The Biggest Mistakes you can make on Social Media

Authentic Style-The Biggest Mistakes you can make on Social Media

Social media holds almost unbounded potential for your business. There’s a veritable ocean of untapped potential customers that you could get in front of, build a relationship with, and even convert if you have the correct approach.

The problem is that many businesses don’t know how to create an effective strategy to do so. We often see many well thought out, yet misguided, posts from small and medium sized businesses alike. This leads to underperforming campaigns, low engagement and questions as to whether social media is actually worth the time or effort in the first place.

We aim to educate you on the biggest social media mistakes and help you to avoid them. This is a simple no-nonsense guide which will help you spot your faux pas and offer tips on how you can strengthen your efforts and set yourself up for social media success. So, without further ado let’s dive in…

1. Building a client database and selling

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At its heart, social media is for conversation. The way to succeed with social media is to focus on making connections, having discussions and helping out your customers. You want to build relationships. Many businesses and marketers eagerly craft knock out sales campaigns, launch, and wonder why they’re getting lackluster results.

Selling interrupts, users are turned off to buying, especially if you haven’t built a relationship with them, it’s not what the platforms are about. You should consider your fan base to be friends, not a client database.

Top tips:
  • Tailor a friendly, likeable, voice for your business, you definitely don’t want a corporate tone
  • Offer a lot to your fan base – guides, articles, tips, share news etc
  • Focus on building relationships
  • When you do want to sell, ask for something in return, you’ll already have credence with your potential customers. It won’t feel like you’re asking too much of them

2. Expecting immediate results

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Much like a seed, it takes time and effort to build up and reap rewards of a well thought out and executed social media presence. Take your time. Don’t jump straight into selling. Focus on the conversation. Don’t post more than a couple of times a day, you don’t want to overload your followers or risk burnout.

Top tip:
  • Your social media account is like a plant, nurture it and don’t rush to an end goal

3. Not posting consistently

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Consistency is a big deal when it comes to both social media and blogging. You need to establish a routine for posting. First choose a time that’s best, based on engagement. Decide how many times you’ll post a week and try to stick to it. Make sure they get familiar with you and look forward to seeing your posts, this is especially the case for blogging.

Highest engagement is between:
  • 7:30am and 8:30am when people are on their way to work
  • 12pm and 2pm when people are on their lunch breaks
  • 4:30pm and 6:30pm
Top tips:
  • It’s not generally recommended to post after 8pm and before 7am
  • Use a tool like fanpagekarma.com to work out the optimal time to post, tailored to your audience

4. Endlessly retweeting or sharing without comments

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This really is a terrible strategy. There’s nothing wrong with leveraging other people’s content if you’ve got something to add or think it will be worthwhile for your audience to see. The issue comes when people endlessly share other people’s content without having anything original to say.

Top tips:
  • A good mix of shared and original posts is ok
  • Don’t overdo it
  • It’s a good idea to only share if you think it would benefit your followers or is related to your industry or offering
  • When sharing a post on Facebook don’t leave the ‘say something about it’ blank, try and include your two penneth or ask a question

5. Not tailoring content to each platform

This is a next level tip. Each platform has its own special nuances…

Facebook – the most popular and versatile network. Picture and videos are most successful. Using hashtags can gain you more exposure especially when discussing news. Post frequency is less important here, whether it’s a few times a day or a couple of times a week. Live videos such as Q&As or quick tips can be very successful.

Twitter – you can share short text updates, along with video and images, links and polls (we recommend do more than just the 140 character post). Use the hashtag and @mention people.

Pinterest – more of a niche network. Popular categories are DIY, fashion, exercise, beauty, photography and food – which makes it a great platform for businesses in these areas. Make sure to share high-quality images. Consider doing rich pins.

Linkedin – a fantastic option for b2b, create articles and get involved in debates. It’s a great way to connect with decision-makers and important team members in many companies, small and large alike.

Tumblr – half of Tumblr’s visitor base is under age 25. Tumblr allows text, chat, quote, audio, photo and video posts — so you’re not limited as to what kind of content you can share. There is a sub-community or fandom for almost every niche and interest, so a successful marketing campaign is possible.

Top tips:
  • Test different types of post and see what works best for your business and audience
  • When advertising, split test between graphic and photo backgrounds, colour and black and white with a colour highlight and more

6. Not having a consistent brand

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Your brand is a huge asset. You want to make sure that everything you share follows your brand, so is immediately recognisable to your followers. You can do this by sticking to your company’s colours and typefaces in photos and videos, and image / video styles i.e. black and white, flat, grunge etc if you’ve got a defined style. It’s a good idea to also include your logo, quite small watermarked in one corner.

Top tips:
  • Use brand specific elements to make content recognisable to followers and customers

7. Spreading yourself too thin

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If you want to get really good at something fast, a great way of doing so is to solely focus on it. Many businesses make the mistake of setting up an account on every social media platform and then feel overwhelmed with the amount they have to learn and the work involved in keeping them all ticking along and growing nicely. Whilst it’s a good idea to secure your business name across all social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, we think it’s a good idea to focus on developing your top two or one even.

Top tips:
  • Create accounts that are going to be useful for your business. For example; a business who specialises in steel isn’t necessarily going to perform very well on Instagram

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