There are general social media mistakes we all know to avoid (like buying followers), but there are many other, less obvious social media blunders you also need to steer clear of.
I’ve put together this list of the most common slip-ups I’ve seen in my experience as a social media marketer this year. Are you still making any of the following social media mistakes?
1. No Strategy or Plan
“Victory loves preparation”. Keep this phrase in mind when it comes to your social media marketing.
Many brands make the mistake of not having a plan in place - a good social media strategy will help you stay on track with consistent posts, while also supporting any goals you've set.
Having a plan enables you to build buzz and maximize results around campaigns or events, keeps your audience interested, and attracts new eyes to your content. Being able to strategize and know whats coming will also help you boost engagement by knowing when and how you need to be more active and present.
Going 'willy nilly' when posting may not feel like a big deal, but in the end, planning will leave room for more growth and creativity - two keys to building a successful, sustainable presence.
2. No Defined Branding (Voice/Look and Feel/Brand Story)
In the current state of social media, not having a defined brand voice is a big mistake.
In order to break through the noise and attract your tribe, you need to have a well-defined sense of who your brand is. This can break down into a few things including:
- Defining a distinct voice for your captions
- Nailing a distinct look for your content (also known as creating a theme for your feeds)
- Learning to post content that's relevant to your brand.
This also means figuring out what your brand’s story is, and how you can communicate it in a way that’s meaningful to your target market/s.
3. Incomplete Social Media Profiles
Failing to complete your social media bios and other profile information is a big missed opportunity.
Your profile enables you to convey what you do and who you are in the few precious moments you have to capture a visitor’s attention. Make sure as much of your biography or 'About' sections are filled in - and remember to hashtag keywords in your Twitter and Instagram bios where it makes sense. And don’t be afraid to have a little fun or show your brand’s personality here either.
Since social profiles and content can also rank in search, filling all these info sections in is important. Through my agency’s work, we’ve also noticed that new features (like Instagram’s new restaurant booking button) are sometimes automatically set up for us because we’ve filled in all our info correctly.
Remember to use high-quality profile and header images, and that your header can also be used to promote things or get creative.
4. Not Knowing Their Audience
One of the biggest social media mistakes a brand can make is not knowing their audience. This entails everything from knowing when they’re followers are active, to learning what content resonates best with them, to figuring out any other interests their followers may have.
With so much social content to view, one of the best ways to make your brand stand out from the noise comes through understanding who you're talking to, and how to tailor your messages so that they're understood by, and relevant to, those your target market.
Let’s say you go on a date and the other person only speaks about him or herself – quite the turn off no? The same applies to your social media audience - social media = building relationships, and successful relationships are never one-sided.
Your audience wants to know you have more to offer than pushy sales messaging or a product. Modern social media is about adding value to your follower’s lives.
The last part of this social media mistake I want to point out is participating in social media networks that aren’t converting, or that your audience isn’t on. It’s good to have all bases covered, but eliminating networks that aren’t working will enable you to funnel more energy into other tasks, or smaller networks that convert at a higher rate.
5. Posting Too Often/Not Enough
Believe it or not, it is possible to post way too often on your social media channels.
This rule doesn’t necessarily apply to all industries (as you expect to get frequent updates from profiles that have to do with news or publications). The key here is to find a post frequency that works for your audience.
I suggest posting at least three times a week to keep engagement and growth going, but the only true way to know what will work for your audience is to test and measure. Then repeat till you find your ideal cadence.
6. Not Taking Advantage of Network Tools
Not using the tools unique to each social media network is also an overlooked social media mistake.
Using platform-specific tools gives you an opportunity to present content on those channels in more creative ways - plus they speak to how each individual network is used.
Dive into how each platform operates, and explore features like Twitter polls, Twitter lists, multiple image posts, Facebook Live videos, Instagram Stories, Live Stories, Instagram Stories Highlights, Instagram Polls and Stickers (including the new 'Emoji Slider' polls) and whatever other tools might be at your disposal for each specific social media network.
A quick example - take a look at this list post I created when Twitter expanded its character limit to 280 characters, which stands out in feeds:
Some things I've learned from managing successful #Instagram accounts:— Dhariana Lozano (@DhariLo) November 8, 2017
1. Consistent posting
2. They have cohesive feeds
3. There's a clear #strategy
Read the full list of things can learn from the best accounts #ontheblog -> https://t.co/zwOzAd278R pic.twitter.com/9BFbhyLsaG
7. Not Responding to Comments/Complaints
Getting into arguments with trolls is never a good thing, but you should never ignore legitimate complaints.
Take the opportunity to show customers you care - if there are concerns you can't resolve, you can generally take the issue off social channels by asking them to email you direct.
So there you have it, a list of seven common social media mistakes that brands are still making in 2018.
And here’s a bonus social media mistake to avoid - being afraid to test, experiment and have a little fun. Social media is fluid, and in a constant state of change, and audience habits are also changing all the time. Given this, you shouldn't be afraid to test different methods, show your brand’s personality and have fun – social media was, after all, made for entertainment.
This post was first published on Dhariana Lozano's blog.