Most businesses know that they can’t afford to ignore social media. No matter what kind of company you run, your customers are active on at least one social media platform. My own target demographic are seniors, and I can tell you that millions of them are definitely on social media, despite the public perception that they aren’t.
So, if you’re not active on that same platform, you’re missing out on potential business. But social media marketing continues to get more nuanced and if you’re going to do it, you need to do it the right way.
The Biggest Social Media Mistakes
Sometimes, just knowing the latest social media trends isn’t enough. You have to know where you’re getting it wrong.
It’s all too easy to make big social media marketing mistakes that are costing them time and money. Here are the five biggest mistakes I see most businesses making on social media:
1. They don’t engage their audience
The goal of social media is to engage with your audience and provide value. This could be blog posts, white papers, videos, or other helpful content you create for your followers.
You provide value to your audience and give them a reason to follow you. This provides the added benefit of driving traffic back to your website where you can send them through your sales funnel.
So, the worst thing you can do is to constantly push your products at your followers. The best way to avoid coming across as salesy is by following the 30/60/10 rule.
- 30% of what you share is your own content
- 60% is content from other people
- 10% is promotional
2. Responding poorly to complaints
If you gain any kind of traction on social media, it’s only a matter of time before someone complains about you. The best way to handle a customer complaint is by immediately responding and acknowledging the feedback, even if you don’t agree.
Even if you don’t smooth things over with that customer, other customers who are watching the exchange will appreciate your response. Properly handling criticism is essential if you want to protect your reputation.
The worst thing you can do is ignore, delete, or respond negatively to a customer complaint.
3. They try too many platforms at once
If you’re just getting started, don’t try to be on every platform at once. There’s no way you can be active and engaged with followers on seven different social media platforms.
Plus, doing too much at once makes it more likely that you’ll get frustrated and give up altogether. Before you jump into social media, do some research into your customers and find out what platforms they are most active on.
Pick the two that you believe will yield the greatest results and focus on those to start with.
4. Putting the wrong person in charge of your social media accounts
At some point, it will be necessary to hire a social media manager to handle your accounts. However, passing this responsibility off to the wrong person can cause big problems.
For instance, they could follow in the footsteps of one of Ted Cruz’s staffers and like or share an inappropriate post. They could also respond poorly to a customer complaint and make the situation worse.
These types of social media mistakes are difficult to rectify. Anyone can take a screenshot of your post before you’ve had an opportunity to fix the mistake.
So, don’t pass this job off to an intern or a brand-new employee. Hire an experienced social media manager or consider letting an agency handle your accounts for you.
5. Not tracking your social media campaigns
It is common knowledge that social media likes don’t actually mean all that much. They certainly aren’t a good way to judge how your customers are interacting with your content.
So, every time you share content on social media, make sure you track your metrics and performance. This will give you valuable insights into what your customers are looking for.
For instance, if your customers are twice as likely to watch videos than they are to read blog posts, then it probably makes sense to allocate more of your budget toward video content.
Hopefully, this article has reiterated the importance of using social media the right way. But keep in mind, mistakes are inevitable.
Countless companies have made huge social media blunders and lived to tell the tale. So be mindful of mistakes but don’t let fear of failure stand in the way of giving social media a try.
Start with a plan, listen and engage with your followers, and always provide value and you’ll be able to maximize the benefits of social media for your business.