Social media mistakes are common. Business leaders starting out to create effective social media presence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc commit mistakes in their learning phase, which is OK; you don’t become a master the day you begin. Consider the case of Alfred.
Alfred has a growing business that he wants to promote online. His friends promote their business on social media so do his competitors, one day he decides to give social a try.
He created his social media accounts on all popular social media like Facebook, twitter, linkedIn, Instagram etc and began promoting his product and services. He wants to build a big fan following so he was posting his business advertisement many times a day.
Initially, his friends and relatives liked his post, but engagement decreased over time, he was not getting any business lead either.
Alfred was afraid, he could not understand what was wrong. Slowly his enthusiasm vanished and now he has abandoned his social media accounts.
Business leaders like Alfred despite continuous efforts don’t get positive results because unknowingly they commit unacceptable mistakes on social media. These mistakes are so subtle that even tech savvy business leaders may commit them.
Here is the list of Top 10 common social media mistakes I often see businesses are committing when they approach me for a new project. Take a note of these to strengthen your social media presence.
Top 10 Common Social Media Mistakes
1.Posting more than your followers expect:
A business trying out social media for the first time often commit this mistake. In their enthusiasm for building engagement and fan following businesses post content more frequently than their followers can digest.
Followers on social media like to cheer for you, but they are not logging into to their social media account just to cheer you up; what they expect is consistent & relevant updates from you within a bearable limit.
According to buffer blog, this bearable limit varies across social media. For Facebook, Linkedin and google plus, acceptable post frequency is between 1 to 2 post per day, while 5-10 post per day is a common frequency for Twitter.
When businesses break these post limits, they start bothering their followers and followers leave them.
Post relevant regular updates within prescribed frequency and you will see the increase in your social media engagement.
2. Posting only your product and service advertisement:
This is, in fact, social media blunder. In trade fair, businesses set up stalls to attract potential customers–they meet prospects, engage with them to finally call them to their own business establishment.
Social media is like a trade fair. Meet your prospect on social media and call them to your website ( your online business establishment). Social media are not your shop or business outlet so don’t start hardcore sale there.
Many business owners don’t realize this fact and start filling their social media accounts only with advertisements. What happens to them?
followers slam them on social media floor leaving them alone. In the crowded social media party, they despair engagement. Don’t be one of them.
Share relevant content that entices your target audience–content that is useful for your audience, content that they want to read, content that discusses problems your products and services solve.
3. Little to no interaction:
When I take a new social media project in hand, often I find social media account only with posts, but no interactions. In their hassle to generate regular content for their audience, many businesses forget to respond to comment on those posts.
Assume you go to a shop, where neither business owner or employees are paying attention to what you say. How would you feel? What would you think about business?
Although people are not visiting your business physically on social media, they expect to be greeted the same way. Replying to comments is that greeting. it makes them happy.
Apart from being a courtesy, it is also important for Reputation Management. If customers don’t get a response on their problems, they are going to spread negative words about your business. Don’t let that happen.
Even for building a community of cherished followers, you need to interact with your followers regularly by initiating conversations, replying to comments, sharing your views with your followers.
4. Fake followers
How many of you have purchased cheap fake followers? I can expect many hands raising. It is tempting to buy 10,000 fake followers for $5. But is it worth it?
When you buy fake followers, you are only buying a number to boast on social media. It will not assist any of your marketing efforts because a fake audience is fake indeed. They are not interested in your products and services. They are not going to be your customer ever.
For example, when you share a post on your Facebook business page, it reaches to 2-3% of your followers. If you have purchased followers, you are wasting this free advertising reach on fake followers.
Even if you choose to go for paid advertising, it is always better to target your engaged fans and followers first. Simply because they have engaged with you in past so they are more likely to purchase from you. But when your followers are fake, you miss this opportunity.
My advice is to leave the temptation of the fake following and build a slow but steady fan following of real users who are interested in your products and services.
5. No social media strategy:
If you are on social media because your competitor has a presence on it. That’s is a good reason, but not having a clearly defined social media objective and strategy in place is not good.
Before delving into the oceans of social media marketing, you should first decide:
- What do you want to achieve with it? That’s your Social Media Objective.
- Who do you want to engage with? That’s your target audience.
- And how are you going to achieve your objective? That’s is your social media plan.
These three elements make a successful Social Media Strategy, which is the backbone of all your social media efforts.
If you are happy with your social media efforts without a social media strategy, good to go. But you can always improve your ROI by answering the above three questions.
6.Using too many hashtags:
Starting from twitter, hashtags (#) have now come into the mainstream of many social media like Facebook, Instagram, Google Plus etc. It has become a custom to add hashtags in your captions.
Many businesses add hashtags, just for the sake of adding hashtags and they add as many as they want without understanding the impact of it.
Generally, hashtags provide a way to search topic by interest. When businesses use too many hashtags, they dilute the strength of their message. 1-2 relevant Hashtags are sufficient to build engagement and improve reach.
Longer hashtags are difficult to read, please avoid them.
7. Depending too much on social media:
Popular social media may lose users in future, even worse they may ban your account on some issue, but if you have invested time in building your own marketing media you need not worry about them.
Social Media are great marketing media, but at the end, they are external marketing media; you have little control on their policy, administration, algorithm, and future operations.
Some businesses ignore this fact and put all their efforts only on social media marketing. Promoting your business on social media is a good marketing strategy, but social media should not be your only marketing strategy.
Businesses may have thousands of followers on social media, but if they don’t focus on directing this traffic to their owned media like website and blog, they get leads at an expensive cost.
Take advantage of social media to build engagement and direct traffic to your website, use Call-to-Actions, landing pages to generate leads and email subscribers for your blog. A blog has many advantages for business promotion, use it wisely.
Strike a balance between external and internal marketing media to craft your perfect marketing strategy.
8. Inconsistent branding:
Do you have a presence on all popular social media? Do you have consistent images, background colors and brand message across them?
If your response to the first question is yes, but to the second question is no. You are not doing justice to your brand positioning.
Social media are great places to present your business publicly. As a business leader, you should understand its implication. Your customers judge your brand by what you communicate with them, every interaction counts–your posts, the message tone, logo, colors, cover photo, profile photos everything craft your brand image.
When followers find different message tone, colors, post topics on different social media, it creates a bad impression for your brand. They may even question if the same business is maintaining all these accounts finding these variations.
You can build customer trust with consistent branding, don’t miss this opportunity.
9. Sharing irrelevant content:
Getting involved on trending topics to take advantage of social media flow is tempting, but be away from it.
Creating posts on every trending topic will not grow your business, creating posts on your business relevant topics will.
Internet has given us the freedom to choose what we want to read and from whom. If your followers have an interest in a particular topic, they will prefer to read about it from a popular industry source than you.
What your followers expect is to get useful information related to your business and industry with sprinkles of interesting useful content. Your followers subscribe you to listen to relevant information from you, don’t disappoint them with irrelevant off topic posts.
10. Expecting fast results:
Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Social Media Marketing is a community building exercise and like any community it takes time and consistent effort to build an engaging social media community. Results will come but only after 6-12 month consistent efforts.
Social media lead cycle goes something like this:
You start posting relevant content for your target audience. They ignore you, but you continue your efforts. When they see your relevant post regularly in their newsfeed, they will begin noticing you. Engagement will begin in form of like, share, comment, retweet etc.
Even at this point of time, they might not consider you as a business prospect. They interact just for the sake of social interaction. But over a period of time, this social interaction will build trust and increase your chances of getting a business deal.
Remember: All your social followers will not become leads. Some will become your customers, other may turn into your brand ambassador and remaining may only be a part of the social media community and that’s it.
You see how long journey is it? Be patient, be true, be friendly and you will see great ROI from your social media efforts.
Social Media are the behemoths of modern marketing. Businesses can create great brands with social media marketing, but it requires continuous efforts, identifying social media mistakes and avoiding them.
The post discusses 10 common social media mistakes your businesses may commit, only identifying these mistakes will not solve your purpose; you have to consciously avoid them. Some mistakes like acquiring fake followers, posting only your business advertisement are so tempting but don’t fall into their trap.
Follow the right path and you will reach your destination of online business success.
Which of these mistakes do you commit? Let me know some more that you think may benefit fellow readers.
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