Having a social media presence is a given for most businesses to survive the rapid digitalisation of society. Today, consumers view a company’s social media presence like how they would at a shop window. A shop with an attractive storefront is more likely to draw in brand new customers. The same situation applies to social media, where people (and the algorithm) are drawn to profiles that post fresh new content regularly. Fail to do so, and you lose your chance at standing out before your competitors.
Read on to find out what businesses commonly get wrong with social media and what changes you should make to avoid the same mistakes.
Mistake #1: Being on All Social Media Platforms
Being on top of the social media game doesn’t mean that your business should be on every single social media platform that there is. Every platform that your business is on is an additional responsibility on your part to ensure that it’s frequently updated with high-quality content. The demographic of each platform also differs accordingly, so all your efforts could be wasted by reaching the wrong audience.
Solution: Focus on quality, not quantity. Instead of biting off more than you can chew, begin by assessing which platform suits your business best. Figure out which social media channels your direct competitors and target audience are on, and you can start posting from there.
Mistake #2: Copy Pasting Content Across All Channels
As mentioned before, every social media platform is different. Content created should be according to the audience’s expectations of each platform. What works on Twitter would most likely not work on a visual platform like Instagram. A one size fits all solution, unfortunately, doesn’t apply to social media.
Solution: Tailor your content for each social channel. The type of content, tone of voice, and medium it’s conveyed through should differ across every platform. For example, a more conversational tone on short-form news would work better with Twitter, while LinkedIn would benefit from a more professional voice (where industry jargon is also more commonly accepted) on long-form content. To help you get started, here’s a list compiled by Buffer of the different types of content to post on each social media platform.
Mistake #3: Inconsistency with Postings
Too many and too few posts can easily tank the number of followers you have on social media. The last thing people want is to be bombarded with information every couple of hours. On the flip side, people will struggle to remember you if they only see a post from you once every few months.
Solution: Consistency is key! Research and see what kind of content your followers like to see the most, and plan a social media calendar at least a month in advance. Aim to post new quality content once a day and upload it to a social media management platform like Hootsuite or Buffer. These platforms allow you to plan for specific times and days to post your content and will automatically upload it for you. Simple as that.
Mistake #4: Lack of Original Content
Sharing other people’s content is an effective way to share your opinions and connect with leading influencers. However, if a bulk of your content comes from shared posts, it might come across as lazy. Going the extra mile to brainstorm original ideas has many benefits. High-quality original content will get you an improved search ranking, increase your credibility as a trusted source for your target audience, and generate engagement between you and your (new) followers.
Solution: Figure out what your target audience is searching for online. Google provides analytics tools to help you figure out popular keywords or frequently searched questions your audience is looking for. Gather all the valuable data to draft an effective content creation strategy that will get your audience engaged. If you want to share published content, make sure to add value by giving your unique perspective with any additional information that others might find helpful. We’ve compiled a list of 7 ways to elevate any organic social media strategy that might help kickstart your content planning today.
Mistake #5: Not Being Social Enough
This is what social media is made for – to be social! Frequently interacting with your audience will help you to grow and maintain a relationship with them. Get commenting, liking, and sharing! This doesn’t mean that you should start inviting your customers out for a cup of coffee, but instead, use it to your advantage to get to know the needs and wants of your customers online. Market research and customer feedback have never been quicker and easier.
Solution: Develop a social media strategy that encourages interaction and feedback. Polls, articles, contests, asking questions, or even having them ask you a question back (Ask Me Anything on Instagram) can all get your followers to engage with your brand. Be sure to check on your social media analytics to measure the success of your engagement rate, adjusting it to what your audience responds best.
Mistake #6: Becoming an Online Salesperson
Many businesses use social media as a tool to promote their products or services. However, there is a fine line between social media marketing and becoming an annoying online salesperson. If done right, customers will see it as a convenient way to stay updated on your business. If done wrong, customers could be put off entirely by your brand and turn to support your competitors instead.
Solution: Encourage engagement, not just sales. The majority of people are on social media to socialise and consume media, not necessarily to make a purchase. Creating useful content can help to increase engagement, driving sales in return as consumers are more likely to support a business that they find to be valuable.
Mistake #7: Not Understanding Your Audience
People follow social media profiles that they feel speaks best to them. Not understanding your audience well enough will only create a void between your business and your followers. If your audience feels misunderstood and they aren’t getting much out of your content, they’re going to direct their attention elsewhere. Attention online is fleeting, so you better make the most of it.
Solution: Listen before you speak. Know whom you’re talking to by researching your audience first. Get to know what makes them tick, what drives them forward, what issues they’re facing, and the kind of content they’re interested in. Social listening is a great way to learn more about your audience and see what conversations they’re having about your brand (and your competitors). Show your followers you understand them by giving content that is relevant, helpful and engaging.
Achieving an ideal social media strategy for your business is no walk in the park. It might take some time, research, and several trial and errors to figure out what works best for your social media channels. However, the wonders that it can do to elevate your business makes all the effort worth pursuing.