By Josh Ledgard
Mistake #1: Not being on social media to begin with.
Social media presents a fantastic opportunity for you to market your business— are you using it in that way?
If you’re not using social media for your business, it’s probably because of the following reasons:
Let’s start this post off by getting a clear vision of what social media marketing looks like.
You don’t need a special skill to use social media— you just need a willingness to do it and a guideline of what not to do. That’s where we come in. Below, we’re highlighting the top mistakes many brands make with social media marketing so that you don’t have to.
So, if you’re ready to be a social media darling (or at least not a screw up), let’s do this.
The quickest way to burnout is by getting on too many social media platforms. I can name at least 10 off the top of my head, but there’s way more. Here’s a full list of social networking websites, if you’re interested.
I recommend that you go only where you top customers go.
For most businesses, Facebook is a given. That’s because Facebook has one billion users worldwide. The chance of you finding your customers on Facebook is huge.
However, if your business primarily sells “Facebook is evil” T-shirts, your current and prospective customers probably aren’t hanging out on Facebook, so another social media platform would be a better use of your time.
Once you determine where your customers hang out socially online, laser in on that platform like you’re a creepy old guy at a singles club:
Approach it with tunnel vision and confidence.
Choose one social media platform to start off with, and then only have eyes for that platform.
Once you master that platform and establish a thriving community there, you can move on to the next.
For example, start on Facebook and devote at least six months to a social media strategy (more on that next). After you feel confident in what you’re doing on Facebook, move on to Twitter and then repeat.
You can continue to repeat this process, but don’t spread yourself too thin. Only go for the platforms that give you the highest return for your efforts.
I mentioned the need to have a social media strategy. Here’s what I mean:
You can’t just market your business on social media without a plan. Well, you could, but it wouldn’t be good.
Instead, before you start posting randomness on social media, you should have a clear goal in mind.
What do you want to accomplish?
While you may want to accomplish all three, or more, I suggest starting slow with one main goal and then branching out from there.
Another way to look at this would be to use each social media platform to accomplish one task. For example, use Facebook to grow community, LinkedIn to build authority within your industry, and YouTube to increase brand awareness.
You’ll also need to implement a social media content calendar. To create a calendar that’s not too overwhelming, focus on one month at a time. Here’s how to do it:
Print out a month view calendar. I recommend creating a separate calendar for each social media platform.
Decide which dates you’d like to post on. It will be different for each platform. On Facebook, you may post once a day. On LinkedIn, once a week. On Pinterest, ten times a day.
Select a focus for the month. What product would you like to promote this month?
It’s not fun on a date and it’s not fun on Twitter, either.
Your social media platform is not just an excuse for you to talk exclusively about yourself: your product, your upcoming events, your awards, etc…
Of course, you should definitely talk about those things, but only about 25% of the time. The vast majority of your posts on social media should be about others— promoting other, complimentary products, interacting with questions and comments, posting relevant industry news, linking to valuable posts from other blogs, and so on.
It’s a strategy similar to what Gary Vaynerchuk promotes in his book, Jab, Jab, Jab, Right-Hook. Basically, you want to jab your audience with value, value, value, and then hook with your service.
Speaking of hooking your customers… For your customers, one of the perks of following you on social media is getting exclusive information about your brand.
Don’t miss the opportunity to share coupons, sneak peeks, invites, and previews to your social media audience first. Not only does this show your appreciation to your audience, it also creates a powerful incentive for following you on your social media channels.
Do you sound like a soulless robot?
You have two choices: either sound like a soulless computer program or sound like a human on the other end of your posts.
One of them sells, one of them fails.
In social media, you have the flexibility to be more personable in your postings. Your posts should sound friendly, engaging, and human. Don’t worry too much about having perfect grammar (although correct spelling is a must for clarification).
The most important thing to keep in mind: sound like a real person who is talking to another real person.
This one drives me crazy.
Do you have followers on social media who ask questions or leave comments? That’s great. But are you responding to them in a timely and consistent manner?
Don’t leave comments hanging unanswered on your social media pages for days or weeks on end. Not only is it poor customer service for that individual poster, it leaves a negative impression about your brand: either no one’s home or no one wants to take the call. And that’s no good for your brand image.
Have a strategy to answer your comments quickly. Even if you don’t post on that platform everyday, I still recommend checking it at least once a day at the same time to respond to new comments.
Social media needs your voice. When you’re promoting a business, there’s no other tool quite as effective as social media for advertising your product online. Avoid making this common mistakes and watch your brand grow through meaningful social media marketing strategies. Good luck!