There’s no getting around it: Businesses need to have a presence on social media platforms. Now, you don’t have to be on all the platforms, but it’s important to have a place where you can engage with your customers and potential customers.
Social Media Mistakes to Avoid
It’s also important to avoid making social media mistakes that can harm your business. The following represents some of the biggest social media mistakes you’ll definitely want to avoid.
Getting Your Social Media Ducks in a Row
Let’s start with some “logistical” elements.
1) Not optimizing your bio
Platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter are very lean when it comes to your bio (150/160 characters, respectively). TikTok is even shorter at 80! So, it’s important to make every word count. You know how quickly users scroll. The best company bios make it known immediately what they do and how they can help. For example, the Crackerjack Marketing Instagram bio reads:
We help service providers, coaches & consultants go from reliant on referrals to getting leads through online marketing.
Straight to the point! We also include a Linktree link, which allows companies to share multiple links to various places (blogs, landing pages, product pages).
While LinkedIn allows a more robust bio, you should still focus on providing the most relevant and impactful information up front. Remember, you’re working against a clock with social media. Grab attention and get to the heart of the matter right away.
2) Using the wrong hashtags
Relevancy is imperative when it comes to hashtags. Make sure to research your social media hashtags to understand what’s appropriate for your specific audience and industry. And, do a regular check-in. Hashtags can evolve over time. You want to ensure they carry the same message as when you did your initial research.
Another social media mistake in relation to hashtags is using too many. You might be familiar with “keyword stuffing,” which is a no-no in SEO best practices. The same applies to hashtags. Too many can come off as spammy, cluttered, or, again, irrelevant. Instead, focus on the most influential hashtags.
Finally, know that hashtags may not have the same impact on different social media platforms. LinkedIn in particular is a stickler when it comes to this.
3) Not engaging with your audience
Likes, shares, retweets are all great. But you also want people to engage with you in the comments. It’s the perfect way to start a conversation. When someone does comment, make sure to acknowledge it. The worst thing you can do is ignore them! The same goes for mentions (@mentions). You should also consider a follow strategy in which you’re following potential clients—with the goal they follow you back. Of course, you don’t want to follow everyone under the sun.
Another point here deals with negative comments. We don’t want them, but we all get them from time to time. Your gut instinct might be to delete a complaint or nasty commentary. Why not make those comments work for you? Replying with the intent to resolve a user’s issue, in a positive and professional way, actually makes you the victor—and others will see that, too.
4) Ignoring your competitors
We’d all like to think that we, alone, have the “secret sauce” to clients’ success. But there’s a lot you can learn from keeping tabs on your competitors in the social media space. From a strategy perspective, you can see what’s working for them and incorporate similar tactics in your own social media strategy.
From a market perspective, you might just learn something about new trends, technology, or offerings. You don’t have to do everything your competitors are doing, but it’s helpful to stay apprised of what they’re up to.
5) Relying too heavily on social media automation
Automation is good—we love automation! It saves time, maximizes productivity/efficiency, and overall can make our lives a lot easier. But, relying too heavily on automation is never a good idea. That’d be like turning on your stove and walking out the door for a full day’s work.
For one, too much automation in social media dehumanizes your presence. You want to be able to have real conversations with customers and prospects. Plus, letting your social media run itself just opens the door to potential “oopsies” that can leave a lasting impression on your audience (and not a good one). Aim for a good balance between automation and hands-on social media marketing management.
Social Media Strategy: A Non-Negotiable
That takes care of some of the biggest logistical social media mistakes. What about your greater social media marketing strategy?
In social media, you need a plan. Well, in all of marketing, you need a plan. But your social media plan might have a different specificity of goals than your overall marketing strategy. Identify your goals first before posting willy-nilly. Is one of your objectives to gain more followers? Increase engagement? Convert prospects into customers?
You also need to determine how you will measure performance. How long are you giving your social media strategy to work before reassessing? Most marketing is playing the long game, and that includes social media marketing. It’s essential to be realistic about timelines. You’re likely not going to build up your following overnight—unless by some miracle you get to “go viral.”
Another consideration is defining your target audience. As a business owner, you know you can’t be everything to everyone. You’d never sleep! Identify the audience that is genuinely interested in your product or service, and focus your efforts on them.
In the same vein of platform-specific hashtags, not all social media platforms serve the same purpose. If you’re a B2B company, LinkedIn may be your top-performing channel. B2C brands often fare better on Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok. Yet, that is not to say those platforms can’t cross paths. Find what social media platforms work best for you by consistently assessing performance and engagement.
Some additional tips to maximize your social media marketing efforts include:
- Sharing user-generated content (UGC) in your posts. Let your audience work for you!
- Prioritizing quality content over quantity. Consistency is important, but it’s more important to have posts people actually care about.
- Treading carefully when it comes to being too “promotional.” Sharing thoughtful, insightful content works toward nurturing your audience.
- Never “buy” followers. Like, never. These accounts are likely bots or inactive accounts and will only harm your presence.
What’s Most Important to Your Business?
While it’s inevitable that you need a social media presence, you don’t have to put all your eggs in the social media basket. There are many other marketing efforts that can help you grow your business, such as email marketing and content marketing.
But, these tips will help you optimize your presence and help you achieve your unique, specific social media objectives for your business. Perhaps that is to just be more visible and accessible in the digital universe. Whatever you determine your goals to be, avoiding social media mistakes will help you get there.
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