It’ll come as no surprise to you that most businesses use social media wrong. Most don’t know more than that they should probably be on it. Working with many businesses on their social media strategies, we tend to see the same mistakes over and over again.
So here are the 5 things you should stop doing right now because they are either hurting your business image or are just a colossal waste of time.
1) Treating Facebook as a Bulletin Board
This is the biggest mistake we see businesses consistently make. They use Facebook like some kind of bulletin board system to communicate with customers.
Here’s the problem. None of your customers will see it! Facebook Business Pages are designed for ads. For this reason, the Facebook algorithm restricts organic reach of any post to less than 4% of your fans.
That’s right, if you had 1,000 fans, less than 40 would be likely to see anything you post.
We also see businesses waste tremendous amounts of time curating and creating great Facebook posts. Unless you’re also going to run that post as an ad (and please don’t just Boost it), nobody is going to see it.
There is no point spending a ton of time creating posts that nobody will see. Of course, don’t even get me started on the digital marketing agencies out there that will charge you $500+ month to “post to Facebook” once a day. What a complete waste of money for your business.
2) Thinking Social Media Is All About Posting
Similar to number 1, we would say that 95% of brands we work with think all social media platforms are places for them to post.
When we ask what their current strategy is, they often say something like, “We already have person X posting for us.”.
As we explain to our clients in onboarding, less than 25% of your time on social media is spent “just posting”, particularly anything related to your brand.
Social media is much more about community engagement than it is about advertising.
The analogy we always give is this one: Let’s say you go to a huge tradeshow or networking event. At that event, you go stand in the middle of the room and simply shout out your latest offer while holding a big sign with your logo on it. Do you think this will be effective in gaining you new clients?
Of course not. You go to trade shows and networking events to make real, human connections with potential clients. It’s when you build relationships that you also end up finding clients.
Social media works under the exact same principles. You’ve got to do a lot of listening to understand your clients and a lot of connecting to get to know them, so they also get to know you.
Interact, engage, build relationships. That’s what social is all about and it’s the only way you’ll drive real, consistent results
3) Failing to Interact
Let’s be real here. This is mainly a Baby Boomer and Gen Xer problem. In the past, building a corporate brand image meant being completely aloof. It meant strictly towing a company line with several levels of approval before any messaging could go out.
For this reason, many brands have been loath to get on social media, where communication happens in real-time and they can’t control the message. This is why you’ll see all these Twitter accounts with a couple hundred followers who follow nobody back.
This is a big problem. Now, big brands, like Starbucks, can still get away with this simply due to their size and brand authority. But 90% of other brands can’t. And even the big brands are getting called out for failing to engage and be authentic with followers these days.
Just as we pointed out in mistake #2, social media must be an interactive, 2-way communication. And that communication must happen fast. If you’re not engaging in real-time, customers are going to write you off.
This is why our social media positions are entitled “Community Manager”. They are responsible for engaging and building an online community, not just spewing out vast amounts of information and corporate drivel.
4) Shouting Me, Me, Me!
If you’re starting to get the idea here, you’ll have realized that social media is about community, relationships, and interactivity, not blatant self-promotion.
Customers do not want to interact with some robotic sales engine. They want to engage with real people that have something interesting to say, can help them solve a problem, or are nice enough to offer them some kind of discount.
If all you do is post about yourself, why would anybody want to follow you? A good social media posting strategy is 70/20/10. 70% other people’s content, 20% content you’ve created, and 10% straight up promotional content.
Follow that strategy and you’ll see yourself start winning more on social.
5) Thinking Social Media Is Easy, So You Don’t Have to Pay for It
This is the last and also one of the most annoying we get as a digital marketing agency. Really, so many people make the mistakes above where they think that all you have to do is post. This is analogous to a direct mail campaign where all you have to do is “put it in the mail”.
The question we always ask is, “if it’s so simple, then why aren’t you getting tons of leads and sales off it already?”. That usually brings a pause.
Just like any kind of marketing, there is extensive time and effort that goes into market research, data analysis, content creation, and community management. Doing it well requires a lot of expertise and a lot of patience.
Social Media Is Hard Work
The world of social quite literally changes every day. Facebook updates Newsfeed or Ads Manager, Google updates its search algorithms, a new platform emerges, new tools pop up. Trying to stay on top of all the updates is often overwhelming.
To do social well, you really need a lot of experience, expertise, and time dedicated to learning in order to stay on the cutting edge. Just due to the vast amounts of data and platforms, social media is far more complicated to manage than traditional advertising and outreach platforms.
In this environment, making mistakes is completely normal as you learn and hopefully this article will help you avoid some of the most common ones that hurt your business’s presence online.
If you’re looking for some further tips on how to do social well, you may want to check out some of our previous blogs below. Now get out there and rock it!