17 Social Media Mistakes Your Business Should Avoid in 2018
You have probably made a personal list of resolutions or goals to strive after this year. And even if you haven’t sealed them with pen and paper, there are most likely a few ideas in your mind begging for you to work toward a positive change.
Maybe you hate the idea of New Year resolutions (I think I may know why!). But you can’t help but dream of improvements that could be made to grow the success of your business.
One of the areas we are putting more focus on this year is our social media presence. Sound funny coming from a company that sits chin deep in the digital world? We’ve often found ourselves so busy helping others improve their social media platforms that ours can tend to slip to the back burner. Well, our clients are still our priority, but we’re turning up the heat back there.
That’s why we’re putting our best foot forward (and taking you with us) by highlighting 17 social media mistakes businesses should avoid this year. We’ll also be sharing methods you can use to avoid these mistakes.
Ignoring Social Media Altogether
There are a handful of companies out there that insist on standing their ground and view social media as just a passing fad. Failing to recognize and utilize it as the amazing communication tool that it is could be hurting them.
Many businesses have found social media incredibly useful as it helps them establish trust with their clients and prospects. It’s a great way to get connected and engage with your audience and share valuable content with them. It can work to ultimately bring more people to your website and through your doors.
And don’t think that social media is irrelevant for your type of business! Businesses from HVAC companies to lawn care services, office supply companies to hair salons and everything in between can use a social media platform effectively.
Obviously, this will look different with a company profile than it will with your personal accounts, but that doesn’t mean you should avoid connecting with people. Engagement is key to building your online reputation and trust level with those who follow you or turn to your profile to discover more about your business.
- Be proactive in engaging with those who leave comments, reviews, questions, etc.
- Go out of your way to thank customers who have left a positive review.
- Be prompt in addressing any issues or concerns upset customers have and if possible, do what you can to fix their problem. That way, even when others see the poor review, they will also see how you went out of your way to make amends.
Engaging with people in these ways on your social profile could play a huge part in someone’s final decision to seek out your services. Remember, too, that you’ll leave a more positive impact when you leave a personal touch in your responses to people instead of appearing as a nameless company representative.
Becoming Lazy…and Neglecting to Actively Share
As is often the case with new years resolutions, it’s easy to become excited about your business social media marketing opportunities, only to end up with a platform that has become inactive after a few weeks or months.
It’s going to be frustrating for those who followed you because they wanted to stay in the loop. Make time for social media if you are going to have it. Don’t leave your followers wondering if you’re still up and running.
Spamming Your Followers’ Feed
Even if everything you post is excellent, quality content, spare your followers (and yourself) and spread it out so that no one is overwhelmed.
There is no magic number for the perfect amount of posts your business should share on each social media platform. There are so many varying ideas online as to exactly how much you should be doing. Obviously, frequent posting is more acceptable on Twitter than some other platforms because the lifespan of a Tweet is only about 3 seconds.
The key for your business is to TEST, TEST, TEST. Keep track of the kinds of responses you get and the engagement levels with your posts. Remember that your business may get away with a lot fewer posts than others or vice versa. A business like a news outlet is going to post numerous times per day, which makes sense for their niche.
Find out what works for you and be consistent. Do make sure you are posting at least once a week to stay active. And remember, it takes time to figure out the best strategy for your particular company. You may not see a huge response level immediately, but don’t give up.
Over Promotion of Your Product or Business
Ever had a conversation with someone who can only talk about themselves? I’m guessing you have categorized them in your mind as someone you don’t particularly enjoy to be around. That’s exactly how people feel when businesess post only about how wonderful they are. That is one easy way of shrinking down your followers fast.
Do share about your business, but do it in such a way that is HELPFUL to your audience. Make them your focus, not you. When you think about how you can serve them, your content changes. Along with shares from your own website, include other information, links, videos, etc. that are related to your niche. Make your social media a platform that is beneficial for others so they won’t avoid you like they would a pushy salesman.
Pointing Only to Outside Experts
Again, don’t take the opposite extreme as you try to avoid the social media mistake we just mentioned. While you don’t want your content to constantly scream, “LOOK AT US!”, you can fall into the trap of sharing things from other experts in your niche and never giving your followers a reason to see your website as a reliable resource.
Ultimately, your business social media account is there to engage with customers and prospects, build relationships, help increase brand awareness, and increase traffic to your website. If you are only posting things that send your followers to experts other than you, how will you ever get them to see you as the one who can meet their need? Post quality, original content to prove you are an authority they can trust on subjects relative to what you do.
Posting Without a Call to Action
You could post hilarious memes related to what you do all day and never gain any real benefit from your company’s social media.
Post valuable content that gives your audience a clear call to action…it can be as easy as posting an update that includes a link to your latest blog post on your website. With a call to action, we’re not talking continual posts that include things like, ‘Call Now’, ‘buy our product today’, etc. That’s going back to making one of the previously mentioned mistakes. But you can include actionable responses for your followers that can be beneficial to them and your business alike.
While we’re on the topic of having a call to action, we’d love it if you clicked the like button and connected with us on Facebook:
Posting Things Irrelevant to Your Niche
While posting funny photos, news articles, or other types of posts not directly related to your niche can be fine from time to time, you’ll be sure to confuse your followers if that is all you share.
Remember why you use social media for your business in the first place. Provide your audience with the useful information they were expecting when they started following you.
Posting Text Without Images
I know, we’ve heard it so many times. Posts without images get far less engagement than those with images. An image will capture the eye faster than a block of text ever will.
Use this to your advantage and include images in every post. You don’t have to be a professional photographer to make this happen. And if you need to, there are plenty of resources for free stock images where you can find images that don’t look like stock.
Inconsistency in Brand Across Social Platforms
I’m guessing you have heard how important it is to have a clear company brand. We’re passionate about helping our clients establish a memorable brand (and that is far more than just a logo)!
And because branding is so important, we can’t help but include this as one of the big social media mistakes companies make. Some quickly create their profiles and slap on a few images. Then they create a profile on a different platform that has a completely different feel to it. This makes it challenging for people to find you and trust they’ve found the right account to follow. Including color schemes and/or a logo that looks nothing like what is found on your website could hinder social media from being effective for your business.
Obviously, each platform will look a bit different as there are variations in the way your profile is presented. But overall, the feel of each profile should be consistent and clearly represent your business.
Irrelevant or Over-Hashtagging
It was Twitter that initially introduced the hashtag for the purpose of organizing information, making it easier for people to find posts on certain topics and then to be a part of the conversation. They aren’t meant to be used to tag any random phrase that will never get searched.
Hashtags for your business social posts should be strategic, like the keywords you are trying to rank for on your website. You want them to be relevant to what your post is about so that when someone searches that hashtag, they’ll be able to find your post. Make your hashtags specific with words and phrases that people are actually likely to search when looking to find information on the types of services you offer.
1 to 2 (or up to 3) hashtags per post is plenty. More than that is overkill.
Here is an example of using a hashtag that is likely to be searched, relevant to our industry, and makes sense to include in this Facebook post:
Using Every Social Media Platform
You don’t have to have an account on every single social media platform to make your business relevant online. One of the reasons companies fall behind on their social media is because they have too many platforms to manage. If you want to stay active and consistent, don’t make this social media mistake.
Choose the social media platforms that make the most sense for your particular business. Think about which audience you are trying to reach. Is your target audience not even on Instagram? Then don’t bother using that platform. Rather, spend your time and focus on the accounts that will make the most sense for your business.
Posting the Same Types of Content All the Time
It can be challenging to know what kinds of posts to share when you are managing a company profile instead of a personal one. Because of that, we can quickly slip into a rut of posting certain types of content all the time…like blog posts, for example.
While those are certainly excellent things to share, try switching things up by including videos, quotes, fun things happening at your company, etc. to keep your audience engaged. Check out our post on ways to share and promote your content beyond blogging.
One of the ways I’m reaching toward my goal of including more variety in our posts is to set reminders to capture memorable moments with our team.
Posting With No Personality
Is it hard for people to believe there is a real person behind your social media posts? That’s one of the social media mistakes businesses commonly make. They’re so focused on promoting their product and services that it almost seems robotic.
I so appreciate businesses who I personally follow that include humor and fun in what they share. Whether the whole team dressed up for a holiday or someone’s personality shines through in a Tweet, there are so many ways to help make your shares more human and less robotic.
Remember to stick to your company’s social media policies and never share things that will violate them.
Posting Just to Post, Without Strategy
While coming up with a social media strategy is another task to add to the to-do list, it’s going to make a big difference in the long run. Having a clear plan of where you are going, who your audience is, and what types of information you want to share will help you be much more effective. Having defined goals will help you stay consistent.
Not Using Tools
One of the reasons some businesses allow their social media to become inactive is because it takes too much time to post consistently on their different platforms.
Some assume each post needs to be made manually. No wonder it feels like a hassle! One of the tools we love to use is HootSuite. This tool allows you not only to schedule out multiple posts in advance, but you are also able to respond to comments and messages on multiple platforms all from one location. You don’t have to sign into each individual account every time.
Buffer is also a great tool for scheduling multiple posts at a time.
Note: Just because you are using a tool, your posts do not have to become robotic.
Having an Incomplete Profile
Don’t leave your followers hanging. Give them ample information on your social media profiles. Include your contact info in the appropriate “about” sections and make sure a description of your business and services is present. An incomplete profile will look less professional and could leave people wondering if it’s the right account for your business. Also, remember that social media accounts are often used like online business listings when people are looking for information.
That’s quite a few social media mistakes to avoid, but fortunately, once you know what to do, it doesn’t have to be that difficult.
Ready to change up your social media strategy this year but don’t have the time? Feel free to contact us to bounce around some ideas of how we could help