There is no denying that social media is an important branding and marketing strategy to employ in your business, whether it is large or small. However, many business owners are self-taught in the ways of social media form, function, and etiquette, leaving themselves vulnerable to making some pretty giant mistakes.
Above all, it’s important to make a very real distinction between your personal social media profiles and your business profiles, but here are some of the most common mistakes business owners make (and how to avoid them):
1. Under or Over-Posting
We’ve all been told that consistently posting is one of the most important factors in gaining a solid social media following. But how much is too much?
There isn’t a specific posting rule, but you want to make sure you are neither ghosting, nor annoying your followers.
A good rule of thumb:
- Twitter: 1x a day
- Facebook: 3-5x a week
- Instagram: 1x day
Pro Tip: Use a service like IFTTT or Buffer to help you manage your posting. You can assign specific days and time to post more generic content, link content across different platforms, and so much more. Huge time saver!
We all have that one friend who uses social media as a platform to voice every passing thought, medical procedure, political leaning, and “hilarious” gif. Don’t be that business owner!
It may be tempting to say “all the things” on your social media platforms—you may have even convinced yourself that your clients appreciate your “authenticity”—but using your business profiles to spread your personal beliefs is a big no-no.
I’m not saying you can’t be authentic to who you are as a member of your own company, but there is a line there. If you cross it, you face alienating a whole segment of potential customers who could really benefit from your product or services (and your sparkling wit).
And don’t kid yourself, you DO want those clients, even if you find yourself defending your actions by way of “not wanting clients who would believe or not believe XYZ.”
Keep it professional.
Sell! Sell! Sell? No! No! No!
Yes, use your social media platforms to sell your products and services…but don’t use them for ONLY selling.
Diversity is key! Not only should your different social media platforms (think Facebook vs Instagram) feature different content from each other, but they should also feature different types of content. Yes, sales posts, but also articles that might interest your ideal clients, community events that you are sponsoring, testimonials, awards, anything that might solidify you as an authority in your field, and interest your clients and potential clients.
Consider the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent of the time you are focusing on killer content to engage your audience…and twenty percent of the time you are specifically selling or promoting.
4. Bad Trending
You’ve heard of a hashtag (#), right? Well, did you know hashtags can backfire?
It’s common and natural to want to capitalize on trending topics and hashtags, but make sure you know what you are tagging and why.
Don’t know what #BLM or #GoBrandon mean? Didn’t realize #thatswhatshesaid had a sexual connotation? Then don’t use those tags! You could easily get yourself into a sticky (and embarrassing) situation by trying to use the “lingo” without knowing the true meanings.
Wanting to interact with trending topics is a great way to create buzz and activity for your business, but make sure a topic (and your relating content) is accurate, relevant, and appropriate before inadvertently posting something you’ll regret.
5. Under or Over-Responding
The term “social media engagement” was created because you should actually try to engage. That’s the point!
So, if you’re not responding at all, you’re missing a large part of what makes social media so effective. Even if someone is saying something negative, you should still respond as soon as you are able.
Conversely, if you are responding too much (yes, there is such a thing), you could turn-off your customer or be perceived at harassing.
Respond promptly and appropriately.
Not getting any response? Take a moment to check out your analytics and evaluate peak engagement times. It can make a world of difference in how many people even see your posts.
What are some other major social media mistakes you’ve made or seen? Comment below.