Ten Things to Avoid With Your Social Media Strategy
We all know it’s important to be active on social networking sites these days but there’s much more to it than setting up a profile and going at it with no real strategy in mind.
By avoiding some basic mistakes, as outlined below; your business should have the ability to create a successful social media strategy increase your return on investment.
Click-baiting or like-baiting is the practice of using pointless, controversial topics in order for your followers to like your post or click through to your page. Most of the time, this content has absolutely no relevance to your business and serves no other purpose than to get a few free likes for little effort.
These kind of posts do very little for audience engagement; post too many of them and you’re almost bordering on spam. Avoid it at all costs – your followers will be able to see straight through it.
- Buying Followers
Unfortunately this is a widely followed practice by some businesses but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. We all know that having followers in triple digits or more looks great, but do you really want to cheat your way to these numbers?
The truth is that these followers are probably not your target audience, so they don’t care what you’re saying or doing and therefore despite the figures, you’ll have very little engagement on your page. The old saying rings true here – it’s all about the quality, not the quantity.
- Being Invisible
Social media platforms are designed to be interactive and you can only expect your customers to engage with you if you are giving the same in return. In order to show that there is a face behind your Facebook profile, and it’s not just being run by robots, try to give your page a personality through your tone of voice, post regularly with relevant content and most importantly, make sure you respond to your customers, thank them for their comments and deal with any complaints that may arise. By doing so your customers will feel more connected and it will help you to build up trust in your brand.
- Posting Too Much
Although we want you to be posting regularly, this doesn’t mean you should go to the extreme and spam your followers with content all through the day and night. By following you they’re already receptive to your brand – it’s good to keep them interested but they could just as easily be put off by post fatigue, particularly if it’s the same old message day in day out.
You might have a lot you want to share but make sure you really think before posting. Is it something that your audience wants to see? Is it relevant to your business? One or two posts a day full of quality content is much more engaging to an audience than 50 posts of the same sales message spamming up their newsfeed.
- Not being consistent
Decide how you want to be viewed by your audience – and stick with it across your social media channels.
On Facebook you might want to be seen as friendly and approachable, on LinkedIn you’ll want to appear as professional and a leader within your industry but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to a completely different tone of voice for each different network. It’s not always a bad thing if you do, but either way you should make sure your overall brand and message is consistent wherever you are posting.
Many customers will follow you on a variety of different networks – if they can see that you are conveying the same message across all sites, even if one site you’re more serious and on the other more jokey, they’ll see the human element and are more likely to put their trust in your business.
- Not using visual content
It’s a fact that providing visual stimulation for your audience can help to drive up levels of engagement. Some social networks such as Pinterest and Instagram are totally image-led, but even for the ones that are less so, including an image is likely to get your post noticed than one that is purely text. It may not always be appropriate to include an image, but where possible you should always opt to include some type of visual content whether it’s an image, a video or an infographic to help draw attention to your post.
- Ignoring the statistics
Social media is a relatively inexpensive marketing channel, and what makes it even more beneficial to you is that most social networks offer you some kind of basic functionality to monitor trends and results for your profile.
Analysing your social media activity can help you to reap the rewards – you can see the demographics of your followers, what days and times they are mostly visiting your page, which posts are getting the most interaction. It’s all there for you to use to your advantage so it’s crucial you don’t ignore it.
- Deleting negative feedback
We all love a bit of good feedback, but unfortunately we can’t please all of the people all of the time, so we’ve got to expect some negative comments. But it’s how you deal with these that really matter. It may seem a wise move to instantly delete any negative comments on your page but in fact, that’s actually counter-productive to what you want to achieve.
Negative feedback actually offers you a great opportunity to show that you can deal with a difficult situation in a positive manner – always good when trying to establish a relationship of trust with your audience. You can make a displeased customer happy in a very public setting – and it may also be an opportunity to address issues with your business that you may not have already known about. Responding publicly shows that you care about your business, and that you will go out of your way to help your customers. The problem may not always be resolved but doing so in public at least shows that you’ve tried.
Brushing problems under the carpet so to speak doesn’t actually do your business any real favours so keep those negative comments on your feed. Abusive, threatening and hateful comments are another thing altogether – delete those of course (or even better, report them to the network).
- Not using Groups and Communities
Using groups and forums on social networks is a great way of building up trust and growing your community. On Facebook alone, over 700 million people use groups as a way of engaging with like-minded people with similar interests to themselves. Many of the groups are related to niche areas so you may find that there is already an existing group where your business will fit in perfectly. If not, create one and invite people to join, where they can openly discuss relevant topics and you can show your authority on the subject.
Don’t however use these groups to spam the members with advertising and sales pitches – conversions from these groups should be organic through relationship and trust building. If you’re constantly posting adverts for your business and not joining in any discussions, don’t be surprised if the group members start losing interest.
- Not Having A Social Media Strategy At All
And finally – the worst mistake of all is not having a strategy in the first place. Social media is huge these days so it’s a must for any business to get involved. But going in blind is never going to work – you need to take time to consider what you want to accomplish and how you’re going to achieve your goals.
There are lots of variations on building your strategy – you can read our three-part blog on How to Create an Effective Social Media Strategy to find some really useful tips to help get you started. But most importantly, getting your audience to engage with you is the key to any successful strategy so avoiding some of the pitfalls as mentioned above should give you a good foundation to build on.