Almost every business today uses social media to build its brand, attract new clients, and get more leads. For a fact, more than 90 percent of millennials and almost half of baby boomers are using social media.
However, the contrast between what businesses think they are providing consumers and their customers’ actual experiences couldn’t be more broad.
Eighty percent of companies believe that they provide exceptional customer service on social media, but only eight percent of their customers agree.
So, what are businesses doing wrong on social media, and what steps can they take to improve their social media campaigns?
Here are 10 social media mistakes that businesses should avoid at all costs if they desire to succeed.
Image – Convince and Convert
1. Not Posting Consistently
Define your social media content strategy carefully and stick to it. It is crucial to post on a consistent basis. You shouldn’t let long periods of time go past without posting new, engaging content.
Having a posting schedule can be extremely useful and following that schedule will bring consistency to your postings so your customers will know what to expect…and when to expect it.
Of course, following a schedule can be difficult, especially if you have tons of other responsibilities. That’s where post scheduling tools, such as Buffer and Hootsuite, come into play.
Even though some platforms offer auto-posting, there's nothing like posting organically! Try doing it yourself! I know it can be time-consuming and auto-posting can be veryyyy tempting, but it’s been proven that auto-posting can really hurt your reach and engagement on your posts. Turns out…Instagram and Facebook can tell when you’re auto-posting!
And, as much as you want to post, you like to see what's happening on your social pages too…don’t you? You can even reply to any questions or comments without wasting time.
2. Not Being Consistent With Branding
Besides posting on a regular basis, you’ll also want to make sure all your posts follow a similar theme. You definitely don’t want to be posting random stuff that has nothing to do with your business or the kinds of things you usually post.
To be consistent with branding, use the same tone of voice in all of your posts. Also, make sure to use the same kinds of images – paying attention to your color scheme can help.
Use the same logos across your social media channels.
Image – Lucid Press
3. Not Having Clear Goals & Metrics and Not Tracking Your Stats
Unless you’re tracking your statistics, there’s no way of knowing whether you are succeeding with social media. If you don’t know if you are succeeding, you’ll never learn how to improve.
Before you can track your success though, you need to have KPIs – Key Performance Indicators. Your KPIs depend on your goals, so you’ll want to have those goals in place before determining your KPIs.
For example, if your goal is to grow your follower base and improve social proof, your KPIs can be likes on Facebook or Twitter and Instagram followers.
However, if your goal is to build your email list or increase lead percentage, likes may not be as important to you as leads and signups.
Other KPIs can include comments, engagement, mentions, clicks to your website (if your goal is to increase your blog traffic), etc.
By tracking your KPIs, you can try out different strategies and see which ones help you reach your goals most efficiently.
This may not look like an outright social media mistake but the entire exercise is worthless if you don’t set a clear target and track your performance.
4. Not Employing a Social Media Listening Strategy
This is a rather important social media mistake that you do NOT want to make!
It’s extremely important to listen to what people are saying on social media because it allows you to figure out what problems your ideal customers are facing and what kind of content they’re looking for on social media.
This starts with your own follower base and reading comments that people leave on your posts.
You can also start following hashtags in your niche and read recent posts with relevant hashtags.
RiteTag and other tools are awesome if you need a little help figuring out what hashtags are popular.
If you’re using IG or Twitter, you can go to your alerts section to find out when you were @mentioned.
You can even hop onto sites such as Reddit or Quora to find out what people are talking about in your niche and what is trending.
Of course, you can also ask your followers for feedback directly or post short surveys on Twitter, Instagram Stories, and Facebook that only have a few questions but can tell you a lot.
5. Being Too Promotional
Image – Top Rank Blog
Nobody goes on social media to be sold to, especially not millennials. People go on social media to connect with family, see what their friends are up to, follow their interests, and see humorous posts that make them laugh on a boring day.
As soon as you understand this, you will be able to start connecting with your audience and attracting new followers.
If all you do is post links to your blog posts and advertise products, people will find you boring, uninteresting, and bland. Nobody wants to see a feed full of ads.
Be human! It’s okay to promote your services now and then, especially if it’s subtle, but post other content that brings value to your followers.
This can be tips, how-to videos, memes, or anything else that your followers will find useful.
Seventy-three percent of consumers want to see discounts on social media, while 59 percent want to see posts that teach them something.
6. Not Understanding Your Audience or the Platform
This is the most common of all social media mistakes – 9 of 10 businesses fall into this trap. It’s important that you understand both your audience and the platform.
Facebook and other social networks give you analytics into who your followers are. You can find out their demographics, age, location, etc.
It’s also important to tailor your message based on the platform you’re using and to choose the right platform.
For example, if you’re targeting professionals, LinkedIn might be your best option. If you operate a design/cooking/clothing/fashion/makeup business or any business that relies on visuals for promotional purposes, Instagram and Pinterest would be better choices than LinkedIn or Twitter.
7. Not Engaging With Your Customers
Social media can be used to build relationships with your customers. This means that you have to actively engage with your followers on a regular basis, even if most of your posts were already scheduled.
Start by replying to comments left on your posts, and also comment on the posts that you were mentioned in.
Live-streams are a great way to engage with your followers because you can answer questions in real-time.
Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Periscope are great places to start!
Image – Sprout Social
8. Not Taking The Customer Journey Into Account
When creating your posts, it’s important to think about the customer’s journey.
This is one reason why it is not a good idea to only post salesy things – new followers probably aren’t going to enjoy that.
It takes time to build a relationship and trust, and that’s what you should be focusing on doing. The know, like, and trust factor can go a very long way when you’re trying to sell a product to your audience.
9. Not Retargeting
Setting aside a budget for paid social media ads will open you up to many new opportunities. You’ll increase your sales, reach new people, and grow your following so much quicker.
However, many people neglect to create retargeting ads, which is such a shame. Almost half of all marketers believe retargeting is the most underused online marketing technology, but only 20 percent of businesses have a retargeting budget.
On Facebook, for example, you can target people who visited your website, visited a certain product page, are on your email list, are on your phone list, have clicked on a previous ad, and much more.
The rule of 7 says that it takes an average of seven exposures before a customer takes action. By using retargeting, you can expose people to the same product or service multiple times, which will increase your conversion rate.
In fact, the average click-through rate for retargeted ads is 10x that of a regular display ad.
10. Not Optimizing for Local SEO
Among other social media mistakes, this one stands-out, especially if you operate a local business, make sure people can find you on social media.
To do this, include your location and telephone number in your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and other profiles.
Another tip: focusing on getting reviews from local customers on Facebook can really help boost your local SEO rating.
Wrapping It Up
Social media continues to be one of the most effective platforms for marketing, so don’t be surprised if it becomes the most popular form of marketing in the years to come!
Avoiding these common social media mistakes not only improves your business chances but takes you a step closer to being a social media expert!
Roberto is the co-founder of Mofluid, a mobile application software firm based out of India. Mofluid offers mobile app solutions to Magento store owners, helping them with their mobile presence. Founded in 2011, Mofluid will soon be an open source software, making it easier for agencies and ecommerce store owners alike.