Common Social Media Mistakes

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Social media is a big opportunity for most organisations, whether they are B2B or B2C, or whether they operate online or from a physical location. And while the theory of social media is simple (i.e. if I write great content, people will be able to engage with it), the execution is not quite as straight forward. Here are some common mistakes that are made on social media that you should do your best to avoid:

No Plan: If you don’t know what you want to achieve with your social media account, how can you possibly hope to achieve it? Do you want your account to drive traffic, entertain, be a customer service channel, be a PR platform or something else?

Always Selling: Social media is all about engaging the end user – and nothing disengages people more than selling all the time. That’s not to say that you can never sell, you just need to earn the right by posting other non-sales content. And make sure you pick your moment carefully, unlike these guys.

Buy Followers: It never works. Ever. And it completely defeats the whole point of social media. You should be focused on your reach rather than your audience size. Just because they are following you, doesn’t mean they are listening. And if you buy followers, they are not listening and most likely  not real people.

Inconsistency: You should consider your audience when you are posting. Would they be interested in what you are saying? If you are using one platform to talk about your business, your sports team, your family and your politics, you are getting it wrong. You should focus on posting about one topic and doing it brilliantly.

Frequency: The number of times that you post per day should differ by social network: the life span of a tweet is far smaller than the life span of a Facebook post for example. So spend some time working out what frequency you can commit to and dig into your analytics to find out when your audience are most likely to be online – this will maximise your reach.

Don’t Learn Lessons: Analytics packages for the 3 ‘old’ social networks, Facebook Twitter, LinkedIn, are pretty good. You should invest some time looking at the analytics to see where you could improve your social media offering. And if your social media account drives traffic to your website, you should check your web analytics package too.

Over Use Hashtags: Hashtags are a powerful tool. And with great power comes great responsibility (thanks Spiderman). Use hashtags in moderation and don’t over-load your post with them. It makes reading the actual message very difficult, especially if it is long #longhashtagssimplydontworksodontdoit

Typos: Typos and grammar will happen on social media, but when they do it distracts the user from the message which you are trying to communicate. So avoiding them will help your message resonate.

Spread Yourself Thin: Rather than creating accounts on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube, you should focus your efforts on just one network to start with – the one where you are most likely to engage your audience. Also, are your audience interesting in your content across all social networks? All of them?!

Image via anitakelleyconsulting.com
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