With Facebook rapidly approaching its 10th anniversary, it’s not that social media marketing is a new thing for business owners and webmasters. But that said, there are still quite a few people out there making mistakes that could cost them both followers and sales.
To be sure that your social media strategy is as effective as possible, check your campaigns for the following mistakes:
Mistake #1 – Not customizing your profile design
All of the major social networks – including Facebook, Google+ and Twitter – all give you different opportunities to brand your profile page. Don’t miss out on these great opportunities to distinguish your company!
Mistake #2 – Not updating your design in response to platform changes
That said, keep an eye out for platform redesigns, as in the case of the recent Google+ overhaul. The display issues that can result from failing to adapt your profile images to these new standards can leave your page looking out-of-date.
Mistake #3 – Only talking about yourself
Social media isn’t just about you. Keep the self-centered updates to a minimum in favor of posts and content that puts the emphasis on your products and your customers.
Mistake #4 – Being overly-promotional
At the same time, remember that social networking websites are supposed to be, well, social! If all you do is blast the same promotional updates over and over again, you risk being labeled a spammer and losing the following you’ve worked so hard to build.
Mistake #5 – Disappearing for weeks on end
One of the keys to proper social media marketing is consistency. If you disappear for long stretches of time, you miss out on one of the major advantages of social media – the ability to keep your brand name in front of your followers. Check in with your profiles at least once a day to give the appearance of being an active, engaged business.
Mistake #6 – Not investigating new social platforms
But while it’s important to have a social media posting strategy and publishing calendar, don’t let your schedule prevent you from investigating new platforms when they arise. Early adopters of social newcomers Pinterest and Instagram benefited from being among the first on each platform, and your company can grab the same competitive edge if you remain alert to industry changes.
Mistake #7 – Focusing on vanity metrics
Newsflash – it’s better to have 100 highly-engaged followers than 10,000 followers who don’t know your brand from the next. Stop focusing on your profile follower count and other vanity metrics and turn your attention to the statistics that demonstrate actual engagement.
Mistake #8 – Only posting automated updates
Automated posting tools like HootSuite and BufferApp can minimize the amount of daily effort needed to manage your social profiles. But don’t allow yourself to become overly reliant on them, as only posting automated updates takes the life out of your profile. Engage in person and use these tools as a way to supplement your primary efforts.
Mistake #9 – Cross posting the same updates to different platforms
Another temptation that automated tool users encounter is the desire to post the same update to all of their different social profiles. However, every social networking site has its own culture and language. Creating separate updates for each platform will allow you to engage each of your unique audiences is the most effective way possible.
Mistake #10 – Failing to respond to engaged users
If people take the time to reach out to your brand – whether through direct messages, update shares or other types of engagement – acknowledge their efforts! Responding promptly demonstrates to your followers that their contributions are appreciated, which – in turn – improves your brand’s overall reputation.
Mistake #11 – Deleting negative comments
Finally, take a lesson from the recent debacle involving Amy’s Baking Company. Receiving negative comments on your social profiles isn’t fun, but deleting them (or blowing up in response) makes your company look bad. Respond respectfully and do everything in your power to make the situation better for followers who feel they’ve been wronged in some way.
Of course, the social networking landscape is tremendously large and the number of mistakes that can be made is correspondingly huge. If you’ve seen somebody make a social media marketing mistake (or if you want to fess up to one of your own), share your observations in the comments section below: