8 social media marketing mistakes your business might be making

A lot of businesses are bad at social media marketing.

A lot of businesses don’t incorporate social media successfully into their marketing efforts and subsequently complain that it doesn’t work.

But on closer inspection, their lack of success is usually due to fundamental aspects that they’ve either ignored or executed wrongly.

Here are some common mistakes that will keep your business from realising its full social media potential…

1. Not having a social media marketing strategy

A common scenario: brand A sets up their social media channels, posts a lot of content at once, sees little response, posts sporadically, then not at all and the channels lie dormant for months at a time. Sound familiar?

Mindless, disorganised or sporadic posting prevents a brand from making any real connection with their current audience and future customers, resulting in one-way conversations online.

Taking the time to put a social media strategy in place will ensure you know exactly who you’re talking to, where your audience is, what type of content to post, what goals you’re trying to achieve and how you will measure results.

2. Not having a consistent tone of voice

How many people do you have in control of your social media channels? Are they social media experts, or ‘people who are good with computers’? (shudder). Just because someone uses social media for their own personal use, doesn’t mean they know how to use it properly for your brand.

Poor spelling and grammar, sharing personal opinions that don’t fit the brand and communicating unprofessionally with followers are just some of the things that can hurt your brand on social media. True social media management requires a complete understanding of your services, products, overall business, editorial strategy, and more.

3. Ignoring criticism

Negative comments or reviews are never fun to read, but on social media they must be taken seriously and not ignored or deleted. Taking criticism on board gives you a chance to improve the quality of your service and build trust within your community.

Don’t retaliate with a harsh or defensive statement, instead take the time to understand and resolve your customer’s issue. Engage with them initially on the thread then try to take the conversation onto private messaging or email and deal with it more privately. This is your opportunity to turn the complainant into a loyal customer – one that returns as well as raves about your great customer service – so embrace it!

4. Using poor quality images

Posting dated, low resolution or badly framed images is a sure-fire way to make people think your brand is of equally poor quality. Not everyone is a photographer but in this modern era with the tools we have available right on our phones, there is no reason you should be sharing sub-par photography. Doing it yourself? Invest in at least one tool, be it a fairly new smartphone, or DSLR camera, to ensure you’re putting your best foot forward for your brand. Or, use a paid for stock photography site – but choose the images wisely.

The best solution for original, professional images to use on your social channels is to hire a photographer who will get to know your brand inside out and produce high-quality shots that you can use across all your marketing materials as well as social media. Photography should be refreshed regularly but have a consistent look that is recognisable as your brand – your followers will switch off if they see the same photos year after year.

5. Using too many #hashtags

Need a new #accountant in #Glasgow? Visit our #website to view our #services #accountancy

If your average social post looks like this, for the love of god: STOP. It’s hard to read. It looks spammy. And those hashtags? They won’t get you any more clicks – well, except on the unfollow button.

Use hashtags sparingly on Twitter, don’t use them at all on Facebook (they make no difference) and only use relevant hashtags in your niche on LinkedIn and Instagram.

6. Not uploading videos natively

All too often we see brands spending a lot of time, money and effort on getting video content produced, only to see them share YouTube or Vimeo links instead of uploading videos directly on to their social channels. The end result is the video performs poorly in terms of engagement, and the brand blame the video – instead of the distribution.

Native videos are shared five times more than YouTube videos on social. Why? Well, social media sites give preference to content that keeps people on their website or app rather than sending them to an external site, which makes sense. Therefore, videos posted natively always perform better than links and will be shown to more people. Videos uploaded natively autoplay in newsfeeds, so they are more eye-catching than an embedded YouTube link and are easily shareable.

7. Buying fake followers

It’s 2019 and vanity metrics are unfortunately still very much a thing. If you’re starting from scratch, it can be disheartening to have a low number of followers compared to your competitors. But don’t be tempted to buy fake followers to bolster your numbers – at best, it looks shady and obvious AF and at worst it will negatively impact your reach and cause your engagement to tank… not to mention the risk of getting your accounts banned.

Moreover, bots don’t buy, so what’s the use of having these followers if you can’t convert them? And FYI there are tools that allow you to check the authenticity of someone’s followers, so you’re not fooling anyone. 1000 true followers are far more valuable than 10,000 fake ones. You need real followers who will engage, who will buy, and who will be your brand advocates.

8. Not engaging with your followers

The clue is in the name… social media. So be social! When someone takes the time to engage with your brand by leaving a comment or sending a message, make sure your social media team responds – as soon as possible. What is the point of growing a brand online if you aren’t willing to take the time out to ensure your customers stick around? Don’t underestimate how important it is to your audience to get that recognition from your brand. That moment of acknowledgment from you, and that relationship you build with them, is how loyalty is formed. A simple ‘like’ or comment back goes a long way in showing that you care about engaging with your customers and when you show that you are actively participating, you can expect follower growth and a higher engagement rate. A win-win all round.

Struggling with your social media?

At Five Percent we can advise on the best social media marketing strategy for your business as well as create engaging content and manage your social channels. Get in touch to find out how we can help.

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