There’s really no “wrong” or “right” way to do social media, but there are definitely some tried and true practices that are proven to be effective. And conversely, there are also ineffective techniques that marketers should avoid. We’re going to tell you about some of the most common social media mistakes–and how to avoid them.
- Jumping in Without a Plan
Like most things, a well thought out plan is necessary for a great social media strategy. You can’t really just decide you want to start Tweeting away. We recommend drawing up a comprehensive plan before you dive right in. Think about which tools would be most beneficial to your company, what key messages you want to convey, the tactics you want to use to get your message out there. Research the key players in your industry and study their social media accounts to get an idea of what is effective.
Creating a social media plan can be confusing and time consuming. We recommend doing some ample research in the beginning. And of course, you also have the option to outsource your social media. We know just the team for the job (wink wink).
2. Too Much Self Promotion
Yes, of course the end goal of your social media campaign is likely to boost sales. But there is a correct and incorrect way to go about that. Too often we see companies using their social media accounts as a billboard to advertise themselves. But in order to get social media to work for you, you need to give as much (if not more) as you get. That’s the “social” part. The relationship needs to beneficial for not just you but also your followers. Which means you need to provide them with content that’s meaningful to them. You also need to help and interact. Retweet others in your industry, share interesting blog posts from other blogs, comment on Facebook posts. When people see that you are holding up your end of the relationship, they’ll be more likely to contribute and share your content as well.
Just like other aspects of brand identity, it’s a good idea to keep all of your social accounts consistent. Use imagery that makes it easy to identify your brand. Most social media platforms allow you to customize your account with banners, icons and imagery. If you have a different image for each of your accounts, it will be difficult for followers to immediately recognize you. There is one exception to this rule though. Some businesses will benefit from using an image of their face if the messages are coming directly from a CEO or president. This might work better for smaller companies. Seeing a human face makes the online relationship feel more personal and genuine. If you go this route, just try to keep the image consistent among your social profiles.
4. Relying on Automation
There are a lot of different options out there for automating your social posting. You can plan posts ahead of time and schedule them to post on certain days and times. This is a great way to plan ahead, remember key events and messages, and it can also save time. The trick is to not rely on automation. You need to be flexible with your social media. There are times when you will need to comment on breaking news in the industry, announce new developments, post photos onsite from events. Not everything can be done ahead of time.
5. Wasting Money
Hands down, one of the greatest aspects of social media is that most of the platforms are free. There are opportunities to upgrade your accounts on some of them, like Linked In, but that’s not always essential. So many marketers feel like they don’t need to spend any money on their social media. And they also spend money in the wrong places. For instance, many businesses will spend their entire budget on Facebook ads without really researching if they will benefit them. That money may be better spent by hiring social media experts to advise you on how to best utilize your resources. As always, if you want to talk about how to rock your social media strategy, give us a call today!