We have all made mistakes when it comes to social media; but the best way to avoid them in the future is to draw attention to them.
Following are 21 common social media mistakes I see business owners making all the time, along with how to avoid them!
1. Spreading yourself too thin: Just because a social network exists doesn’t mean you need to be part of it! It is better to focus on a few networks where you know your target market is actively looking to engage with you than to try to do it all and failing because you are spread too thin.
2. Posting what you want (not what your audience wants): Instead of posting about whatever’s on YOUR mind, focus on the needs and pain points of your audience. Tweet This
3. Not being consistent across platforms: Your design, values and voice should be consistent across all platforms to present a recognizable face on social media. Tweet This
4. Not engaging: This is a big one! Too many businesses are still too focused on posting, and not focused enough on responding, interacting and engaging their audience. Tweet This
5. Not using images: Images on social media account for 93% of the most engaging posts. Not using images is a HUGE opportunity lost! Tweet This
Image courtesy of Social Bakers
6. Not using hashtags: Hashtags are one of the best ways to attract new followers on social media. Tweet this
You can use them to find new conversations to take part in or to attract potential clients or customers who would otherwise never find your content. For more on this, see my post How to Use Hashtags to Find Prospective Clients.
7. Posting sporadically: Using social media for business is all about building trust, and only posting when you want something (traffic, sales, attention) is a great way to break this trust!
8. Not having a social media strategy: Having a plan in place allows you to tie your social media efforts in with your business goals, and ensures you are using social media most effectively.
9. Not understanding that social media posts function as headlines: If you want your followers to take a specific action, understand which headlines work best on social media.
10. Not measuring your social media efforts: If you don’t understand what’s working and what’s not, you could be wasting your valuable time AND missing out on tons of opportunities!
11. Not thinking strategically about when to post: The best way to figure out optimal posting times is to do some testing and then look at your own analytics; and a great place to start your testing is by looking at the research!
Image courtesy of Dan Zarrella
12. Posting too much: How much is ‘too much’ will vary from business to business and industry to industry. Do some sleuthing to figure out how often YOUR audience wants to hear from you.
13. Being inappropriate: I often talk about the importance of showing your human side on social media. This DOESN’T mean, however, airing your dirty laundry or speaking negatively of others!
14. Not networking: Yes, social media is a platform for your business. But don’t spend all your time engaging on your own page or with your own content! Reach out to others by @ mentioning them, tagging them and responding to their blog and social media content.
15. Not posting a variety of content: Keep it interesting by changing things up – share links to your content, ask questions, shared curated content, post a fun image or video…variety is the spice of life (even on social media!).
16. Not using social media tools: Not using tools can mean a whole lot of wasted time. For some of my favorite tools, see my post 9 Social Media Tools to Save You Tons of Time.
17. Not being active where your customers are: Do you know where your customers hang out online? Do you know where they want to connect with you? Searching for your keywords on various social networking sites is one way to figure out the best place to invest your time.
18. Not sharing other people’s content: You don’t have a monopoly on awesome content…be sure to spread the love by retweeting or sharing other people’s awesome content too.
19. Not having a consistent voice: I’m not just talking cross-platform here. For instance, how do you want to come across on Facebook? Do you want to be friendly and casual, or more professional and reserved?
20. Too much selling, not enough engaging: Long term success will mean building relationships over time; constantly focusing on selling may drive a few sales in the short term, but will alienate you from your audience in the long term.
21. Focusing on quantity rather than quality: This can apply to the quantity of your fans or followers, or to how much content you create. Far better to have a smaller but targeted following, and to produce smaller quantities of high-quality, highly relevant content.
Have you fallen into any of the 21 social media mistakes above? Which mistake(s) are you determined to avoid in the future?