If you have a social media presence of any kind, you’ve more than likely made a few rookie mistakes that you may have even gone unnoticed. In fact, you may still be making them (yikes!).
Errors like posting too often (or not enough), posting too much promotional content (or not enough), and not responding to comments may seem to have little impact on your social media presence, but it’s quite the opposite. Tighten up those errors, and you’ll be sure to see an improvement in your engagement.
Before we dive into how to fix those mistakes, let’s look at some of the most common social media mistakes that many business owners are making.
If you want to “win” at social media, you need to have a plan. Going in blind won’t do you any good, and you’ll end up wasting a lot of valuable time. Before you begin posting and sharing content, ask yourself who you want to be on social media, who you want to target, what kind of content you want to share, and how often you will share it.
Of course, a big part of your plan will rely on who you want to reach with your social media content. Consider the clients you’ve loved working with most in the past, and who you would like to continue booking in the future. If you want to grow your business in the right direction, you need to tailor your messaging to speak to your specific audience.
Since the ages of cavemen, stories have always had a place in humankind. Stories can make you laugh, pull at your heartstrings, change your perspective, and compel you to take an action. Naturally, storytelling is a powerful marketing tool to use on social media to stand out in a crowded market.
Consider the aspects of your business and your life that set you apart. What makes you an expert that nobody else can claim? How do you serve your customers in ways others don’t? What inspires you to do business every day? Telling your story is akin to welcoming followers into your brand and showing them exactly who you are and how you can help them.
I get the temptation to post as much content as you can. I know you’re excited to get that fantastic content out there to all your customers, but it’s not a sprint. Slow and steady wins the race!
More often than not, overposting will annoy your customers — especially content that pushes for sales. If people feel too overwhelmed by your posts, they will unfollow you. If your customers begin to unfollow you, that leads to them taking their business elsewhere.
Not to mention, posting too many posts makes it difficult to provide the engaging and useful content your customers and followers want. Remember: Content over quantity.
On the flip side of overposting, not posting enough is a problem as well. If your posts only show up every once in a while, you run the risk of your audience forgetting you exist. Stay consistent in your posting in order to grow a dedicated following.
While it’s normal to sell products or services on social media, it’s not okay to be too pushy with your product marketing. If your customers see too many posts asking them to buy, buy, buy, they will end up getting annoyed and will click the unfollow button to clear their feeds from a flood of advertisements.
According to Sprout Social, 40% of consumers expect businesses to respond within the first hour of reaching out on social media and about 79% expect a response in the first 24 hours. With that said, it’s essential to not only respond to comments and messages but to do so in timely manner. (Yes, that includes negative comments too!)
Make your posts count. Don’t post content your customers won’t find helpful or meaningful. For instance, if you are a strategic business coach, don’t post about the coolest summer activities to do on vacation. Yeah, your customers might be thinking about their summer plans, but you can provide them with more value by showing them how to put their business on auto-pilot so they can relax while away!
Listening on social media is all about paying attention and analyzing the conversations surrounding your business and your industry, so you can make better marketing decisions. This process is essential for growing your business as it allows you to learn how people think, enabling you to map out marketing strategies, campaigns, and brand partnerships tailored to your ideal client’s psychology. If you’re not paying attention, you’re missing out on crucial conversations that can take your brand to the top.
If you’re on social media, measuring your results is a must. Metrics—like comments, likes, shares, and mentions—are essential tools that help you discover which posts perform well and which are not meeting the mark. Just like listening and knowing your audience, measuring your metrics will help you develop a clear campaign strategy that enables you to increase engagement, brand awareness, and reach.
Now that you’re aware of the mistakes you’re making, you’re probably wondering how you should fix them. Fortunately, there are many tips and tricks available to help you avoid those rookie mistakes!
Ready to learn how to perfect your social media game? Let’s take a look at a few ways that will help your social media presence grow even more!
Before you begin your social media journey, you have to have a strategy in place. Don’t worry, though! Developing a plan doesn’t have to be a daunting task.
First, determine your goal for being on social media. Do you want to drive traffic to your website? Create new leads? Build community? Whatever it is, make sure you have a goal in place to keep your motivation.
Then, determine your target audience. Identify their ages, interests, job titles, when they’re usually online, where they browse the most, and other media consumption habits. Once you figure that out, you will be able to determine the kind of content you should be creating.
For instance, if you are a fitness trainer, your target audience is probably young to middle age people who care about their health. Their job titles may vary, but they all share a common goal: to become stronger and faster. Thus, you can plan out your content to include tips and tricks for at-home exercises, top gym workouts, nutrition advice for fueling cardio exercise, proper protein consumption, and more.
The last thing you want to do is post just for the sake of posting. According to a survey conducted by BuzzStream, 21% of respondents said they would unfollow a brand if the content is repetitive and boring.
You need to make engaging content that your audience will find helpful. For instance, a legal consultant that works with small business may post about different business entities, elements to include in a contract, and how to protect one’s creative work. Demonstrating your unique expertise sets your business apart from competitors.
To avoid posting too much or not enough, create a posting schedule that will help you post consistently. Using analytic tools, determine when your audience will most likely be online and work toward posting during those times. It may take some trial and error until you find a sweet spot where you’re getting the most engagement.
Also, make sure to plan out your content as well. Plan on posting a majority of content that your audience finds useful, then throw in a few sales posts every now and then.
While each platform varies, studies show that posting at least once a day is an excellent place to start. For Twitter, try posting at least 3-5 tweets per day. Planoly, Loomly, Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Later are useful tools that schedule posts for you.
Responding to social media comments is important, so every time you receive a message or comment, try to reply within 24 hours. The sooner, the better —this is a good rule of thumb to follow.
If your schedule doesn’t allow you to continually keep tabs on comments left on your posts or messages left in your inbox, hire someone to help you keep track. The most important thing is that you’re responding and responding promptly.
If you do not measure your social media metrics, you’re missing out on an integral piece of information that could help you tremendously. Use tools like Instagram Insights, Facebook Analytics, Sprout Social, HubSpot, and more.
Look for analytics like likes, comments, shares, mentions, profile visits, website visits, and time spent on pages to see how your visitors are finding your site and where they spend their time. Compare posts to see which ones perform better than the others, then determine how you can improve your post’s engagement.
Social media listening is a great way to keep track of conversations that revolve around your brand. Wouldn’t you want to know if people are happy with your services? Or, on the contrary, if they have recommendations for improvements?
You can learn by being an active listener! Online feedback helps you learn more about your audience and others’ perception of your brand. If you haven’t started listening, now is the time!
Perfecting your social media game will always be a work in progress, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t get instant results. Take your time and work toward steady growth — you’ll see it before you know it.