Every business loves social media today.
Why? Because all of our customers are there!
The growth of active social media users around the world continues to rise and this has encouraged brands from all industries and of all sizes to join them there. It makes commercial sense! But now that almost everyone is aware of how powerful social media marketing can be, the competition has become extremely tough, with every business vying for attention and trying to stand out from the crowd.
In the scramble, some brands are losing sight of how to incorporate social media successfully into their marketing strategies – especially as time goes on and trends change.
So, to help, here are 10 common social media mistakes that you may be doing and really want to avoid.
1. Not having a social media marketing plan
This is a very common pitfall that many brands fall into – the disregard for a proper social media marketing plan. Sharing content here and there without a concrete strategy can be a massive waste of time, inconsistent and inefficient.
It also means that your social media approach can risk being off-brand or independent from the rest of your marketing strategy – which is completely counterproductive.
So, don’t dive into the social media world without a clear-cut strategy that provides direction, goals and success metrics.
If you fail to social media plan, then you plan to social media fail.
Is there a format of social marketing plan that will work for all businesses? No, because every business is unique and you should customise it according to your goals. But you should have some sort of plan so you and your team are all on the same page.
To help you jumpstart your social media planning, download our free Marketing Plan template here.
It’s important to approach social media marketing the same way you would approach any of your marketing campaigns. But to start you off, here are some factors that you should consider:
If you follow all these, then you will have a social media plan that’s specifically tailored for your brand and will lead to success.
2. Acquiring inorganic followers
Ah, it’s very tempting to “buy” followers.
This was a big trend a few years ago, but now, the platforms are cracking down on this unethical practice. However, it’s more of an issue than you may realise.
When only a few people follow your brand, buying a thousand followers for an affordable price sounds like a great deal. Getting involved in follower exchange programs? Easy-peasy, right?
But remember, if you give in to this temptation, you just paid for fake profiles that could harm your business.
Social media platforms have algorithms. The more natural engagement you receive from your post, the more the algorithm identifies it as a valuable post and will continue showing your post to others.
If you buy unknown profiles for the sake of follower count, they will prevent your post from being identified by the algorithm because those profiles won’t engage with you and the organic followers that you had originally will see fewer of your posts.
Sure. We all want huge numbers of followers. But things have changed today. As a business, you’d prefer to have followers who engage and convert over hordes of numbers who don’t.
Now that you know the impact social media algorithms have on reach, shift your focus on nurturing deeper connections with your followers. As you set your preferred audience, you can narrow down their likes and dislikes, optimise the timing of posting, experiment with different types of content and gauge how relevant your posts are by studying analytics.
At Melotti Media, we build a steady but loyal following by consistently producing content that is curated to our intended audience. In addition, we also build social connections with other businesses by interacting with their posts and replying to comments.
Sure – this doesn’t lead to millions of followers overnight, but it does earn us the business we’re after! That’s the point of it all, after all!
3. Mishandling social media comments
One of the most controversial social media mistakes is how brands deal with comments - both good and bad.
Brands should always take part in customer conversations because customer engagement is a social media marketing KPI.
It’s called SOCIAL media for a reason. Your brand has to be social on there! Otherwise it’s a one-way digital billboard and people aren’t there for that.
So, make sure to respond to comments (within reason). If you can’t reply to everyone, respond to the most relevant comments. Don’t stay silent or leave an information vacuum. You’ll find that your followers feel excited when your brand responds, especially to their FAQs or funny comments.
Ok, so how do you deal with negative comments?
If it is a valid negative criticism (comments by disappointed or upset customers), do not delete them. It’s still feedback after all. Also, don’t just counterattack with a negative response – rather, face and engage them with respect and professionalism. You’ll find that you can resurrect an unhappy situation if you simply respond and offer a solution – remember, other people are reading these too, and if you show your brand cares, that will create a level of respect.
There is, however, a fine line between negative and unacceptable comments.
If it includes spam, profanity, threats, racist slurs, obscenity, or any discriminatory remarks, then definitely remove these. You don’t want to encourage that behaviour.
To avoid any mishandling of social media comments, discuss comment guidelines within your team and plans of action.
4. Not monitoring social media results
Social media is an incredibly powerful way of promoting your brand in this digital age. And we are fortunate that these platforms provide us with access to social media analytics to interpret.
However, some businesses upload posts and just leave them as they are.
This is such a missed opportunity!
Social media marketing is just like any other form of marketing, in that you need to observe the results and make adjustments accordingly.
Stats give you great insights into what’s working and what’s not, so you can improve. Keep in mind that you have a goal – and since you are expecting results, you must be in a position where you’ll see the impact of your past actions. Here’s a clear example:
Marketer A loves boosting random social media posts about his brand. He heavily relies on social media advertising, so he spent his whole budget on it and simply assumes that everything is working. After a few months, he gets average results and, in the end, realises that he should have discontinued the non-performing ad to spend the budget elsewhere.
Marketer B, on the other hand, uses a trial-and-error method. She makes two consecutive campaigns, posts and actively assesses which among those is more successful. She studies the results and uses the feedback and analytics to tweak her captions, channels and posts over time to get the best result.
Which story had a happy ending? We bet it’s the latter!
The takeaway: monitoring results will help you find the winning strategy on social media.
5. Social Media quality over quantity
There are strategies that will make or break your social media feed and this involves how subtle or ‘in their face’ your brand promotion is.
If you seldomly post, your audience might consider you as non-existent. If you are posting every minute of every hour, you will annoy them and they will dread seeing your posts overcrowding their feed. Any of the two will make you watch your followers dwindle like snow in the rain.
So, how do you strike the right balance?
Achieve consistency, not frequency. Say, for example, if you’ve curated 3 posts per day in your content calendar for specific times, your audience will learn that they can visit your page any time and will expect 3 posts every 24 hours. The best way to attract your audience is to have something worthwhile for them to see.
Which leads us to the next point…
Quality over quantity, always! On social media, that involves giving your readers ‘snackable content’.
There’s one thing worse than not posting on social media, and that’s posting something irrelevant that just leaves your audience scratching their heads.
You want your social media posts to make sense to the person engaging with it, right? We may sound like a broken record here – but stick to your goals and objectives.
That means, your social media content should be tailored to appeal to your audience.
6. Using unrelated hashtags
Social media hashtags are helpful and you’ll be amazed by how much exposure you can get just by incorporating a few pound signs (#) into your content!
They’re a great way of making your content discoverable, labelling social media updates and increasing social media traffic. No wonder marketers have been leveraging hashtags now for more than a decade.
Social media hashtags are an indexing system that allows people to find your posts based on their interests. So, use relevant hashtags so they see your content and follow you.
Social media hashtags place your brand in a trending conversation – we’re talking thousands of people a lot of the times. However, if your brand is somewhere you don’t want it to be, everyone will know about it.
This can damage your brand’s positioning.
The idea is to be a valuable contributor to a topic. Not a spammer, especially now as social media platforms allow users to report you for irrelevant hashtag use.
Here are 5 things to keep in mind about social media hashtag practise:
7. Falling behind latest trends and updates
Want to succeed on social media today AND tomorrow?
Then don’t get left behind. While the technology we have access to has never been greater, the competition has also never been higher. So, keep up where relevant.
There is no shortage of social media platforms today; we have Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google My Business, TikTok, YouTube and the list goes on. But again - in the end, it’s all about your audience.
Your social media audience evolves over time. Make sure you do too.
Are you on the platform where they spend most of their time? What topics matter to them? The answers change every year, so what should you do?
To learn more, see: How to keep up with consumer behaviour and customer trends
Counteract the social media noise by creating messages that resonate with your key audience, while keeping your social media content fresh and innovative. Nowadays, people are looking for brands and businesses that make them feel connected on a personal level; ones that provide value to them.
So do that!
8. Using overrated and boring captions
Good captions will stop a scroller in their tracks.
Social media captions are a great opportunity to encourage likes, comments, reactions and even clicks to your webpage. Simply put, it builds a stronger relationship with your audience.
Yes, even though people love videos and photos, often their eyes hit the first few words of your caption first to “screen” if the post is worthy of their time (especially as video takes time to buffer and watch).
You can’t afford to leave your captions as an afterthought. You may even be tempted to resort to copying overrated caption templates you find online but that’s both unappealing and borderline plagiarism.
Instead, stop people with a question that your visual content answers, or perhaps an interesting stat. And if you can, tag other users or appropriate businesses.
9. Not encouraging innovative posts
While you do want consistency, social media marketing is about being bold at times! So, don’t shy away from brainstorming different social media approaches that are still on-brand and relevant to your audience.
Be bold! On social media, people love to follow inspiring brands that are fresh and interesting.
For instance, we came up with “dual-posting” one day, when our Marketing Manager said: “why don’t we post a question in the morning and encourage everyone’s ideas, and then post an answer in the afternoon?”
So smart and clever! So now, we do!
Think of ways to change things up for the better that will get you closer to achieving your social media marketing goals.
10. Not seeking professional social media help!
Are you feeling overwhelmed by social media? No worries. If you don’t have time or you’re experiencing a serious case of social media writer’s block, it’s high time for you to hire a social media copywriter!
We won’t just take the weight off your shoulders; you’ll have an expert steering the wheel for your social media presence!
Do you make any of these common social media errors?
Have you been making these social media mistakes? Don’t worry, it’s not too late to begin again.
Where should I start, you ask? Go back to square one, literally. Start writing down your social media marketing plans and goals and progress from there.
Take care of each aspect and put these tips into practise, and you should be well on to skyrocketing your social media growth!
How can Melotti Media help you?
We understand that you want to achieve business social media success through quality marketing messages.
However, you may find that you’re time-poor and spread thin or you still have a lot of unanswered questions.
But you don’t need to worry!
At Melotti Media, we can assist with all your message marketing and copywriting needs while you focus on what matters most to you – growing your business.
Let’s start earning the results your business deserves!
To speak to your trusted message marketers and copywriters, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
We can sharpen your words to achieve your goals today!
The Melotti Media Team
Melotti Media | Copywriting & Message Marketing Bureau
DISCLAIMER: This blog expresses the opinion of Christopher Melotti (Melotti Media) and should be taken as general information only. No responsibility is taken for your actions in response to any content in this blog. See the website's Terms and Conditions for more information.