Social Media Mistakes you can easily correct
9 Social Media Mistakes Your Business May Be Making
I was brought up in a social media world. Though like most millennial’s, my first experience with social media looked nothing like it does today. It was clucky, unorganized and used slow dial-up Internet that was only accessible if the phone lines were free. As I have grown and evolved, so has social media. It has been a huge part of my life, especially as a Communication major for four years in college. I have discovered what works and what doesn’t work. Social media can help start revolutions around the world, or simply help jump-start a business right in your backyard.
There is so much information out there, some good and some not so good. We searched the Internet for what we thought were some of the best tips out there and consolidated them in one place for your convenience. Here are some solutions to some of the most common social media mistakes:
Having multiple social media platforms is commonplace among businesses, small and large. But, yet if the only way your followers are finding out about your different platforms is by searching for you, you’re not making it easy enough. That’s a huge social media mistake. Make sure you utilize each of your social media platforms to promote the other one. Tell your Twitter followers to ‘like’ your business on Facebook. Have the link to your blog in the description of your Instagram account. ‘Pin’ your blog posts on Pinterest with a direct link embedded in the Pinterest image so it takes the reader right to your blog.
2. You don’t have a social media strategy
You’re basically just winging it. You see that all the businesses in your area have social media accounts, so you figure you better get one too, but you haven’t really thought about it further than that. Social media is a great medium to enhance brand awareness of your company if you use it right. Before you create your social media accounts, sit down and make a plan. Decide on the message you want to send to your potential buyers. Create a uniform look that you will follow through with across every platform. Check each platform and make sure there are similar handles (names) you can use across each platform. Decide if you want to sign up for a service that allows you to pre-plan your posts, and even further decide how many times per day you want to post on each platform. Finally, decide what type of content you will post. It’s never too late to create a social media strategy if you haven’t already!
3. You’re only posting about your business
You’re social media accounts are too focused on making a sale, and your followers recognize this. Followers do not go onto their social media accounts to have more advertisements thrown in their faces. Yes, of course you have to make it clear what your product or service is, after all the whole point is to make sales. But this should not be the main focus of everything you post. We talked about the 70/30 Rule in one of our previous blog posts. Keep this in mind when you’re deciding what type of content you’re going to post. 70% of your content should be in the form of tips, tricks, news, retweets, videos, images, or quotes. The remaining 30% can be product/service focused. We consider this to be one of the biggest social media mistakes.
4. You’re excessively using hashtags
Hashtags are a great way to have one of your posts cover more ground and receive more attention. Using too many hashtags, especially ones that don’t make sense with what your posting, can confuse your followers (it is also not visually appealing). Use your hashtags wisely, and try and limit yourself to a maximum of three or four hashtags per post. Blogs are the exception to this rule because they are not as in the readers face as most other forms of social media. When starting out a blog, more hashtags are actually encouraged, but once you grow your following you can start limiting the hashtags on those posts as well. Another great way to use hashtags is to find out if there is a convention or trending hashtag in your industry, and jump into the conversations that are already happening.
5. You’re not interacting with other accounts
Find people in your area or industry and interact with them. Regardless of the platform, creating virtual relationships can increase the reach of your account. Their followers will see this interaction and it can lead to an increase in followers for your account. Once a relationship has been established between your accounts, you may even promote each other by giving them a shout out on your account and they may return the favor. There are also many accounts that will collaborate on something like a giveaway, which is promoted on both accounts, thus drawing more attention to your site.
*Bonus – You should also be interacting with your followers! If they share an interesting anecdote or comment on your post, responding to them makes the experience more personal. As a result, you won’t commit one of the most common social media mistakes – “not being social”!Are you interacting with your followers accounts? If not you’re doing #Social Media wrong! Click To Tweet
6. Your branding across platforms is inconsistent
Your message needs to stay uniform regardless of which social media platform you are utilizing. Even more than that, the type of image, font, content, etc. needs to remain uniform. You should not Instagram three pictures in a row without a filter, and then post a picture with a noticeable filter. You’re followers may be thrown off, but it also throws off the entire look of your account. People do not typically follow an account without looking it over first. The accounts that succeed in gaining the most followers have a cohesive feel to them when you look at them as a whole. Sometimes this means repurposing a quote that you like, instead of just retweeting or reposting it.
7. You’re not clear about what your product or service is
Sometimes the 70/30 scale gets tipped too far the opposite way. When a potential follower looks at any of your social media accounts, it should not take much searching for them to know what you’re trying to sell. If it is not obvious, many people will not spend much time searching, they will move on to the next thing.
8. You’re asking people to follow you back at the wrong time.
Having a call to action is important. However, in the middle of a conversation with another account or with a potential follower, asking them to follow you back after you follow them may turn them off from your business. They may feel like the only reason you are engaging in a conversation with them is because you are looking for a follow back. You don’t want to come across as not being genuine as that could translate to how they feel about your business. Agressiveness like this is a very common social media mistake.
9. You aren’t tracking your follower engagement.
There are plenty of free websites you can use to track your follower engagement; there is no excuse not to use them. A couple of them include websites like Google Analytics, Hootsuite, or Sprout Social (among many others). These websites will track how many followers you gain/lose, how many comments, retweets/reposts, clicks, and favorites your post gets (and more) depending on the platform. Many of them come with graphics and charts you can print out that track weekly, monthly, and yearly changes. Visually seeing what posts are getting the most engagement can allow you to alter your content to provide your followers with more of what they like.
Having social media accounts is the first step, but using them correctly can enhance your user engagement in no time. You don’t want to risk losing potential sales based on a lack of social media skills. Simple fixes to these social media mistakes may make all the difference. If you have any other suggestions we would love to hear them, please leave us a comment below!
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About Our Guest Author!
Halley Barnes is a graduate student at Rutgers University in the field of Communication. A recent graduate from Rutgers University she has abachelor’s degree in Communication with a specialization in Public Relations and a dual minor in Digital Communication, Media, and Information and Psychology. She spent four years as a member of the division one Rutgers Women’s Lacrosse team where she served as the captain of the team her senior year. Halley was also named a member of the Big East All Academic team her freshman and sophomore years, and a member of the Big Ten All Academic team her junior and senior year. As an undergraduate student she made Dean’s List all eight semesters and was the keynote speaker at the 2015 Rutgers Alumni Leadership Conference. She was also inducted into various honor societies including Chi Alpha Sigma, National Society of Leadership and Success, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. Halley loves traveling, trying new food, going hiking and kayaking, and spending time with her family.