Having a strong social media presence is vital for businesses looking to foster brand awareness. With networks such as Facebook and Twitter being well established in the social media age, there is no better time to engage your customers across these platforms. In addition to being accessible, social media is easy to use and cost-effective. Moreover, it offers benefits such as higher search engine rankings, increased website traffic, and new leads.
Like any tool though, social media must be used properly in order to gain its benefits. Too many businesses either don’t commit to a long-term strategy, or are simply negligent in their use of social media. In worst-case scenarios, business owners may face a PR crisis which can cause considerable brand damage. This is easily preventable however, so long as you avoid making these basic mistakes on social media.
NOT ESTABLISHING YOUR AUDIENCE
Like in any business, your most important assets are your customers. Social media is designed specifically for connecting with your wider network, which in this case are your customers. As such, your social media strategy should reflect your overall business strategy (and marketing strategy if you have one). If in doubt, step back for a moment and ask yourself as a customer: ‘Why should I follow this page? Why should I purchase this brand?’
NOT ESTABLISHING YOUR BRAND
In the same way that you need to understand your customers, you also need to understand your brand and how you are selling it. It’s very easy to get caught up in the social media cycle and post random content which detracts from your brand’s key selling points. A brand messaging framework is a great way of nailing down your brand messages, while also providing a reference point for communication across multiple platforms.
HAVING AN INCOMPLETE PROFILE
This is the easiest part of social media, yet it’s often the most overlooked. It’s one thing to have a nice cover photo and profile picture, but as they say, the devil is in the detail. Completing the ‘about’ section will make your profile visible for those searching a particular category, as well as provide important information like store hours and contact information. For prospective customers, a detailed and well-written description provides credibility to your brand and hopefully, a referral to your website or store.
NOT FOLLOWING A CONTENT PLAN
Now that you have a great-looking profile, the next step is filling it with engaging content. There are so many factors that exist around posting content on social media, that it would be reminisce of you to not follow a content plan. A content plan gives you the flexibility to post around important dates, as well as deliver diverse and interesting content across all your platforms. Moreover, it gives you a solid base from which to grow your profiles and more importantly, foster engagement amongst your followers.
POSTING IRRELEVANT CONTENT
Irrelevant content is one of the great pitfalls of not having a content plan. Social media is not a one-trick pony, in that every day offers something unique and different across your newsfeed. However, what catches your eye in the form of videos or ‘memes’, won’t offer a return for your business in the form of leads or referrals. Ensuring that you strive for this outcome in your weekly content plan, while also not being too sales-driven, is a balancing act which comes from a strong understanding of your audience and brand.
POSTING TOO MUCH OR TOO LITTLE
Even once you find that balance between engagement and ‘sales’, the latter may not happen if you don’t follow a posting schedule. In everyone’s already-cluttered newsfeeds, you don’t want your posts appearing three or four times. This can result in ‘unfollows’, meaning that users will no longer see your posts on their newsfeed. Likewise, if you don’t post for an entire week, chances are they have forgotten about you and won’t make that call or purchase they had been pondering (I know, because I do it all the time!)
NOT HAVING THE RIGHT ‘VOICE’
This goes back to knowing your audience and brand. Although social media content requires a certain level of succinctness and detail, it’s important to infuse some personality into it and not be a faceless entity. Being creative and maintaining a ‘human’ element on your posts is vital in fostering audience engagement and feedback.
NOT RESPONDING TO YOUR AUDIENCE
Engagement loses its value though if you don’t respond to your audience. This doesn’t mean you have to respond to every comment, but you should keep an eye on the comments and post a general response to a series of questions if applicable - e.g. We suggest you arrive by 8:30am and park behind the building.
It’s perhaps more vital that you respond to reviews, especially when they are negative. Being ‘human’ is about being open and honest with other people. Accepting negative feedback shows that you care about your audience and are committed to delivering high standards.
NO RISK MANAGEMENT
At a time where social media makes headlines, it’s vital to safeguard yourself from unwanted attention. If you don’t employ a social media officer, at least provide training to whomever is managing your account. Set up a social media policy with guidelines for managing a PR crisis. Even the little things, like posting incorrect information or using the wrong profile or hashtag can become a major headache for business owners.
NO LEAD GENERATION OR ANALYTICS
As previously mentioned, the goal of social media should be to drive new leads. Regular reviews of your analytics will enable you to see if you are achieving your goals. Are you driving traffic to your website? Are you gaining new customers? Having a balanced, yet diverse content plan can help you achieve these goals.
Creatir offers all-inclusive content packages to help you get the most out of your social media, catch the attention of your target audience, and keep them consistently engaged in your business. Take a look at our packages and find one to suit your brand’s needs.