Social media has become a part of everyday life, but that doesn't mean it's simple or well understood. Many businesses just go through the motions—and end up missing out. Here are six of the most common social media mistakes made when building a website, and how to avoid them.
Yes, the end goal is to promote your business, but there's a reason it's called social media. Promotion should take a backseat to developing a relationship with your customers. Instead of making every post about a product, work instead on portraying your brand's personality. Share funny pictures, inspirational quotes, behind-the-scenes images—just be sure to keep it in tune with your brand and avoid politics and controversial issues.
How often do you post? How do you respond to comments? Who updates each platform? Businesses need a plan to effectively engage in social media. It can be a simple one, but you should identify how often you post, who posts and how comments are handled. Keeping your posts consistent will keep your engagement from falling off dramatically. Use the metrics feature to track how your posts are doing to help decide when and how often to post. In general, around once or twice a day is suitable for Facebook and Google+, where Twitter and Pinterest can handle more posts without losing engagement.
Paid followers are not the same as organic likes. Sure, they boost your overall number, but paid fans are much less likely to engage in your content than someone who actually sought out your profile. If you'd like to advertise on social media, stick to promoting a post instead of buying likes.
Thinking short term
Social media is a quick method of communication—but businesses need to think long term. Building a relationship takes time. Don't expect a dramatic change in a week or even a month. Keep posting consistently though and you will see results in the long term.
Before you write a post, ask yourself why would my followers want to see this? Many businesses make the mistake of sharing irrelevant posts, and when users stop liking the posts they see on their feeds, they'll start seeing fewer posts from you. Start by identifying your audience. A children's clothing company, for example, would want to reach out to parents. Along with sharing relevant information about your company such as a sale, they could also share parenting articles, ideas for kids activities and humorous takes on parenting, to name a few.
Back to social media being social—make sure your conversation is not one-sided. If you're just writing new posts, you're not listening. You should also respond to comments. Instead of ignoring or deleting negative comments, a well-thought-out response can often help. Send out a quick response to some positive comments as well. Mistakes are a part of learning, but there's no reason not to learn from the mistakes of others. Take it one step further and use a metrics tool for each one of your social networks—that will help you to learn what works well specifically for you, and what other types of posts that aren't worth the time. Compare the different networks too—what does well on Twitter may not get much response on Facebook.