10 Social Media mistakes for your business
Social Media. Everyone is on it. So you should be too. The question is where and how you should you be on it.
Just as starting a business isn’t as easy as registering a business name and watching the money pour in, Social Media isn’t as easy as hitting ‘publish’ and watching the likes, comments, and shares roll in.
Hanging out with hashtags won’t instantly make you or your small business cool.
So we’re going to go through some common marketing mistakes that small businesses make on Social Media, so you can learn from these and save yourself a lot of time and money.
Mistake #1 Not having a Social Media Strategy or Calendar
- 700 million users on Instagram
- 2 billion users on Facebook
- 328 million users on Twitter
- 300 million users on Snapchat
- Over 500 million users on LinkedIn
That’s a LOT of people and a LOT of noise. Whatever industry you’re in you likely have the problem of being noticed. Particularly when you first start.
You didn’t start your business without a strategy.
Why would you start your Social Media campaigns without one?
Key elements to building an effective marketing strategy include:
Audience: It all starts with your audience; they may not always be right (sorry guys). But they are always the most important people in your business. Ensure you know as much relevant information about your audience as possible.
• Which Social Media platform they like to use the most
• How often they use it
• At what times do they use it?
• Which type of content do they prefer and so on.
Objectives: You need to know why you’re posting:
• Do you want to start a conversation about a relevant topic?
• Do you want to raise awareness of a new product?
• Do you want to go the moon?
Tone of voice: How do you want your company to be perceived?:
· Friendly and approachable
· Strong and stoic
· Enthusiastic and motivational
Your decisions will affect the type of content you post on Social Media. For example, if your company was a person would it say:
· What’s Up
· Yo Yo
All these words mean the same thing but the tone is different. You wouldn’t say ‘Yo’ to your grandma would you?
• How many people do you have to work on this?
• How much time do those people have?
• How much money do you have to spend on this?
It’s a lot of work initially. But it will all be worth it in the end. Putting in the time to plan now will save you more time (and money) down the road later.
Buffer and Hootsuite are great Social Media planning tools.
They both allow you to schedule, post and analyse your Social Media activity.
Mistake #2 DIY
Doing things yourself can be great. You may have started your business by yourself (well done if you have, that’s not easy) Social Media (when done right) is not one of the things we’d advise you to do by yourself.
Why? Because it’s a full time job - by itself. Planning, posting, analysing, reacting to real time events. It’s no joke. We know it’s not easy to be able to find and afford help, but if possible. Get.Help.
Even if it’s just a freelancer who does a couple of days a week.This gives you more time to focus on other things. Also that person probably knows more about Social Media than you.
Mistake #3 Jack or Jill of all trades. Master of none.
You may not need Facebook for your Social Media campaigns. Yes, that’s not a typo. Remember what we said earlier? It’s all about the audience, if your audience doesn’t engage with you on Facebook, but they do on Twitter. Why are you worrying about Facebook?
In the beginning, it may benefit you to be on all major social media channels.
It's good to test out your initial marketing strategy and tactics for effectiveness. But if your findings tell you to stick to one or two channels. Stick to one or two channels.
Coach Buzz says:
“It’s better to be a master of a few things than an apprentice in many.”
Mistake #4 Copy and Paste
Context is everything when communicating. Your finest high resolution photo may not get a second glance on Medium. But it may go viral on Instagram. Learn what works on each Social Media platform and follow the rules.
Think of Social Media platforms as events and dress codes.
They all have different rules (written and unwritten) You wouldn’t turn up to a wedding reception in a tracksuit would you? The same way you probably wouldn’t wear a tuxedo to a football match.
Coach Buzz says:
Mistake #5 Too much selling
Yes, you read that right, but no not in the context you thought of. People get tired of constantly being overtly sold to. If you keep bombarding your customers/followers with sales promotions, they’ll get sick of it. And run to your competitors.
Sometimes a simple “Good Morning, how is everyone doing?” Facebook post will suffice; it makes the audience feel like you care about them.
If they feel like you care, they are more likely to care about what you have to offer- and then buy it.
Or you could make them laugh with some relatable humour using a GIF on Twitter. Everyone loves to laugh; people are more likely to share something funny. Bringing you more eyes, and more potential customers.
Coach Buzz says:
“Sometimes the soft sell hits harder. Because people forget that they’re being sold to.”
Mistake #6 Automating Everything
The world changes on a dime. New information and content is being produced and shared every second.You may have used Buffer to schedule a Tweet about how lovely your day in the office is going. Suddenly, there is a terrorist attack.
The post goes out, people notice it and ruin you.
“So insensitive” “Why would you post that” etc.
Your audience dwindles and your sales drop. All from one Tweet. It’s good to schedule things in advance of course.
But you or someone you’ve hired to help you has to be monitoring what’s happening on Social Media.
This is so that you can react to it- in this case, swiftly delete the post.
Mistake #7 Thinking "anything goes"
It doesn’t. If you run a dog grooming company, you shouldn’t be posting videos about cats on Facebook.
We don't care if they are trending on Google Trends. You have to be consistent, have a brand voice and stick to it. People need to know what they are going to get from you.
If you’re going to make changes to the way you communicate, do it gradually.
Give your audience a chance to get used to your new brand personality.
Mistake #8 Being as flexible as titanium
As we mentioned before, the world has so much happening in it, you need to be able to react to it.
This video was shared across their Social Media platforms. It’s engaging, relevant, funny and react to real time events well. If they had an inflexible Social Media strategy this would never have happened.
Coach Buzz says:
“Social Media is like the stock market, you have to watch what’s going on and react to it, fast.
Mistake #9 Forgetting about Engagement
When you first set up your Social Media profiles, all you want is followers. It’s like money for some people, the more you get, the more you want. This is normal, but bad practice when it comes to Social Media.
Don’t forget your existing audience. Yes, it’s great to have 10,000 followers on Twitter.
But what if, because you keep looking to get more followers, you ignore them and they don’t engage with your content?
What if you end up having an average of 10 likes per post on Facebook with 5,000 fans? What’s the point of those followers then? What you really want is engagement.
You want a large percentage of your audience to be regularly engaging with your content. It’s better to have 1,000 fans who are willing to promote and defend your brand vs. 100,000 fans who forget about you after a week.
Coach Buzz says:
When it comes to Social Media, it's the same as going into battle. You want 10 lions not 100 sheep.
Mistake #10 No Social Media measurement
You have to measure your actions to figure out if you’re successful. You measure your business success by profit and loss. You have to do something similar for your Social Media presence.
Also Google Analytics is a must have tool for more general analytic measurement.
Use this blog post to avoid major mishaps on Social Media.
Until next time
The BuzzRamp team.