Businesses face a huge shift in the way they communicate and interact with their clients and customers. Traditional communications are taking a back seat to the emerging giant that is social media marketing.
In this new social climate, what mistakes must businesses avoid in order to achieve positive results on social media?
1. Over Posting
The point of social media for business is to inform and cultivate a relationship, not to constantly shove content in their faces. As a business, it is important to start with fewer posts, around one or two good posts per week, and work your way up as needed. Though it may seem that posting a few times a day would be the best way to reach your audience, it may have an adverse effect. Your audience may tire of their newsfeed blowing up with your content and may ignore or even unfollow you. Your goal is to keep your current clients informed and to attract new ones, not inadvertently disgruntle them.
2. Failure to Interact
It is important to interact with users on social media that comment on or share your posts. These people took the time to give their input on the content you have presented and acknowledging them is imperative. Not only will you create relationships with your followers, but you will also showcase your company’s knowledge and capabilities.
If a comment is negative, take that as an opportunity to learn how to improve your company, clarify your message, or make amends with the commenter and offer them further assistance. The social media manager is bound to come across negative feedback, and handling that feedback in a positive way will have an impact. A tactful response to a negative comment could prove more about your company to your followers than a positive comment.
3. Overly Promotional
As a business you should always try to push your message and attract new customers/clients. That being said, don’t come off as overly promotional on social media. If you present well crafted, engaging, and informative content, your audience will recognize you as an industry leader, which will garner more business than any one promotion. It is okay to promote yourself sparingly on social media sites, but the focus of your social media strategy shouldn't be to sell, but to inform and engage.
4. Not Enough Fresh Content
Everyday, new content is added to the Internet at exponential rates. The internet exposes new things to your audience every instant. A moment of your audience’s attention is precious and you do not want them to skim over your content. Do not waste your audience’s time by posting content that is old or that you have used repeatedly. It is okay to recycle posts, but make sure you aren’t boring your followers. Your audience has the entire Internet at their fingertips, and if you don't keep up with new and innovative content, you won’t get noticed.
5. Content That Is Off Topic
You just read an article about space exploration that you found entertaining and exciting. Surely all the people who follow your business will appreciate it too, right? Not necessarily. Your social media followers are following your company for pertinent content relating to your business and industry. A business’ social media pages are not the place to post that funny article or the online quiz you just took. Instead of engaging and entertaining your followers, it may drive them away. Content should always be about educating and informing your audience about your business or industry. Stay consistent!
6. Social Media Manager That Doesn’t Know What They’re Doing
The social media manager in charge of your social media accounts needs to know the ins and outs of social media marketing and how to maintain social media sites for businesses. This involves more than just posting and replying to comments. A social media specialist will study a site’s analytics, gather metrics, and use that information to customize the page to the audience’s liking. If your company does not have someone who knows how to navigate the intricacies of social media, you may become overwhelmed. Consider hiring a social media manager that has a strong background in social media marketing, or who studied social media tactics.
7. Inconsistent Message Across Different Platforms
This goes along with the idea of branding. A company that is serious on one social media site and sarcastic on another will be confusing for followers. Utilizing different social media platforms to reach different target audiences is smart, but make sure you are communicating a clear and consistent overarching message.
8. Failure To Use/Optimize Hashtags
#Hashtags. Hashtags are great because they are incredibly easy and using them correctly can get your posts noticed by potential clients and followers interested in a specific topic.
By placing a hashtag in a post, anyone who searches that hashtag can find your post. It is recommended to only use a maximum of two hashtags per tweet, so do not over spam hashtags. Also, for hashtags to have the most impact, make sure that they are relevant to your topic. For example, this blog should be accompanied with #socialmedia, #smallbiz, or #socialmediamarketing. Those hashtags all pertain to the topic of this blog and people who search those topics might find it (if you found this blog through hashtags, I rest my case). I would not use the hashtag #happy because that has nothing to do with the point of this blog.
9. Not Using Visuals To Drive Engagement
Visuals and infographics can say what words alone cannot. If your company’s social media pages are text heavy, that may put them at a disadvantage. According to Kissmetrics, photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% more click-through than “text” or “link” posts. It is in your company’s best interest in integrate pictures and infographics into your posts regularly to increase engagement.
10. Failure To Measure Your Impact
You have done all the above suggestions and you think things are going great! You think…
Without gathering a baseline and looking at your analytics over time, you can only guess as to whether your new strategies are effective. Make sure that to track your pages’ analytics to figure out which posts are working and which are not generating the results you want. This information is crucial in order to fine-tune your strategy.
By avoiding these social media blunders, your company’s social media presence will stand out among its competitors. Remember that social media is always changing, so be aware of emerging trends. Happy posting!
What do you think about mistakes businesses should avoid on social media? Did I leave anything out? Please comment below!
CATMEDIA is a certified Woman-Owned Small Business (WOSB) firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. The firm’s trademarked communications process, CATVANTAGE™, enables the team to deliver customized solutions to meet client needs in creative services, strategic communications, training and eLearning programs, and program management. For more information about CATMEDIA, visit CATMEDIA.com.