So, you’re on social media — maybe Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest — and you’ve seen some successes, but you know you could do better. Before you start strategizing big plans for the new direction you are going to take things in, let's take some time out to consider what's already being done and whether you’re making common mistakes that are needlessly hindering your progress.
Here are 6 common mistakes you can turn around with a little effort for improved results:
1. You have no strategy in place
"Everyone is on Facebook so we should be there too" is something I have heard too often and honestly, being somewhere or doing something because everyone is doing it, really isn't a good enough reason, because it might not be the best thing for your particular business. You need to consider the people you want to connect with, and where they spend most of their time, it might not even be on social media, but via email or WhatsApp. You can't just jump into things and just start posting and hoping things will catch on. Ask yourself "what am I trying to achieve in sharing this", is it awareness, driving traffic to your website or maybe building your email list. You need to get clear on your objectives and set some goals, so you can build a strategy to achieve them.
2. You're marketing to yourself
You have to remember, you are not your audience. Your business or brand might be made by you and embody aspects of who you are, but the people that reading, watching and double-tapping your content aren't you! If you haven't already, you look into the type of people that are following your pages and engaging with your content and get to know what their problems are, why they like and consume online and create with their needs in mind. You need to add value to their lives, whether you are helping them solve a problem, making them laugh or making their lives easier with insightful tips and advice.
3. Consider the social platform you're using
Each social media platform differs a little from the other and each has its own rules, etiquette and protocol. It’s important to abide by these rules and ensure that your content strategy works within these protocols, so what you share works for you and your business. For example, posts shared on Twitter (tweets) need to be concise, though you can post a dozen times a day. It’s a two-way conversation, so that means interacting with others, sharing links and resources. Facebook, on the other hand, allows you to share more lengthy posts, better photo galleries and offers other ways to engage followers, but followers also expect to hear from you less—no more than twice a day—and may find more frequent posting somewhat overwhelming. Don’t confuse your different channels, and don’t spam people by sending the same message on every tool without changing it to fit the medium.
4. You're posting inconsistently
Posting too little or too much isn't the only mistake you can make. You can also post unpredictably or inconsistently. Instead of waking up and posting six items first thing in the morning and nothing else the rest of the day, I suggest you spread them out. It’s better to post twice a week over three weeks than six times the first week and then disappearing. People need to be reminded that you’re there, regularly.
5. Your content is disconnected from your mission
Social media is about expanding your reach and making connections, but it should also be an extension of your business. What you’re posting should reflect what your business or brand stands for and embody your mission. Stay on topic. Your mission is what attracted people to your business on social media in the first place, and it’s what they’re interested in; so don't lose that focus.
6. You're not supporting your community
It's so easy to get self-absorbed and focus on building your following or generating leads that you lose sight of the fact that the aim of these platforms is to create a community.
That means you need to get social and join in on conversations, comment on posts other than yours, retweet and share posts by others that your audience might find interesting [while making sure it's aligned to your business & strategy], even if it's just in your stories.