Social media is its own great ocean with plenty of hazards, pitfalls, and choppy waters to navigate. Oh, and it’s also pretty much essential to the success of your marketing campaigns. But don’t panic! Plenty of businesses have already braved social media and made all kinds of mistakes for you to learn from. Here are 9 big ones that can—and will—tank your business’ public image and waste a lot of money.
#1 You Turned a Blind Eye to Negativity
Positivity is where it’s at, generally speaking. A positive attitude can go a long way. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore negative things. You know what you call someone who only sees the positive and pretends anything negative isn’t real? At best, you call them fake—at worst, manic.
People are looking at your business’ social profile (that’s kind of the point). If they see negative messages, that’s going to impact their perception of your business. Respond to negative comments in a friendly, positive way that expresses authentic sympathy and treats the complainer with respect.
#2. You Acted Like a Robot
Social media is all about people. What a revelation, right? Faceless corporations don’t work on social media, plain and simple. When posting through your business’ social profile, don’t be afraid to show your human side! Avoid stock corporate replies and personally address the people who are talking on your page. They’ll appreciate that they’re being heard, which alone is a good way to improve how they feel about your company.
#3. You Promoted Yourself Non-Stop (or Not at All)
Generally, people are not in love with commercial promotions. Ads can be annoying – there’s no question about that. If you’re spinning a never-ending reel of promotional content on social media, it’s going to get on people’s nerves. You’ll lose out on likes, followers, and reputation. The key is moderation, and to make your promotions engaging – the more social and interactive you can make the whole experience, the better (for customers and your sales both).
Of course, the reverse issue can also sink your social ship… A significant lack of conversation, promotional materials, and overall engagement is a death sentence to your online presence. There’s no straight answer to the question of how much engagement to undertake, but if you want to succeed, you need a balance.
#4. You Dumped Your Posts on the Internet Floor and Left Them There
A social presence doesn’t grow on its own. It needs time, care, and consistent engagement (are you seeing a pattern yet?) Creating, for example, a Facebook page, is not enough. You have to operate it!
And when you do post content, you can’t just leave it to rot. You have to post it in a way that conduces to feedback and good conversation. Then you have to get in that comments section and spark the conversational fire. Ask people for their opinions and comment back when they do. This is how you build relationships with your follower base.
#5. You Settled for Dull, Routine Content
Pay attention to the bigger picture. Even if your latest content is good, you have to ask, “How often do I post things just like this?” If you regularly post the same old stuff, your followers are going to get tired of seeing it in their feed. It’s similar to the problem of flooding followers with too much content. They start experiencing negative emotions when they see your stuff, and that’s tough for a business to recover from. Diversify your content and get creative.
#6. You Decided “Analytics” Was Nerd Territory
Tracking analytics is money territory. This is pure data that your company needs to learn from if it wants to perfect its marketing approach and really connect with its demographic. You use analytics to track the performance of your email marketing campaigns and SEO, right? Same goes for social media.
When are followers most active? What content do they respond to most? Which posts do they normally share with others? Whom among your regular traffic is likely to convert? When is the best time to post or share content? Learn how to be efficient and effective. With analytical work upfront, you’ll ultimately put forth less effort for better results.
#7. You Tried to Cover Too Many Bases
Does your business have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest, and Tumblr? You’re going to have a lot on your shoulders. This might work for really, really big corporations that can afford enormous social teams with a finger in every pie. But for a lot of businesses, the key to a good social media ROI is to judiciously invest your time and effort into a select few social platforms. When it comes to social media, it’s better to have a strong presence on a couple of platforms than to be a jack of all trades—and master of none.
#8. You Went Profile-Crazy
Does your business have more than one profile on a single site? Three Facebook pages, a couple of Twitter accounts, etc. As above in mistake #7, you’re going to end up wasting your time and energy across too many accounts, none of which will be as good as what you’d have by investing in just one per site. But going profile-crazy carries the additional risk of confusing your followers:
- Which is the main profile?
- Is this one fake or something?
- Why do I have to follow all these different pages just to keep up with one company?
Don’t force your followers to ask these questions. Make it easy for them and keep it simple with just one profile per platform.
#9. Your Social Media Team Never Assembled
Some people are just natural social media gurus. They know how to engage, drive conversation, and compel followers to check regularly for exciting new updates. If you can bring together a dedicated team to cover the social media portion of your marketing campaigns, you’ll be freeing up mental space for your other staff who won’t need to interrupt their own projects every time social media needs attention. And it often needs a lot of attention at unpredictable times. That’s life in the 21st Century!