10 Social Media Marketing Gaffes to Avoid

Does your business need to be on social media?  No – and that is coming from the mouth of a digital marketer!  There is no reason to be on social media if you are not going to make an effort or if you consistently make mistakes without learning from them and changing course.  Below are what I believe to be the 10 biggest mistakes companies and brands make with their social media.

1. Hopping onto social media without a plan

Social media, while often given to the intern, son, wife, or anyone who has the time to post about your business, is an investment of time and requires a well thought out strategy. You need to create a plan which will help you save time and money in the long run and ensure your goals are met.

2.  Not knowing your goals

What do you hope to achieve with social media? Do you want to increase sales, let the audience know you exist, show that you are involved with the community and support many organizations and events?  Your social media strategy should tie into your overall business plan, and each of your objectives requires a different plan or course of action. Don’t forget to consider your outcomes and what you consider to be a successful campaign.

3.  Not having the same ‘handle’ and branding on all platforms

If you’re going to be on multiple platforms, make sure that your handles and branding is consistent among all platforms, website and physical location.  Make it easy for your customers and fans to find you and know that it is you. If you have a big, iconic green sign in front of your shop, incorporate that green into your graphics.  Try to name of your company consistent within web URL and across any platforms you are active on without modifications of any kind.

4.  Quantity over Quality

How many times should you post a day?  It depends on what your audience wants on what platform.  If the post does not incite emotion, educate or entertain your audience don’t post it.  Even if you enjoy a heartwarming video of a puppy and a baby, but your audience has not been receptive to these in the past, leave it for your personal page, not your business page.  Do not post it just to say that you have a post for the day.

5.  Inconsistency

This is one of the toughest for me.  Because I want to provide value and I don’t want to be spammy, it is hard to come up with something to post that I think you think would find beneficial.  There are many workarounds to finding the best content that your audience loves, but it takes time and effort!

6.  Being on all platforms

You do NOT have to be on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedSM GaffesIn, Google+, SnapChat, WhatsApp, etc. Be where your audience is.  Pick one or a couple and dominate it! Be the best on that platform and your audience will appreciate it.

7.  Not interacting

You want your fans to interact with your page by asking questions, telling you that they appreciate your content, or just stopping by to say hi.  Why? This interaction shows all platforms that your content is relevant and good content that others want to see. So why would you waste this perfect opportunity by not responding to a comment or question?  A simple and quick response means a lot to your followers, and will likely help boost the visibility of your post.

8.  Who is your target market?

Is it everybody?  Noooo. Remember the old marketing adage ‘If you try to sell to everybody, you will sell to nobody’?  The same holds true here. Your customers visit your location or website for a reason. What is that reason?  Embrace that and carry that over into your social media. You can use your analytics to help you figure out who your target market is as well.

9.  Too much selling

I know you want to sell your amazing product or service, but too much selling on social media is going to drive away your fans.  Self-promote no more than 20% of the time. The rest of that time you need to be dropping value and positioning yourself and your company as a leader in the industry.

10.  Expect that it is free

Social media sites are free to set up and use, right?  So it seems to follow that social media should be a cheap way to get in front of a lot of eyes.  That is just not true. Yes, the sites are free to use, but guess what – you should budget for social media as you do any other traditional marketing.  You can utilize a completely organic method to your social media, but planning a strategy, finding, creating and scheduling content, interacting with your fans – that all takes time.  To grow your social media presence and to sell goods and services, the best route is paying to play.

Do you have any questions about social media?  Drop them in the comments and I will do my best to answer.

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