality goes a long way, and within reason it’s good to have a little big of a sense of humor. Building a strong online community won’t really succeed if people feel disinterested in what they are reading or who they are ‘chatting’ or engaging with.
But….Watch What You’re Saying!
Let’s get this out of the way: Do NOT (I repeat DO NOT) get political. While it’s important for businesses to convey their core values and beliefs, political stances for or against issues and figureheads risk losing followers. In the same vein, while personality is important (see above about being boring), don’t go too far with the humor. Some humor and even a little bit of edginess is okay but you should make sure you tread carefully. Monitor your accounts for any negative feedback, and if something does fall flat- respond and address it in a timely manner to avoid issues.
You Are Not A Robot; Don’t Act Like One
You are a real person behind all the social media posts. So posts that sound spammy or “bot-like.” are not the way to go. Take the time to try and engage with your followers, and post older content or articles for new followers who may have missed it the first time around. Instead of relying on a method which gets your posts ignored, you’ll see a lot more engagement and give your posts a bit of thought.
We’ve all gone hashtag crazy, but sometimes that means we have also used hashtags incorrectly. The most common faux-pas is using hashtags on platforms (like LinkedIn or Pinterest) that don’t really support them. This usually happens when we schedule and share to other platforms without considering the content might not really work universally across the board. While companies sometimes use hashtags just because they sound like they would fit well with your brand, it is a better approach to a search to see what people are REALLY using that hashtag for. It may actually stand for something that is completely different than what you are going for, and will cause confusion. So proceed with caution!
Get Over Yourself; It’s Not ALL About You
Posting too many marketing posts and nothing else will eventually work against you; you also need to offer some value. Followers will see through hard sells if that is all they are seeing. After awhile, nobody is going to continue to follow your pages if you only talk about yourselves. Just like talking to your co-workers, friends and family, you should’t make it all about you. Just like you enjoy people who tell interesting anecdotes and from who you learn something, there are other ways to get your product’s point across without having to sound like your own personal advertising channel. A good rule of thumb is if let’s say you post ten times a week, you should only put your marketing “hard sell” in those posts once. You may actually see your engagement increase.
You Don’t Need To Be On EVERY Social Media Platform (Really…You Don’t)
It’s a common feeling among social media managers that we need to be on every social media platforms. That’s really not the case, however. It’s our job to understand how each platform works and we can blog and share what we’ve learned about succeeding on each platform… but we can and should also decide when to stop using a platform that just isn’t working for our business or brand. If you just aren’t getting results, despite the popularity of a particular platform, than just stop using it! And it can save you time, which we all know if your most valuable commodity. Every platform your business is active on means additional time to create content and engage, etc. So by moving away from social media platforms that might not suit your business, you can focus on those that DO work for you!
We Love A Good Schedule, But You Need To Engage
Content scheduling tools (we like Zocle) have made it easier to manage your social platforms and keep your feeds busy. However, just because you’ve got your content moving along, post by post, that doesn’t mean you can leave your marketing on the backburner. Make sure you check back in for any engagement, or else you could be losing out on the chance to connect with your online community. Ineffective engagement to social media posts can really hurt your brand, and social media gives you an awesome pportunity to engage with consumers in a way that is continuously and constantly available. In a fast paced world, everyone needs responsiveness and immediate reaction. Not responding, going silent or replying with “automated” responses is not beneficial, at all.
Facebook Does Not Equal Pinterest: Know The Difference Between Your Platforms
With so many platforms out there, it’s important to note and remind yourself that they’re not the same. Depending on which platform you’re using, posts should be different and take on it’s own tone. While your brand needs to sound consistent, tweakingand addapting your posts to each platform will help make them more effective. Understanding the differences (i.e., are you social networking? Blogging? Photo sharing?) and also understanding what types of users are on each will ensure you’re getting the most out of your hard work.