Social media expands, grows and changes at an amazing rate. There are many platforms available, some which many of us know well and other platforms which are less well known. What is shared across most of them are the social media mistakes you should avoid.
It doesn’t matter whether your social media platform of choice is Facebook, Twitter, or Linkedin, or more visual platforms such as Pinterest and Instagram. You should aim to maintain a reasonable level of social media etiquette and avoid being counter-productive to your business goals.
Mistake #1: Multiple posts of similar content
Don’t post the same products or content over and over again. Use your posts to showcase more of your products or services rather than just repetition.
Also add some additional value to customers by posting some informative content instead of just promotional material. Your promotions will work better when scattered throughout content that customers find interesting or valuable.
Mistake #2: Poor quality photos
Customers want to see photos that make them want to eat your food, buy your products, use your services. Entice them with great photos. Don’t use photos that have poor lighting, confusing backgrounds, or irrelevant subject matter.
Photography, video and graphics are the things that will most catch a visitor’s eye. Make sure they work to draw people into your pages rather than turning them away.
Mistake #3: Over-posting
It can actually be better to post less than posting too much. Each social media platform has a recommended frequency of posting in order to get the most traction with potential customers. Posting too much can have a number of negative effects. It becomes overwhelming for viewers and causes people to mentally blank out your posts, or actively turn away. When done to extremes it is effectively the same as SPAM.
Mistake #4: Poor grammar and spell-checking
Your posts are a reflection of your business and yourself. Check them over before putting them live.
The simplest method is to pause and re-read your messages before hitting “publish” or “send”. This often allows you to pick up on common spelling and grammatical errors and typos.
Mistake #5: Mixing personal and business profiles
When promoting a business, most people don’t want to hear all about what you did on the weekend, when your Mum’s birthday was, or what your cat had for breakfast. The reason they are viewing your page or profile is for business information. Keep it straightforward, reasonable, and informative.
This separation of work and personal is important in displaying professionality in your business. Whilst showing your personality through your business social media posts is fine, providing customers with the inner workings of your social life is not.
Mistake #6: Disrespecting privacy
This should be obvious, but unless someone has given you permission to post them, then don’t. This is not limited to just photos either but can include discussions or mentions of people. This is especially true if you are dealing with children where a parent’s absolute explicit permission should be sought.
There are a few factors at the heart of this.
In some circumstances (keep in mind I am not a legal professional) breach of privacy can be illegal. You definitely don’t want to cross these lines.
There are plenty of situations where it may not be illegal, but can certainly be unethical to post. Consider this when writing your social media. And this leads us to;
The purpose of social media posting for business is to build trust with your audience. Is something you are doing is illegal, unethical or just plain annoying then it is it unlikely you will be building trust?
Mistake #7: Put-downs and negative comments
Negative posts on social media about other businesses, competitors and people are bad for business. Whilst healthy competition is good, negative comments are just a poor reflection on your business, and we have seen numerous cases of them coming back to bite! Work with, and support all locals to bring more business to the area. Don’t fight over a larger slice of pie, just bake a bigger one.
Mistake #8: Ignoring Group or Forum rules
Social Media Groups and Forums will usually have a set of basic rules that they expect members to follow. Most of these groups and forums will typically allow businesses to self-promote within certain limits. Make sure that you read, understand and follow these rules. After all, they are letting you into their space; be careful not to abuse it.
Ignoring group rules can negatively impact your business. At the least, you can upset your audience. At most, you can get permanently banned from the group or forum.
Mistake #9: Buying followers
Never, ever buy followers. If you do, most of them will be fake accounts created by dubious persons unknown. Even if they are legitimate, the likelihood that they are really interested in your business is slim at best. Additionally, as purchasing followers is actually disallowed by many social media platforms, you risk your own account getting banned.
Your goal in gaining social media followers is not to get the most. With social media for business, your goal is to attract followers who want what you sell. Anything else is a waste of your time and effort (and probably money).
Mistake #10: Disconnection between your posts and your brand
Similar in some ways to Mistake #4, don’t post about things that are not related to your business. This does not mean all posts need to be directly sales related, but do make sure they are supportive of your brand and message. Posting teddy bears for sale when you sell pizza is not good for your brand, profits or margins. Posting about the providence of your suppliers or the history of pizza is, however, fine.
As a quick trial, sit down and think about what your business does, and how it does it. You should be able to easily come up with half a dozen ideas of something to write or post about.
Mistake #11: Keep doing things that don’t work
If something is not working for you on social media, don’t keep doing it. Not only is it a waste of your own time, but there is obviously a reason it is not working. Continue on the same track and you risk alienating your audience.
An important aspect of this mistake is being able to identify when things are not working. What are your points of measurement? Once you have this in mind then you can make an appropriate business decision. Change things up a bit, try something new, and see how it works.
If you are falling for any of these social media mistakes, consider the cost and make a change. There is plenty of success to be had.
If you would like some assistance with your social media strategy, operation or content creation, please drop us a line.
Ben learned many of his lessons as a visual communicator in the dark, old days of film, but loves the opportunities and potential of applying his experience with the technologies that have emerged in the digital age. His breadth of knowledge and experience from web development to search and social allow him to lead his team in providing a holistic and comprehensive service to clients.
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