Social media has become an essential way for businesses to market themselves, engage with customers and expand their reach. But like so many potentially useful tools, there’s a right way to use it, and a wrong way. And unfortunately for some, using social media the right way is a bit more complicated than just flipping a switch, creating a profile, or hiring a college kid to tweet for you.
Here’s a far from exhaustive list of some of the most common social media “mistakes” we see people make:
1. Set It And Forget It
Sign up for account, build profile, set picture, write description, link back to website – bingo bango – social media done. Right? Yeah, sure.
Here’s the deal. Social media isn’t a statue that you carve out of stone and then it lasts forever. It’s more like a living organism. It’s not enough to set up your profile and then abandon it, or even to just post every once in a while. If you want your social media to do something for you, you have to be active. Posting frequently (but not TOO frequently), engaging with commenters, answering questions, following others and interacting with their posts as well. The more you put into it, the more you’ll get out of it.
2. My Tweets Are The Cutest!
You may have noticed, but creating valuable content is kind of a theme for us here at 10twelve. So, sorry if I sound like a broken record, but your social media posts also need to be valuable content.
Look, I love dog videos as much as anyone. And sure, if you post a cute dog video it might get some likes, but that probably doesn’t have much to do with your business (unless you run an animal rescue – in that case, keep doing your thing). Same goes for memes, viral videos and all forms of click-bait. You need people to be interacting with your content and learning about your brand and your point of view. Stay focused. Stay on message.
3. Hold, Please. And Hold. Hold. Keep Holding.
If somebody called your business on the phone, you wouldn’t want them to sit and wait on hold forever, right? Well, that’s basically what you’re doing when you ignore people who interact with your business on social media. If your customers take the time to reach out with a question, concern, or even encouragement – don’t leave them hanging. Let them know that you’re real, you’ve heard them, and you care.
The best social media presence is one where a community of users can grow up around your business, interacting with you and with each other. So assure people that you are part of that community. After all, getting a “like” or a “favorite” is like getting a little social media hug. Don’t you want to spread the love?
4. We Look Like This – And Also Like This – And Sometimes Like This…
Chances are, you’ve worked really hard to develop a brand identity for your website, print materials, packaging, etc. So, don’t drop the ball when it comes to designing your social media profiles. Maintain a consistent look between all platforms so that your customers can recognize you easily no matter where they find you.
There are a LOT of social media platforms out there. Even if you think you know about all of them, you’re wrong. Or if you’re right, you’ll be wrong tomorrow. Don’t try to keep up with all of them. You’re certain to spread yourself too thin, and limit your effectiveness.
Besides, different platforms are good for different things. Maybe you can’t figure out Snapchat for the life or you but you kill it on Instagram. That’s okay. Find out which platforms your customers are using, and where you can present your message and your business most effectively. Being great at one or two social media platforms is going to be way better for you than being mediocre at five.
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