Most business owners already know that establishing a solid social media presence is a must to grow and maintain a following. Social media can be a great marketing tool that is useful when used effectively. Just posting a picture with your brand logo will not do the trick. It is essential to be strategic. Here are some social media mistakes to avoid.
Not Having a Target
Do you have a business plan? Your plan for social media should be part of it. It is crucial that you set social media goals and identify your target audience. How will you reach them? For instance, if your demographic is women, Pinterest is a great place to be, but if you’re speaking to those under 25, Snapchat may be your winning ticket.
Not Using Metrics
Determining your target audiences is only beneficial if you are measuring how well you are reaching them. Luckily, most of the platforms allow you to view your insights and analytics to track how customers reacted to specific posts, how often your brand is mentioned, which demographics are viewing your posts, and what they are favoring.
Using Too Many Platforms
Some start-ups get caught up in the excitement of launching their brand and jump on every platform out there. However, it is important not to spread yourself too thin, as trying to juggle too many platforms will only lead to burnout. Focus on quality over quantity. It is recommended to start with two or three platforms and post regularly.
Avoid spamming your audience at all costs. Another reason to start small is to show your entrepreneurship and optimize your content to the functions of each platform. For instance, writing a press release about a new product on Twitter and then posting its image on Instagram keeps followers engaged on multiple levels.
Even if you do your best work in the middle of the night, that doesn’t mean that is when you should post. Learn when your audience base is online and check the best engagement rate times for the platforms you use.
Being Too Wordy
Remember that for social media, less is more. To increase your engagement, a Facebook post should have less than 250 characters, and a Twitter post should have less than 100 characters. Keep it more direct.
Hashtags allow for targeted brand exposure if they are used strategically. You can even get up to double the amount of engagement. However, that engagement will significantly drop if there are over two hashtags. Photo captions that are packed with too many hashtags are not appealing to the eye and will likely be skipped over.
Your visuals make all the difference. Tweets with images are much more likely to get retweeted, while Facebook posts with images get significantly higher engagement than text-only posts. Keep in mind that blurry photos and too many stock photos damage your brand image and make your business appear amateur. Use your own high-quality images, infographics, and videos.
Lacking a Bio
Your bio is your chance to make a first impression. Share your information in a creative way that is true to your brand. This is a great chance to speak on company values in a few brief words, and if the platform permits, show photos of your team demonstrating the products or services.
Ignoring Customer Complaints
Complaints are inevitable. If a customer posts a complaint on social media, the rest of your following is watching to see how you handle it. Complaints should be responded to as promptly and professionally as possible.
Not Seeking Feedback
Finding out what customers think is so important for a successful business. It is best to get the dialogue going by posting open-ended questions in the comments section, creating polls and surveys allowing for anonymous answers, or creating virtual focus groups.
Promoting Too Much
Be careful not to over-promote your business. The amount that you are posting about your brand promotions should be much lower than other content. Of course, keeping your posts relative and on brand with the tone of voice is imperative. You want to keep your content fun and exciting and have your audience coming back for more.
The whole point of social media is to socialize. Your business’s success depends on connecting with individuals through messaging, commenting, or sharing their content. Just like any other type of relationship, it is a two-way street. You can not expect engagement if you are not engaging yourself. Adding real value to the lives of your target audience is what will keep you going in the social media game.
Not Hiring a Social Media Manager
So much time and energy go into launching a social media campaign effectively. The answer may be that you can’t do it all. Resist the urge to delegate it out to a tech-savvy teenager or an overwhelmed assistant. It is in your best interest to hire a professional who can provide expert-level service. This should be someone with a technological background, writing skills, marketing experience, and entrepreneurial vision to make your brand come to life.