Social media has become a game changer for brands in being able to engage with customers in real time. With Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and plenty of other channels popping up it can be tempting to have your business across every platform, but is that the right decision for your brand?
Understanding the social media landscape and how your brand fits into it will go a long way in improving your social media success. We’ve put together the top ten things you should NOT be doing if you’re looking to stay relevant and engaging on social media.
1. Paying for followers
This can not be stressed enough! Social media is a place for your brand to connect with people who will engage with your products or service; in other words, people in your target audience.
Although having a large following on social media looks good to outsiders, if users notice that you are receiving little to no engagements on your posts, the fake followers become instantly obvious.
Use the correct methods for different platforms to grow an engaged audience that will want to interact with your brand and the products and services you have to offer. They’ll also be able to give you insight into your target market that you may not have previously considered.
2. Overuse of hashtags
Simply put, too many hashtags can come across as spam. Hashtags are a great way to gain exposure for your posts, helps your brand to be found by others who may not be following you and also gives you the opportunity to define the type of brand you are (if you are correctly utilising hashtags).
In order for hashtags to be effective, it’s important to know where to use them and how. Hashtags should only be used on Facebook if you are trying to track a competition or giveaway. Instagram hashtags should be reserved for the first comment and you shouldn’t be using more than three hashtags in a tweet.
3. Not replying to comments on your page
Do NOT leave questions or comments on your page unanswered. If users have taken the time to give you their opinion or type out an answer to a question you have asked, ignoring them is a sure way to leave a negative impression in their mind.
Engaging with your followers online shows that you care about what they have to say. It shows that you are engaged with your audience, and it also allows a two-way communication.
4. Not completely filling out the about section
When people on social media want to find out more about you, where do they go? To the about section. If your about section is missing information it makes your brand look unprofessional.
Take the time to completely fill out the about section on every social platform that you are present on.
5. Not posting regularly
It is not just enough to have a Facebook page or Instagram account; you need to be regularly posting on these platforms to grow your online presence and build a loyal following. Your social media pages are an extension of your website. An unkept website reflects poorly on your brand.
Aim to have 5 posts going out on Instagram and Facebook, a tweet a day, 2-3 posts a week on LinkedIn and a video a fortnight on YouTube.
6. Not having a separate budget for social media
Social media is no longer something that businesses can afford to ignore. Not allocating a separate budget to social media means that you will not be able to effectively implement a social strategy, build campaigns or you will be sacrificing quality posts to save dollars.
Social media should be seen as any other marketing channel. There should be a strategy in place that is aligned to your business goals. This strategy should outline KPIs and these KPIs should be revised every quarter.
7. Posting irrelevant content
The point of social media is to reach a larger pool of people who are within your target audience. Your social media platforms should reflect your brand – tone of voice, imagery, values etc. – your brand has been created to resonate with your target audience.
If you are posting irrelevant content, you will be attracting irrelevant followers.
8. Jumping onto EVERY trend
Similar to posting irrelevant content, your brand will not always align with a trending topic. That is okay! You don’t have to b a part of every social trend. Choosing the right social trends for your business will have more cut through with your audience and will allow you to reach a larger group of people in your target market.
Nobody wants to look like a sheep. Online users can be very unforgiving to brands who look like they are ‘trying too hard’ to fit in.
9. Not having a strategy social media in place
Everything you post on social media should have a reason. Whether that reason is to grow your brand awareness, convert a user, make an announcement or support a different business goal.
A social media strategy will hold you accountable for the posts that you are publishing on social media. It will make you stop and re-evaluate whether your next post helps your brand to achieve anything, or if it is merely filling an empty day.
10. Constantly Hard Selling on social media
Social media is exactly that, media that should be social. Nobody wants to hop onto a business’s Facebook page or Instagram feed and see post after post urging them to buy a product or try out a service.
Use social media to create engaging content that resonates with your target market. A loyal follower will be more likely to react to a buy now post and click on your link, than someone who has seen the same type of post for the 10th time in a row.
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Social media is a great way to engage with your customers in real time but doesn't mean you should be present on every platform there is. This article will guide you from committing any social media sins.