With so many businesses now using social media marketing, those who haven’t yet caught on run the risk of being overlooked in an increasingly fast-moving culture of interconnectivity.
It is clear that social media is crucial for businesses, but using it successfully is a fine art – there are a distinct number of things you should avoid doing at all costs.
Here, we’ve compiled a list of fifteen mistakes that can turn an otherwise solid social media marketing campaign pear-shaped.
1. Only sticking to FacebookFacebook is often the first social media platform that springs to mind, and, yes, you should definitely be using it. However, to fully maximise your audience, you need to diversify.
While Facebook is usually the most significant outlet for social media marketing, it’s far from the only place which will benefit your business.
There are a number of social media platforms that may be suited to your brand, such as LinkedIn, Pinterest and Twitter.
2. Using too many networks at onceAlthough you should be on platforms other than Facebook, having too many networks can be just as dicey.
You aren’t going to help increase traffic to your website by creating accounts on Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and SnapChat, only to let them gather dust because you’re not regularly managing them (and how are you actually going to find time to manage them all anyway?).
Instead, work out where your target market spends most of their time, and ensure that the platforms you use are industry-appropriate.
A pivotal thing to remember when fine-tuning your business’s approach to social media marketing is that not every social media platform will be suited to every type of business.
For example, a highly visual platform like Instagram is not going to be appropriate for a business that doesn’t provide visually oriented products or services – it won’t, for example, be suitable for an accounting firm.
Social media marketing is a delicate business, and effective use is not as easy as it looks. One inappropriately worded post can be actively detrimental to your business.
If you lack marketing expertise yourself, get in touch with a social media professional.
3. Not thinking before postingThis has to be one of the biggest mistakes businesses make on social media, and can be hugely damaging.
The sense of immediacy and rapidity that comes with having a social media presence can be immensely beneficial to your business and the way you are able to connect with customers, but this can also result in the communication of poorly worded content and inappropriate messages.
This can be disastrous. And even if a bad post is soon deleted, chances are, someone has already seen it.
Avoid this by reading and then re-reading every potential post, and asking yourself whether the material is truly fitting with your brand and beneficial to your business.
4. Forgetting to spell-checkPoor spelling and grammar can look sloppy and unprofessional, and will drastically reduce the impact of otherwise great content.
Take care to read over and spell-check content before posting.
Fine details – and your ability to spot them – reflect heavily on you as a brand, and while they might seem like they’re not a hugely big deal, these are elements which people online love to point out.
5. Responding unprofessionallyAt some point, you will almost certainly encounter angry or upset people, because that’s simply what happens on social media.
However, it’s vital that you always engage in a respectful and polite manner. Even if you are being attacked, your responses should reflect the professionalism and integrity of your business.
Again, once it’s out there, you can’t take it back – a single unsuitable comment can be hugely damaging.
6. Being too casualOne of the most effective ways in which social media enables you to connect with your audience is the easy, conversational forms of communication it fosters.
Engaging with customers in a casual, relaxed way is great for personalising and humanising your brand – social media marketing isn’t about stuffy formality.
However, there is such a thing as too casual. Avoid text-speak abbreviations – don’t use “u” instead of “you”, for example. Don’t swear. Don’t voice personal opinions about contentious subjects (religion or politics, for instance).
What you put out there can be fun and relaxed – and can certainly be a personalised reflection of the ways in which your business is unique – but ensure that you still maintain a sense of professionalism.
7. Leaving comments unattendedIt only takes one negative comment for things to start spinning wildly out of control. Don’t leave your comments unattended.
People tend to feel invalidated and unappreciated when they’re ignored, and trolls and hecklers who are left to their own devices will only become more and more difficult to handle.
It’s important to reply to all comments and complaints in a timely, professional manner.
8. Posting in a hurryDon’t be tempted by the ease with which news can be broken on social media.
Before you post, take a deep breath and think for a moment.
Is the message appropriate, given your brand, your target audience, and the kinds of goals you associate with your presence on social media (such as strengthening customer relationships and increasing your brand’s authenticity)?
If you are posting a link to a piece of news, is the source trustworthy?
Is the material actually legal to share?
Is it likely someone will be offended by it?
9. Cross-postingWhat may work in a medium like Facebook may not also work on Twitter, and vice versa.
And, put frankly, cross-posting also just has a tendency to look lazy, as though you simply could not be bothered tailoring the material accordingly. This reduces the impact of the content itself.
Ensure that you customise the content you post across each platform, and consider its compatibility with the platform itself.
10. Hiding from negative commentsIf a customer posts a negative comment on your Facebook wall, don’t just delete it. And don’t simply refuse to engage with negative or controversial comments.
Firstly, you should value the criticism, because it could be a reflection of suboptimal business practices, and also of what other followers might be thinking.
Secondly, responding to comments like these is a valuable way in which you can provide transparent and effective customer service. Showing your audience that you are able to handle negative feedback or difficult situations when you are put on the spot is one of the many ways in which social media enables you, as a business, to take control over the way your brand is perceived.
11. Not using imagesMultiple studies have indicated that content that is accompanied by images or video is accepted at significantly higher engagement rates.
Social media is a highly interactive, visual medium, and it is very likely that your audience does not want to read content that consists solely of text.
Posts and tweets that have compelling, engaging image-based components will generate more “likes” than those without, and are far more likely to grab the attention of your audience.
Images are crucial to both promoting your website, and in cultivating your brand itself. They provide customers with evocative, vivid forms of what your products and services are all about.
12. Don’t neglect itA neglected profile is like a kiss of death for social media marketing.
Your updates should be regular and consistent. If you, say, post at a particular time of day, every day (or once a week – how frequently will depend on your following and the nature of your business), your followers will start to expect this, and will invest more trust in your brand as an industry leader. This kind of confidence won’t be inspired by sporadic updates.
13. Not taking ownershipIf your business is at fault, apologise. If someone has left a negative comment, reply to it – don’t avoid it.
Not only is this best practice in terms of successfully running your business, it will also serve to create a sense of brand confidence and trust, and offers up a form of transparent communication.
If situations that involve conflict of some sort are handled diplomatically and politely, and with a sense of responsibility, potential customers will see this as a display of integrity, not weakness.
14. Sharing too much informationYou want to be giving your audience enough to whet their appetites, but no more than that.
The content you post should therefore leave some questions unanswered, and should prompt a call to action.
Providing too much content can be as harmful as not providing enough – the right amount will titillate your followers, and leave them wanting more.
15. Being inexperiencedBecause social media tends to be the province of younger generations, those more experienced, senior members of your team may have less social networking expertise.
Furthermore, where these younger members of your workplace may have a stronger grip on social media practices, they might lack the professionalism that comes with decades of industry experience.
Ultimately, you should find a way to combine this tech-savvy freshness with more polished professionalism by ensuring that everyone on your team is on the same page in terms of social media marketing strategy, and in relation to the overall vision and values of your brand.
It is also worth considering hiring a professional who lives and breathes social media marketing – if you’re not sure what you’re doing, you can do your business more harm than good with just one poorly timed slip-up.
Instagram has been online marketer’s hottest toy lately. And for a good reason: Instagram is growing like crazy! According to the site itself, their userbase grew from 90 million active users to more than 400 million active users in less than two years (2013-2015).
Instagram has the most engaging community: Engagement with brands on Instagram is 54 times higher than on Pinterest, 10 times higher than on Facebook, and 84 times higher than on Twitter.
Truly, Instagram is the marketing goldmine which is why i am so excited when a new Instagram tool comes out to open up new possibilities to market at the visual marketing monster.
Yotpo has come up with the new Instagram curation tool allowing brands to leverage the power of authentic user-generated photos from Instagram.
Enhanced Instagram Searching Capabilities
Yotpo offers some unique Instagram searching options allowing you to search for:
- One or more hashtags
- One or more @usernames
Search results contain Instagram updates that satisfy one of your criteria. This way you can curate Instagram effectively combining several search terms within one search results page.
This comes particularly useful when you:
- Track your brand hashtags in order to collect authentic visual reviews and testimonials (many brands have several branded hashtags these days including the main #brandname hashtag, all your past contests, product names, giveaways, etc.)
- Make sure you are not missing a single entry to your Instagram contest
- Monitor several of your competitors
Enhanced Instagram Engagement Capabilities
With the enhanced curation options comes even more impressive engagement possibilities. With Yotpo you can now meaningfully engage with many Instagram updates in bulk thanking users for featuring you and your product, welcoming contest entries and asking for permissions to republish brand-relevant content to your own marketing presences..
You can set your messages using curation settings:
Now, using the search feature, find the most relevant Instagram updates and post your customized message with one click:
You can also enroll your team into curating Instagram updates for you sending the selected entries into the moderation queue from where you can review and publish the content to your properties.
Publicize Curated Instagram Updates on Your Blog
With you and your team curating Instagram, you’ll want to best publicize the effort. Yotpo offers a customizable widget you can embed on your pages to serve as the social media proof displaying visual testimonials and authentic reviews.
I am pretty sure Yotpo has come up with some really unique Instagram functionality brands will find very useful for lots of Instagram marketing efforts.
Man, social media is getting complicated, isn’t it? The attention to detail is extreme, and it is pretty much becoming mandatory for any brand to work as a team to accomplish their social goals. A little effort doesn’t go a long way anymore. Now it is all about the full scale social strategies if you want visibility and lead generation.
So, when you have to have an entire team working on your social media, what do you do to stay organized? A good collaboration tool – or more than one – is your best bet. It will let the manager of the team stay on top of things, and give everyone involved in social marketing a firm grasp of their role. That means fewer mistakes, and more productive engagement.
These are the eight I would personally recommend. Having maybe two or three of them for different purposes will give you and your social media team exactly what you need.
Google Drive is the most obvious on this list. I personally like it more for cloud storage of past blog posts, and as a database for strategies and data. It is a great tool for tying together all of your content, not just the social, so your team is always up to date and can go back and find something they need off of your main site.
Plus it’s free, and nearly everyone alive has a Google account these days. So it is a very convenient and efficient tool.
Coschedule is, to me, a hit and miss tool for the social aspect. On one hand, it does have a social planner and will auto-update your attached accounts. But on the other it isn’t exactly a social dashboard.
I would recommend it more as a tool for integrating social and content planning, so everyone is on the same page. It is a very good editorial calendar, with a hint of a social element. So worth getting, especially given how cheap it is. And it integrates with WordPress, right there into the dashboard. So it is easy to use for anyone.
I am going to come out and say this right now: I love Trello. Out of everything on this list, this is going to be the tool that I gush about the most. It is super easy, visual, versatile, and budget friendly.
Your team can use it with pretty much no instruction, since it is all pretty straight forward. I use it for team collaboration, personal project management, group project management, personal life planning, and I have even created Feature Roadmaps and Launch Timelines for startups. If you want to go a step further, allow anyone to contribute so they can offer suggestions for improvements.
With Basecamp, it can be hard to say whether it is a good tool or not. Features-wise, it is fantastic collaboration and project management option for both teams, and freelancers with an active client base.
But it starts at $29 per month, and is as much as $79 per month. Which means it is a bit of a steep price for a lot of startups and smaller businesses with a tight budget. Still, if you have the cash it is an undeniably helpful app.
I have never been a huge fan of Evernote, but I know so many people who use it that I had to put it on the list. Collaborate with others, curate content, save links, and put it all in one place.
I would say the best thing about Evernote is that it is a major application, and so it integrates with just about everything. Making it a pretty useful tool if you need to go from one program to another, as well as across multiple devices.
I like Slack for its community building. You can create channels with multiple hashtag run sections for people to join. So you can actually create an account, and then make different areas for different projects.
It is very helpful it you need to communicate with multiple team combinations, especially since you can invite and lock out as necessary.
You have probably come across Skype at least once in your life. I know I use it on a regular basis, in spite of other tools coming around to take its place.
In fact, many clients prefer it as a method of communication, and so a lot of freelancers and teams for small businesses or startups already have it installed. It can be an easy way to hold meetings and keep on top of one another.
Want to streamline your team collaboration? This is an app that promises to do that for you, creating a high performance team of members that pretty much run themselves.
I have never used Redbooth, but I know several people who have and that swear by it. It starts at only $5 per month for small teams, and as low as $15 a month for businesses, so definitely not a bad choice.
Do you have a tool to go on this list? Let us know in the comments!