Did you expect social media to be the silver bullet in your market armoury, yet it hasn’t quite hit the mark? There can be many reasons why your social media marketing isn’t performing as you would hope. Here we look at 10 common mistakes that could be holding you back.
1. Not having a plan of action
It’s all too tempting to start posting on social media without having a set plan in mind. It’s fine for your personal platforms, but your business accounts need some careful thinking. Posting here and there without a clear plan of action won’t attract the followers and encourage the engagement you are after. You need to approach your social media, as you would your marketing campaign, with specific goals, a set budget and a plan with clear objectives.
2. Measuring the wrong metrics
We can easily be fooled by thinking our social accounts are doing well when we see our followers rocket on Facebook and Instagram. They are essentially vanity metrics - they make us feel good. Growth in followers is no bad thing, but your key performance indicators (KPIs) are what you should be looking at. Here we’re talking about reach, engagement and conversions. These key performance indicators will give you a much clearer impression of your social media performance than growth in followers.
3. Taking a one size fits all approach
Think of each social media platform as having its own personality, a unique behaviour, tone of voice, and content type and consider how the audiences vary across the platforms. Once you understand that each platform has its own way of communicating with specific audience expectations, you’ll find it easier to create posts that resonate with the audience type.
4. Saving time with copycat tactics
Taking one identical post and adding it to all of your social media platforms may well save you time, but it won’t help your engagement level. Each platform has its own requirements, so a conversational-style post with 30 hashtags on Instagram won’t work on Twitter in terms of audience expectations, character count or hashtag recommendations. Spending the extra time tailoring your posts for each platform is a worthwhile investment.
It’s certainly off-putting to see a post on Instagram that’s identically copied to Facebook without even a reduction in hashtags.
Top tip: Don’t post the same message on all of your social media accounts. Learn what works with each platform and adjust your messaging accordingly.
5. Not engaging in conversation
Having a one-way conversation on social media takes away what it’s all about – getting social. The objective is to reach out and engage in conversations with your audience. To do this, you need to create content that is personable and encourages comments. Make your audience care about what you are posting, ask questions and create emotional connections. Then, when you receive a reply, be polite, and acknowledge that someone has taken the time to comment. Take the opportunity to start a conversation with them by adding a meaningful response.
6. Mixing with the wrong crowd
It’s one thing having zillions of followers, but are they engaging with your content? If not, it could be because you’re connecting with the wrong crowd when you need to be aiming for your target audience. When you know who you are targeting, you can post content that has true meaning to your audience, and they are more likely to react. Think quality over quantity when it comes to building an audience on social.
7. Being everywhere, but not BEING anywhere
You really don’t need to be everywhere on social. Consider the time and budget you have available and prioritise which platforms are most effective for your business. You might choose three platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, or two, such as Instagram and Facebook. It will depend on your business and where most of your audience hangs out. And there’s certainly no shame in having a presence on just one platform if that works for you. Being ‘somewhere’ on social media rather than ‘everywhere’ will enable you to ensure your marketing resources aren’t overstretched and your posts have the desired impact.
8. Posting infrequently
Dipping in and out of social media as and when you like won’t send a positive message to your audience. Posting in quick succession one week, followed by a deathly silence, the next, won’t help instil confidence in your audience. We all like a bit of consistency in our lives, and your audience will too. Part of your action plan (see point 1) should include deciding how often you post on social media. This will be dependent on the amount of time and spend you have available. So, whether you post daily or three times a week, your audience will appreciate a consistent pattern to your posting.
9. Not being on-brand
Aim to make everything easy for your audience. If they are familiar with your website and then visit one of your social media platforms, they should recognise your organisation. This is about being on-brand and how you represent your business in terms of your visual look and the language you use. Check that your brand identity in terms of logo, taglines and colour palette are used consistently across your platforms. Although the various platforms have different options in terms of About and Bio details, check in to make sure your messaging is on-brand.
10. Lack of calls to action
There’s little point in spending time on social media if your objectives aren’t being met. Apart from building trust and brand awareness with your audience, you’ll want them to take action. This could be to read a blog, buy a product or share some user-generated content. Relook at your past posts and review if your content includes calls to action that encourage your audience to take a specific action.
Do you need help with getting your social media in shape? Take advantage of our social media audit and improve your performance on social. Discover more